Last year we visited Beeleigh Abbey Gardens on one of their open days, and loved the secluded gardens around the old abbey just to the west of Maldon. This weekend just gone, and open as part of the excellent Heritage Open Days, we went further up the lane, past the abbey, to find another hidden gem in Beeleigh Steam and Water Mill.
It nestles by the Chelmer Canal, which offered a lovely walk in the warm September sunshine, and what remains is just a shadow of what was an enormous five-storey building in the mid-19th century, with ten stones, powered by water, and later by steam. You can find out more about the mill here.
As part of Heritage Open Day, there were enthusiastic and knowledgeable members of the Beeleigh Mill Restoration Group on hand to give guided tours, with lots of engineering detail! The mill is undergoing renovation, with a new roof on one part of the building to entice bats away from nesting in the main building, to allow repair of the building! It’s going to be a slow process, but let’s hope the BMRG are able to keep the enthusiasm and funding flowing to restore the mill to some of it’s former glory! Pictures below :