Eskdale Mill, Boot
OS grid ref:- NY 176011
Eskdale Mill is situated in the curiously named hamlet of Boot which lies in beautiful Eskdale, and is situated at the end of the bleak and dramatic Hardknott Pass.
The Eskdale Corn Mill in the village was restored in 1975. The central structure of the present mill is thought to date back to around 1547 when the tennet was Robert Vycars, at that time wool was also processed at the mill. The mill is set on the banks of fast flowing Whillan Beck, which cascades down from the flanks of Scafell, Eskdale Mill still boasts its historic working machinery.
Whillan Beck provides environmentally friendly renewable energy. The Mill has two 12 feet overshot mill wheels each of which measuring 3 feet wide. Overshot wheels are powered from a sluice over the top of the wheel, the water is fed into bucket like wooden boxes, when the box fills it causes an inbalance in the wheel which makes it turn.
The Mill is one of the oldest water powered corn mills in England, and is now the last remaining working mill in the Lake District. The Grade II listed building is survivor of a vanishing heritage, one of the few remaining two wheel water corn mills.
The visitor can learn about Cumbria's industry and its inhabitants. A exhibition explains the milling process and the workings of the unique wooden machinery. The mill may often be seen operating. The Miller's Tour combines stories of the mill's history and past valley life, with a fascinating array of artefacts and early photographs.
Eskdale Mill is accessed via the seventeenth century packhorse bridge over Whillan Beck in the village