Alderford Water Mill, Sible Hedingham
This charming old mill stands where Alderford Road crosses the River Colne on the east side of Sible Hedingham. It has a breast-shot waterwheel and 4 pairs of millstones, 2 of these formerly steam-driven. The exterior, the water wheel and some of the milling machinery has been restored.
An early reference to Alderford mill dates back to 1597 when seven Sible Hedingham men broke the floodgates, let out the water and netted 100 Roach worth 40 shillings. They were prosecuted for poaching and fined one shilling each at the quarter sessions. At this time the mill was owned by The Earls of Oxford of Hedingham Castle.
For most of the 20th. Century the mill was owned by the Rawlinson family who ground flour until the Second World War and then Animal feeds. During and post war many villagers kept poultry in their gardens some for eggs and some for 'fattening' for Christmas These were generally fed on household scraps but when extra feed of corn or meal was needed 'Rawlinsons' was convenient and able to supply them.
Alderford mill is a medium sized timber building and one of the best preserved watermills in Essex. The mill is now owned by Essex County Council. It is open to the public on the second Sunday of each month April to September 2pm-5pm.