News from the mill


Pakenham Water Mill voted one of the best landmark sites in Britain by BBC Countryfile Magazine!

Every year the BBC’s Countryfile Magazine runs a competition to celebrate the best of British countryside and to shine a light on places, projects and people who are doing great work. Readers suggest their favourite places all over Britain in eleven different categories such as National Parks, beaches, villages, country pubs and wildlife reserves, etc. A panel of judges goes through them all in a long and detailed process to select a short-list of five in each category, then it’s back to the readers to vote for the winners.

To our great delight this year the judges short-listed Pakenham Water Mill as one of the top five in the ‘Landmarks’ category alongside more famous places like Hadrian's Wall, and although not surprisingly the Roman wall came out top in the final voting, Pakenham came in third!

This is great news for our historic Suffolk watermill and a recognition of the work done week after week by a team of about forty dedicated volunteers who keep it running, mill the stoneground flour, maintain the grounds, run the lovely tearoom and shop and together make it such a popular place to visit



Pakenham Mill Wildlife Area

Turn left over the bridge at the rear of the mill and you will come to the 'Wildlife Area'. This area had become very overgrown and has been redeveloped over the last two years to give safe access to an interesting site. The aim is to encourage wildlife to populate the area and to give visitors ideas about how they might develop parts of their own gardens to improve the habitat for plants and animals.

The area includes a small pond which attracts insects and amphibians. There are several wood piles, some of them old and rotting, some newly cut. These attract insects and birds. There are dense brush areas and swathes of long grasses.  Access to the different areas is by mown paths. There is a 'wildlife hotel' which has been converted from a brick barbeque. It has many levels and a wide choice of habitats. Small sheets of corrugated iron have been placed around the site.  These warm up in the morning sun and are a haven for voles, slow worms, toads and numerous insects. The sheets can be lifted carefully to observe the 'residents'.

The site lacked sunlight as it was dominated by very old large wild plum trees. These have been trimmed back and rotten branches have been moved to make the site safer and to allow in much more light. The remaining trees should now have a new lease of life. The white plum flowers in spring attract bees and other insects.  The small yellow 'mirabelle' plums give autumn and winter food for many animals.

The dense grass growth was cut down in places to allow space for wild flowers to grow.  In 2017 over forty species were counted.  They include primroses, bluebells, poppies, arum lilies, cornflowers, corn marigolds and oxe-eye daisies.  Some less common plants include viper's bugloss, corn-cockle, and valerian. A few non-native plants have appeared and been allowed to grow e.g. buddleias which are very attractive to bees and butterflies.


The mill volunteers have created a path on the South-East side of the mill pond. This will create a circular walk for visitors, so they can go all the way around the mill pond. With some interesting old trees the kids are sure to love exploring along this nature walk, while adults will enjoy the views it offers.


Flour Power

We are pleased to announce that alongside our traditional quality wholemeal ground flour, we are now producing and selling Wholemeal Spelt and Wholemeal Rye flour. For full details, see our information page.


Your flexible friends

We are pleased to announce that we are now able to accept payment by debit and credit cards at the mill. You can now pay for mill entry, refreshments in the tea room, purchases in the gift shop - and of course flour - with Mastercard and Visa debit and credit cards. So even if you have no cash in your wallet you can still come along and have a great day at Pakenham Water Mill!




Other News

2014 has already seen some great improvements at the mill:


In March we had a large plot of land cleared ready for a children's activity area. The area has been sown with grass seed and we are letting this grow in preparation for the activities to go on it later in the year. It has made the walk along the mill pond clearer. Once the activities are up and running we feel sure this will become a favourite place for many of our younger guests.


The tearoom has had some maintenance done, with a new dishwasher fitted and boiler system making life much easier for the volunteers serving food and drinks. The tearoom has also been somewhat refurnished to include more storage and our fridge for wine, beer, etc.


The mill machinery has been given a boost with a new hopper on the stones we are presently using for grinding our flour.

Picnic Tables

Along the mill pond we have picnic tables for people to take their refreshments from the tearoom to enjoy the lovely view. We now also have available a fun selection of toys and books for the children to enjoy on sunny days while outside. This is already proving a huge success with many of the kids and some of the adult volunteers!



Read All About it.

This fascinating book by David Eddershaw is the result of several year’s research. David is a volunteer curator of the mill so the ideal person to write its history. David says about the book: “The Domesday Book records it but in the thousand years between then and now there’s very little recorded. 200 to 300 years ago and more there were lots of water mills and windmills in East Anglia. They were something people took for granted, so, apart from business accounts, there isn’t much written about them.”


The Story of Pakenham Water Mill costs £7.50 and is on sale at the mill, Pakenham Post Office and Waterstones in Bury St Edmunds