The Corn Mill is situated at the heart of historic Warwick Bridge in Cumbria. Records show that there has been a mill on this site since at least the mid 12th Century and that the current Mill was built in around 1802, with most of the present structure dating to a rebuild of 1839.
In the early 1980s the mill was listed at Grade II* due to its exceptional architectural merit and historic interest, particularly due to the fact that waterwheel, operational machinery, and millstones were all still in situ and the fact that the mill remained largely unaltered since Georgian times. The mill ceased operation in 1989 when the last miller retired and since that date the mill suffered from a lack of focused use and a slow deterioration in the mill’s machinery and fabric, as it was never expected to work again.
Increasing vulnerability and an uncertain future resulted in the Corn Mill being added to the Heritage at Risk Register in 2000. The catastrophic floods of 2005 and 2015 and further neglect accelerated the decline.
‘It is not a lack of interest or will that has brought about the demise of Warwick Bridge Corn Mill, but an inability on the part of a succession of people to convert ideas into delivered solutions. Those ideas, and the mill with them, have now effectively been abandoned: this is no longer a calculated investment opportunity but an urgent rescue operation’ Graham Bell – Cultura Trust (July 2003)
Cultura Trust acquired the Mill in 2014 following a period of sustained fundraising with the aim to save the Corn Mill from dereliction or inappropriate redevelopment. Mosedale Gillatt Architects were then appointed by Cultura Trust to develop proposals for restoration of the historic mill and machinery alongside the integration of an artisan bakery to support the future of the building complex. Innovative technology was also used to integrate a hydro-generator that takes power directly from the main mill wheel.
Following completion of the repair works, a Community Benefit Society was established in 2019 to lease and run the mill as a community bakery . This group now work to create a sustainable future for the Corn mill that will preserve this key local asset for generations to come and enhance the sense of community in Warwick Bridge and the surrounding area.
Further information about the mill can be found here – Warwick Bridge Corn Mill