Stainsby Mill is a 19th century flour mill, still in working order, which is in the care of the National Trust and we visited it on our way to Hardwick Hall which is nearby (and which will feature in a later post).
The mill is very small and was overseen on our visit by a frankly ridiculous amount of volunteers which made moving around a case of dodging people who worked there rather than fellow visitors. That aside, those we talked to were knowledgeable and able to answer our questions easily, though no information panels were in place as was indicated on the website, instead I was given a map of the workings of the mill that had to be returned at the end.
There’s been a mill on the site for hundreds of years, providing flour to Hardwick Hall and local villages. The nearby river Doe Lea was dammed in the 1630s to create a constant water supply for the mill. Until 1593 it had been owned by the Savage family, but then was bought by Bess of Hardwick Hall.
It was failing by the 1840s so a modernisation scheme was put into place in 1850 with the new iron water wheel being installed. Since water powered the machinery and because of the compact layout, it was easy for the mill to be operated by just one person.
The mill began to fall out of favour by 1900 but only stopped in 1952. It passed to the National Trust in 1976 and was opened to the public in 1992. You can find a few more photos here.