The Watermill & Property History
There has been a watermill on the site since before the Doomsday Book. The river was diverted to make the millpond and power the water wheel by the Saxons. The present mill dates from 1800 and worked, milling wheat, until 1946. It still has the wheel and machinery. Guests are welcome to look around but must take care.
West Suffolk has a history of wealth based on agriculture. There are watermills both up and downstream. Pakenham Watermill nearby is open to the public and can be seen working. Milling wheat was once the prerogative of religious orders and Ixworth Watermill was formerly owned by the Abbey a short distance upstream just beyond Hempyard Bridge.
The mill was used as a location in the “Wake up Walmington” episode of Dad’s Army. David Croft who wrote the series lives locally and is celebrated in the village cafe.
The mill also featured in the 1968 Vincent Price film “The Witchfinder General” about Matthew Hopkins, who in 1664 infamously hunted witches in East Anglia. DVDs of both are in The Snug if you want to check them out and spot the mill.
The Watermill has recently been featured in an article in the Daily Telegraph, you can read it online here:
Watery scenes at The Watermill in Ixworth