16 May, 2011

Three Mills Island, Bromley by Bow

A Sunday visit to Three Mills Island on national mills weekend to see the large former tide mill
From Travels around London

I didn't know what a tide mill was but the mill works with the ebbing tide, that turns the mill wheel and thus powers the mill. The mill has been on an artificial island for more than a thousand years, but was rebuilt in the Georgian times and again after a fire in the early 19th century. Originally a flour mill it started producing spirits and was complete with a custom's house. My mate's dad used to work there when it was a bonded warehouse for alcoholic drinks and he saw them bottling wine from tanker barges.

The trust that owns the mills runs guided tours every Sunday with costumed guides telling the story of the mills, and very interesting they are too, all the millstones were stolen after an incendiary bomb dropped on the mill in 1941 and that was the end of milling. They plan to restore the mill and use the tides to generate electricity.

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