National search for a 21st century miller in Britain
A South Yorkshire mill is looking for a miller to continue an ancient tradition. The 17th century Worsbrough Mill in Barnsley, UK, which has been milling flour since 1865, is looking for a miller who will continue the ancient tradition of stone grinding flour using water power.
Worsbrough Mill is one of around 40 working mills in the country and it is estimated that there are approximately 300 traditional millers still employed in the ancient profession.
Restored as a working museum in 1976, the mill has been nurtured as a successful flour milling business, milling a range of premium quality grains sourced from organic farms in the UK.
Worsbrough Mill & Country Park covers over 62 hectares of woodland and open water reservoir and attracted over 180,000 visitors in 2017.
Over the next five years the miller will be instrumental in helping secure the mill"s long-term future as a first-class centre of learning, recreation and locally-produced artisan food.
The miller will join an illustrious lineage of millers dating back to around 1625. They will draw energy from the River Dove which flows through the Low Valley in Barnsley to create a range of organic flours, including British organic wheat, spelt, rye flours, white flours, semolina and bran. The flours are available to buy at the mill shop and tea room on site at Worsborough Mill & Country Park and in farm shops and small bakeries across South Yorkshire and Derbyshire.
Richard Moss is retiring from the position of miller after 20 years in the role. He said, "The new miller will have the power of the mill at their fingertips, from the water, gears and energy, to the millstones themselves, bringing them into harmony to create flour. This is a fantastic opportunity to live and work in Barnsley which is steeped in history and has some beautiful scenery and hidden treasures to explore."
Craig Hartley is the business development manager for Barnsley Museums, operated by Barnsley Council. He said, "The miller will join us at an exciting time as we develop plans to create a learning centre and artisan bakery on site, both for the benefit of residents in Barnsley, the local economy and income generation for the museums service.
"They will be at the very heart of these development plans focused on local food and the natural heritage to ensure the mill becomes a destination of choice for the local community and for visitors to the region.
"The ideal candidate will have a passion for baking and heritage with engineering experience, or already be responsible for a working mill. But we"re also interested in hearing from people who are interested in learning an ancient trade and taking on the responsibility of running the mill."
About Worsbrough Mill
Worsbrough Mill is part of Barnsley Museums - owned and operated by Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council. The other museums in the portfolio are Cannon Hall Museum & Country Park, Cooper Gallery, Elsecar Heritage Centre and Experience Barnsley. Together, the five free-entry heritage attractions welcome over one million visitors every year.
History of the mill
A mill was recorded at Worsbrough in the Domesday Book in 1086, and the oldest part of the current watermill dates from 1625. In the early 20th century Worsbrough Mill fell into disrepair.
Nowadays, the mill is carrying on the tradition of stone grinding flour using water power. Worsbrough Mill white and wholemeal flours are traditionally stoneground on a pair of 19th century "French Burr" stones powered by a cast iron water wheel, installed in 1865.
Worsbrough Mill is also home to a rare Hornsby hot-bulb oil engine, formally from Sykehouse Windmill, which has been rebuilt in the engine room. Visitors can see demonstrations of the engine in action, using water and steam to turn the historic millstones. Tours of the Mill and demonstrations of the Hot Bulb Engine take place regularly throughout the year.
Restoring the mill as a working museum
In 1976 Worsbrough Mill was restored as a working museum by Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council. Since then, it has been nurtured as a successful flour milling business, milling a range of premium quality grains sourced from organic farms in the UK to produce a wide range of premium quality organic flour.
The on-site mill shop stocks a range of Worsbrough Mill organic flour, as well as a range of merchandise. The flour and other commercial products such as porridge oats and muesli are available to purchase at museum sites, farm shops and bakeries in Barnsley and Sheffield in South Yorkshire and in Derbyshire.
At the mill, horizontal French Burr millstones driven by water, mill the range of organic flours. This ancient method produces exceptionally fine flour and retains all the natural goodness of the grain. Most well-known organic brands use metal rollers to grind the flours, rather than the traditional methods used here.
The mill is passionate about producing a natural flour, full of nutrients, for bakers to use in their production of loaves, cakes and pastries. The flour is extremely versatile and can be used for a variety of baked products.
Worsbrough Mill site and wildlife
The 60-acre woodland and reservoir are a haven for wildlife and regularly attract birdwatchers and anglers; coarse fishing is available in the reservoir and canal basin. Resident Kingfishers show off their diving skills daily and sightings of Marsh Tits delight national groups of bird watchers. The Northern boundary of the park is partly defined by grazing paddocks and sections of the Trans Pennine National Cycle Trail.
Wigfield Farm, a working farm and visitor attraction managed by Barnsley College adjoins the site to the north of the mill complex. The farm produces livestock and provides a base for Barnsley College"s Horticulture and Animal Management courses.
Barnsley"s local culture remains rooted in its industrial heritage of coal, mining and glassmaking. Surrounded by ancient villages, historic parkland and bordering onto the Peak District, Barnsley has some excellent places to visit for those wanting to relax and get back to nature.
Stately homes, museums, theatres, ruins and art galleries are just a few of the cultural attractions that visitors to the area will enjoy, such as Monk Bretton Priory, the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and Wentworth Castle.
Originally mentioned in the Domesday Book, Barnsley"s historic roots are evident. Elsecar Heritage Centre, Cannon Hall Museum and Worsbrough Mill are fantastic days out for visitors wanting to discover the town"s history.
Barnsley town centre is packed full of independent shops and high street stores and is home to one of the best markets in South Yorkshire. Venturing further into the outskirts of the town and its neighbouring villages, visitors will discover hidden hamlets with shopping opportunities and farm shops stocked with exceptional local produce.
Famous for its markets, Barnsley has much to offer a foodie. With a good selection of farm shops and regular markets, visitors will be able to sample and purchase some of the area"s excellent local produce. Atmospheric country pubs with amazing views, tea rooms in historic locations and award-winning restaurants are only some of the reasons that visitors to Barnsley keep coming back.