Heron Corn Mill and Mill Barn

venue representative image
Food icon Guided tours icon Shop icon Library icon Study area icon Wheelchair access icon

Heron Corn Mill is on the banks of the River Bela, in South Cumbria close to the Lancashire border, and is one of the few working mills left in Cumbria. Evidence shows that a mill existed on the site prior to 1096. In 1220 the Lord of the Manor gave the monks of St. Marie's York the right to grind their grain at his mill.

The mill passed through many hands until in 1927 it came to W & J Pye, millers of Lancaster. In 1955, they closed the mill, and for the next two decades the mill was unused. In 1973, Henry Cooke Ltd leased the mill to the newly formed Beetham Trust to rescue the mill. In 1975 Princess Alexandra opened the refurbished mill, which shows to the public the mechanics of a water driven corn mill.

A grade ll listed eighteenth century working watermill, the mill is currently undergoing restoration work. During 2009, the site will be installing a hydropower turbine in the weir at the River Bella, to generate electricity.

From 11th April 2009, the mill will be open and guided tours available, please contact us for more details. It will be closed Mondays but open Bank Holiday Mondays.

The newly re-developed barn at Heron Corn Mill is now used as an educational and arts resource and a building for community and corporate hire. The space can be hired for talks, seminars, parties, team building events and many other activities. Please get in touch for more details and a hire card. The barn is open all year round, and has under floor heating and a wood pellet stove. A wide range of equipment is also available for hire upon request.

Venue Type:

Industrial heritage site

Opening hours

14 March - 31 October
Tues - Sun 11.00-17.00
Open bank holidays

Closed: Mondays.
Mill Barn open throughout the year.

Admission charges

Adults: £2.00
Senior Citizens: £1.50
Children: £1

Teachers with school groups free.
Special schools rates apply. Teachers pack available free from Education Officer Nell Dale on 015395 65027.


  • Museums Association

Additional info

The site is such that it is difficult for wheel chairs, steep rough approach to mill, museum access reasonable. It is possible for wheel chairs to get to the mill with assistance. Development of the site is planned for 2009 for improved access and restoration.

Permanent exhibition of 900 years of milling on the site.

Collection details

Industry, Science and Technology, Social History, Trade and Commerce

Key artists and exhibits

  • Mill
  • All fully working mill machinery, two waterwheels, vertical plate mill, oat clipper, Oat roller, Chaff Cutter, Cake Breaker, horizontal platemill, Various mill stones, various hand tools connected to stone dressing.
Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

Heron Corn Mill - Teachers Pack

Module One
Sc2. Life Processes and Living Things; Green Plants + Nutrition
SC3. Materials; Separating Materials and Changing Materials.


  • Audrey Steeley


  • Audrey Steeley


  • No

How to obtain

Email info@heronmill.org or write to Heron Corn Mill, Mill Lane, Beetham, Milnthorpe, Cumbria LA7 7PQ.
The pack is free but £2.50 requested for packing and postage

Key Stages 1-3 Educational Workshops at Heron Corn Mill and Museum of Paper Making


QCA friendly education workshops offered for Key Stages 1-3 in paper, print-making, automata, bread-making and bread-sculpture.
We can welcome groups of up to 16 at a time. We can offer all-day workshops, or 1 hour paper-making sessions.


  • Education Officer - Nell Dale
  • Tel: 015395 65027

How to obtain

Tel: 015395 65027
E: info@heronmill.org

Heron Corn Mill and Mill Barn
Heron Corn Mill,
Mill Lane,


web address





hire barn



01539 564271

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.