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Friday, May 9, 2014
Kentraugh Mill Opens Its Doors During National Mills Weekend
Entrance to Kentraugh Mill
The National Mills Weekend,
organised by the Mills Section of the Society for the Protection of Ancient
Buildings, is a popular annual festival celebrating the milling heritage of the
British Isles, providing a unique opportunity to visit a large selection of
windmills and watermills.
Until the advent of the steam
engine, windmills and watermills provided the only source of power for a number
of processes, but here on the Isle of Man little remains of this once vibrant
industrial heritage, with many of the mills having fallen into neglect.
Despite this, a few of them have
been lovingly restored by their owners and during National Mills Weekend
Kentraugh Mill, based in the south of the Island, will be opening its doors to
the public and raising funds for charity.
Located close to the Shore Hotel
at Bay ny Carrickey (also referred to as Gansey Bay), The Little Mill as it was
colloquially known, was run by the Qualtrough family for over 400 years, but is
now owned by Canon and Mrs Elizabeth Sheen.
Inside Kentraugh Mill
Although probably a working mill
for centuries, it’s believed that Kentraugh Mill was largely rebuilt about
1832, when the current machinery was installed, but is known to have ceased as
a working mill in 1943 when the building became redundant.
Lying unused and forgotten for
over twenty years, it was restored by Mr R. M. Nuttall (father of Mrs. Sheen)
when he purchased the miller’s house in 1965, little realising that what he
thought was a garage was in fact a disused watermill.
During the weekend visitors will
be able to join an extensive guided tour of the three-storey building, see the
mill in action and learn more about its colourful history, as well as paying a
visit to the Chapel Garden across the road, which was used historically as a
miller’s store room and as a meeting place for the Primitive Methodists.
Disused Mill Wheel
Admission to Kentraugh Mill, which
is a popular venue during National Mills Weekend, is free but donations are
welcome towards the owners’ chosen charity, the United Society (Anglicans in
Although the route to Kentraugh
Mill will be well signposted during the weekend, further information is
available by phoning 832406, but visitors are reminded that tours of the mill
are undertaken at their own risk and that there are some open steps to
negotiate within the building.
New for this year is Mills in
Art, a competition for artwork in any medium on the subject of windmills or
watermills with prizes on offer for both adults and those aged under 16. Further
details available from the National Mills Weekend website.