From The Neolithic To The Sea: A Journey From The Past To The Present

The Town Mill

50°43'32.0"N 2°56'01.9"W
SY 3418192187


  • History
  • Gallery
  • Gallery
The Town Mill is a watermill located in Lyme Regis, Dorset.

The Mill is thought to be one of 5,000 pre Domesday mills in the country, the Domesday Book records a mill at Lyme in 1086, so the site could be much older. It was used for milling wheat for bread, and malt for beer, although present mill was built in 1340, when Edward III granted a licence to The Town Mill.

During the English Civil War in 1644, the mill was severely damaged, but it was rebuilt within four years. From the 1850s onwards, the Town Mill struggled. Cheap imported grain and improved roller-milling technology forced the mill to close in 1926.

In 1929, the mill was used as a borough council-owned depot and store, in 1936, the Victorian iron waterwheel was removed. Over the years, the buildings were disused and became derelict, the ownership was transferred to West Dorset District Council, who announced plans to demolish the site.

The Town Mill was rescued in 1991, the Lyme locals raised over £500,000 to buy the buildings and begin a daunting restoration project. Ten years later, the Town Mill reopened and milled the first flour for over 70 years. Over 15 years, the Town Mill has evolved and is now a thriving arts hub, occasional entertainment venue and home to a variety of small businesses.