Located on the River Great Ouse between St Ives and Huntingdon, there has been a mill on the Ouse near Houghton since at least the year 974. The present mill is believed to have been built in the 17th century replacing one that burnt down. The mill closed in 1928 when the last miller, Arthur Chopping, retired and the water wheels were removed. Water mills were once a common sight with around 120 mills on the central 70 mile stretch of the Ouse. At its height, the mill ran ten separate pairs of grinding stones, with the power supplied by three wheels.
From 1935 to 1982 it was home to a youth hostel, one of the few where smoking was banned due to the fire risk. The year after the youth hostel closed, the National Trust opened the building to the public. In 1999 a set of the original mill stones were restored and once again flour is being milled on the site.
First picture is an undated postcard, but is prior to 1928 as that is when the wheels were removed.
(Thanks to David Gent)
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