Clodock Mill is a traditional corn mill on the banks of the River Monnow in Herefordshire, close to the Welsh border.
There is documentary evidence for a mill at Clodock in AD1241, but it was probably already in existence a century or more earlier. The present stone buildings date from the 17th through to the 20th century.
The mill ran commercially until 1954. After that, fortunately much of the machinery remained in place but the wheel deteriorated and the race required maintenance. Since 2001, conservation and restoration work have taken place and the mill has now been returned to working order.
The massive 18 feet diameter waterwheel is breast-shot, i.e. water enters the buckets half-way up the wheel. It was made by the Miles Foundry in Leominster in 1868.
The 9 foot diameter cast iron pit wheel was probably also installed in 1868. The great spur wheel and the crown wheel have removable wooden cogs of yew and oak that can be replaced when they wear out. They probably date from around 1810.
The local farmers used to bring their corn to the mill on horse-drawn wagons. Wheat, barley and oats would arrive in sacks weighing 2 ¼ hundredweight - that's 115kg! A hoist, driven by the waterwheel, was used to raise the corn up to the top floor. It was then gravity fed to the millstones. There are two pairs of millstones. One is French burr stone for white bread flour. The other has a French burr bed stone and a Peak stone runner and was used for animal feed. The stones need to be dressed regularly with a pattern of furrows which reduces the corn to meal.
After grinding, the meal has to be processed to separate the bran from the flour. This is currently done with a hand sieve but we intend restoring one of the two dressing machines in the mill.
The previous owners of the mill generated their own electricity from a turbine powered from the mill leat until Clodock was connected to the mains in the 1960s. We hope to install a modern micro hydroelectric scheme at some time in the future.
The mill is home to a colony of scarce Lesser Horseshoe bats that come each spring to raise their young. Otters are frequently heard (but seldom seen) fishing for brown trout in the river. Kingfishers are frequently seen on the river and recently the millrace has been visited by a Little Egret.
For further information contact Martin and Jill Cook