In 2003 Howsham Mill was a ruin hidden in the trees on a small island in the River Derwent, five miles downstream from Malton. The vision of the newly-formed Renewable Heritage Trust (RHT) was to restore the building back to its Georgian Gothic glory with a new use as an environmental education centre, generating hydro-electricity from the waterwheel and two Archimedean Screw turbines. In 2006 the mill was the northern region finalist on the BBC Restoration Village programme. A Rural Enterprise Scheme grant funded the rebuilding in 2007 of the granary to become the kitchen and house electrical equipment.
Early in 2007 the complicated process of installing the 9.5 t Archimedes Screw started, the first one to be installed in the UK. The waterwheel was replaced and connected via a gearbox to a generator. In February 2010 the mill was connected to the National Grid and the surplus electricity could be sold. Then in May 2018 a second, larger screw was commissioned to exploit fully the potential of the site to generate hydro-electricity.
RHT was awarded a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund with match funding from the Country Houses Foundation to restore the main part of the building. In June 2012, the local company Stephen Pickering Ltd and sub-contractors, started work. A year later, after four floods and challenging working conditions, the building was restored to its former glory, as it looked when abandoned in 1947, but equipped for the 21st century. The quality of the workmanship is a tribute to all those involved.
‘The Story of Howsham Mill’ is available to buy from Kemp’s Bookshop, Malton.
How the Mill Operated
SEND US YOUR VIDEO
We would love to see what you have filmed in the Howsham Mill area.