Keeping the Wheel Turning

Managed by the Thorrington Tide Mill Trust, Thorrington Tide Mill is the only remaining tide mill in Essex, built in 1831. We are currently working with Historic England to preserve this special building for future generations to enjoy.

We are fundraising to finance ongoing work for the building, including:

Carrying out detailed surveys of damage 

Painting and repairing the outer structure

Repairing the wheelhouse and restoring the wheel to working order

Repairing the framework supporting the gears and millstones

Repairing the creekside retaining wall

Meeting health and safety requirements to open to the public

Updating educational information for visitors

Please do get in touch if you’d like to help by making a donation or by becoming a volunteer:

About Us

About Thorrington Tide Mill

Thorrington Tide Mill Trust (charity number 1203112) was created in May 2023 to help secure the future of this special building.

Although the present mill was built in 1831, there has been a mill at the head of Alresford Creek since the 17th century. The present mill on the dam is a tall three-storeyed timber-framed building. Its white-painted weatherboarding is typical of Essex mill buildings.

On an incoming tide, a sluice – a water channel controlled by a gate – opens in the dam, allowing the mill pool to fill. On the ebb tide, the stored water is released by another sluice, driving the waterwheel. Through a series of mechanical gears, the waterwheel rotates the millstones, which grind corn fed into a central hole.

Corn was brought to the mill and placed directly under the lucam – projecting structure with a doorway on the third storey – in sacks on a cart, then lifted to the top floor by a sack hoist, also powered by the waterwheel.

Thorrington Mill is recorded as having had very high-quality millstones, imported from France, which would have produced the finest grade white flour. Although much of the mill’s flour may have been used locally, small vessels such as barges could dock at the landing place next to the mill to take goods for export. The mill continued working until 1926.

You can read a full history of the mill here.

How You Can Help

Send Donation

The mill is managed by the Thorrington Tide Mill Trust charity (no. 1203112). We rely on donations and grants to contribute to the upkeep of the mill so future generations can continue to enjoy its unique history and location. We are currently crowdfunding and you can find more information here.

Become a Volunteer

You can get involved today by becoming a volunteer and helping maintain and open the mill for visitors when we are ready to reopen. Please email thorringtonmill@gmail.com


How and When to Find Us


Brightlingsea Road, Thorrington, Essex, CO7 8JL


A small car park only available on mill open days

No toilet facilities are available

Opening Times

The mill is normally open seven times a year from April to October and we hope to return to this schedule as soon as possible once we have completed work, in partnership with Historic England, to ensure the mill is safe for public visits.


Guided tours are available by donation on open days, giving visitors a vivid account of the mill’s operation and its importance in the local area.


Messages From the Mill

Become a Volunteer

A team of passionate local volunteers ensure that the mill is opened for visitors to enjoy. Please contact us for more info.

Useful links and further reading

Photographs by Roger W Haworth and Ashley Dace, used under Creative Commons.