Fountains Abbey Watermill, North Yorkshire

In a jointly managed and funded project by English Heritage and the National Trust, Ferrey & Mennim were appointed as Architects for the repair and refurbishment of the Mill building, which is believed to be the oldest surviving Cistercian watermill in Europe.

The project consisted of a phased programme of work, preceded and accompanied by archaeological investigation. The first phase concentrated on external repairs to ensure the mill was weather tight and structural repairs to prevent further collapse; the re-excavating and waterproofing of the mill leats, pond and dam wall, and the repair of the mill wheel, sluice gates and turbine.

The final phase involved internal repairs and refurbishment of the mill itself in preparation for opening the building to the general public. Displays, artefacts and working models were installed to provide further explanation for visitors. Our design of the interior included the sympathetic insertion of a lift for disabled visitors, the exterior landscaping ensuring that all levels of the mill are accessible.

A number of difficulties were discovered during the contract, including massive voiding of the ground around the wheel pit, but these were successfully resolved by Ferrey and Mennim in conjunction with the project team which included wheelwrights and specialist water engineers.

Details

  • Client: Fountains Abbey Watermill, North Yorkshire
  • Category: Conservation, Heritage and Community
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