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Water wheel bearing

The water wheel provides a quarter of the power in the mill. After 60 years of work its phosphor bronze bearing has worn out. As there isn’t a spare on the shelf we have had to have a pattern made and a new a new bearing cast by Bridport Foundry down in west Dorset. The mill pond has been drained to ensure no water goes over the wheel while the work is carried out and water has been syphoned from the wheel’s buckets so the wheel doesn’t turn. It has been a long process and we’re hoping to have it fitted and back running again in the next couple of weeks. It won’t take the mill pond to refill from the River Sturkel and the ducks will be happy once more!

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Shepherd’s Hut

Not just for shepherds, our hut sleeps two and has beautiful millpond views. The comfortable bed is a small double and the little cupboard is stocked with wine glasses, plates, bowls, cutlery, mugs, kettle, a selection of teas & coffee and a welcoming tin of homemade cake. A leisurely breakfast is served in the main house or weather permitting enjoy eating under the willow tree just a few steps from the hut, whilst watching the ducks on the pond.

We are situated on the borders of Dorset, Wiltshire and Somerset and have access to many historical places. Bath, Longleat, Salisbury, Stonehenge, Brownsea Island, the Isle of Purbeck, Thomas Hardy country and the Jurassic Coast are all within easy reach to explore, as are the beaches at Bournemouth, Sandbanks and Studland. There are plenty of traditional pubs in the area, the Chalke Valley has many country pubs with beer gardens and good bar menus, and gastro pubs too. There is lots of lovely walking in the area. Why not enjoy an invigorating walk over Fontmell Down which has far-reaching views across the Blackmore Vale and a pint at The Fontmell, Fontmell Magna. The open chalk grassland of the lower slopes is covered in wildflowers in the spring and summer months and famous for its wild orchids.

Find us at, or contact us direct and ask for Jo.

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Family outing

A hatch of Mallard ducklings provided lots of excitement in the mill yard last week looking for tasty morsels amongst the sacks of grain screenings. With all the noise of machinery we rarely get such visitors but this was one brave Mum! Seriously upping the ‘gorgeous’ factor are some playful Tufted duck ducklings and a couple of broods of Moorhens on the millpond at the moment. Spring is here!

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Open day 2018

Come and see the mill in action. Our Open Day will be held on Saturday 12th May, 2pm to 5pm. Paul Merry, our resident artisan baker and teacher, also opens the door at Panary enticing visitors with the smell of bread baking in the wood fired oven. Once again it coincides with ‘National Mills’ weekend and also the ‘2018 Shaftesbury Food Festival’  ( which this year is being held on Sunday 13th May, 10am to 4pm. There is much going on in our corner of north Dorset.

During the course of the year we often get people asking if they can come and look around the mill. Due to our busy working environment, considerations of Health and Safety, and of course Food Hygiene Regulations this is rarely possible. However, over the past few years we have been having an annual Open Day, encouraging those interested to come and see the mill in action.

We look forward to seeing you!