Historic Hampshire watermill launches fundraising campaign for replacement wheel

Mike Pearse reports for ITV Meridian. He spoke to Zoe Cotton from the National Trust and miller Martin Gregory.

One of the oldest working watermills in the country has launched a fundraising appeal to replace its wheel.

The Winchester City mill has been producing flour for 1000 years, but the attraction, run by the National Trust, needs to raise £ 75,000 in order to replace the current wooden wheel, which is coming to the end of its life.

Trust spokeswoman Zoe Cotton said the wheel was crucial to the running of the mill, which has undergone a large restoration project following extreme flooding in 2014.

"Without the new wheel we can not mill, so we need to to preserve the tradition," she said.

Millers say the natural flour they produce is increasingly popular, particularly with the drive towards more natural foods without additives.

The appeal was launched as part of National Mills Weekend which celebrates the country's milling heritage and allows visitors to visit the buildings.

This weekend there are milling demonstrations, millers and the farmers who supply the grain taking part in special events. 

Zoe said:"Crucially, we are using this as a fundraising opportunity to fundraise the £75,000 needed to replace our mill wheel and axle tree, which has reached the end of its working life, and needs to be replaced in order for us to continue milling."

More information can be found here