Eling Tide Mill
Eling Tide Mill is a water mill that harnesses the power of the tide to grind wheat into wholemeal flour.
Situated on the edge of Southampton Water beside the renowned New Forest, there has been a mill on the site for over 900 years, although it has had to be rebuilt several times, with the current building being some 230 years old. Tide mills were once an important part of the economy of many countries, such as Great Britain and the United States of America - the latter having many hundreds of tide mills on the eastern coast from the 17th to 19th centuries. Tidal power was harnessed in this fashion not only for milling flour, but for everything from sawing lumber and operating the bellows and hammers in ironworks, to manufacturing paper and cotton, to grinding spices, pepper and gunpowder. Before the advent of the steam engine they were the one kind of large-scale mill that was pretty much guaranteed to be able to run 365 days of the year.
Unfortunately they suffered far more than the river and wind mills after they were gradually abandoned in the 19th and early 20th centuries, and very few survive even as derelicts. There are only four tide mills open to the public in the entire United Kingdom, and none at all in the U.S.A.
Eling Tide Mill, although abandoned in the 1940s, had the great good fortune to survive until it was restored between 1975 and 1980, at which time it re-opened as both a working mill, and a museum to this part of our industrial heritage. It is the only fully working and productive tide mill in the United Kingdom, once again producing flour as it had throughout the last Millennium. It is, in fact, one of only two productive tide mills in the entire world (to the best of our knowledge), and the only one producing what it was built to produce.
Industrial heritage site
The Mill is open to visitors from 1000-1600, Wednesday to Sunday all year (Christmas Day and Boxing Day excepted), plus Bank Holiday Mondays.
Closed: Saturday to Tuesday
Christmas Day and Boxing Day
Child £1.25 (Age 4+)
Senior £1.75 (60+)
Family £5.75 (2 adults/seniors + reasonable number of related children!)
(Please note: Family Ticket includes a maximum of 3 quiz prizes - additional prizes 30p each.)
The Tide Mill is a 230 year-old, rather cramped working site. While as much provision for visitors has been made as is possible given that the purpose of the site is to allow people to see what such mills were like, the nature of the building is such that we have to impose a few restrictions on visitors.
Dogs, prams and pushchairs may be taken into the Mill Shop, but not the Mill itself. They may all be left in the shop (dogs preferably secured!) while the Mill is visited; we will usually be able to keep an eye on them, but it must be understood that this is at the owners' risk.
Children must be accompanied by an adult and closely supervised at all times. Unaccompanied children are not allowed into the Mill.
Shoes must be worn inside the Mill!
We regret that there is wheelchair access (via a small ramp) to the Hurst (ground) floor only. The Bin Loft and the Stones Floor (including the video presentation) are only accessible via a staircase.
Visitors with visual impairments should note that the Mill has very low, beamed ceilings.
Eling Tide Mill
023 8086 9575