Heron Corn Mill and Mill Barn

Heron Corn Mill
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Heron Corn Mill is situated 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 it went unused. In 1973, Henry Cooke Ltd leased the mill to the newly formed Beetham Trust so that they could restore it to its former glory. In 1975 Princess Alexandra opened the refurbished mill, which shows to the public the mechanics of a water driven corn mill.

Heron Corn Mill is a grade ll listed eighteenth century working watermill,and in 2009, the site installed a hydropower turbine in the weir at the River Bella, to generate electricity which is then sold to the paper mill opposite.

We offer a year round programme of events and activities for all the family, and we have a regular Mill tour and milling demonstration which takes place on the first Friday of the month, 11.30am - 1pm.

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.

Venue Type:

Industrial heritage site, Heritage site

Opening hours

February Half Term - Christmas
Weds - Sun 11.00-16.00
Open bank holidays

Closed: Mondays and Tuesdays
Office open throughout the year.

Admission charges

FREE entry but donations are welcome.

Special schools rates apply. For more information about our education programme please visit our website or call 015395 65027.

Additional info

In 2013 the Mill underwent a major redevelopment making the site more accessible to wheel chairs, though the top floor of the mill is still inaccessible. The site also has disabled toilet facilities.

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.

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

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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.