Again, history comes to life. The water wheel weighs over two tonnes yet can be turned from inside the Mill using just two fingers; which goes to show that those old craftsmen knew their trade. The miller's stream originates in the Brendon Hills and is the same stream that provided the water when the wheel last turned fifty years ago, it is aptly, considering the Back family owns the mill, called the Back stream! Amongst the trades on display are the cooper's and saddler's shops, the blacksmith's shop and the Victorian kitchen, as well as a thatching display. The wheelwight's shop has been transported from Devon and preserved exactly as it was left the day the owner shut up shop for the last time. Bishops Lydeard Mill has been painstakingly and precisely restored by the Back Family over many years. The Mill and the attached Mill House have been cited as places of historical interest and given a Grade 2 conservation listing.
With authentic smells, a life-like wax model and a glowing furnace, the Blacksmith's forge exudes a real aura of bygone times. Lydeard Mill is ideal for mill enthusiasts and families alike. Features include: Touch screens for more detailed information; Newly created Transport museum; Small entertainment area for children which can be used whilst adults ‘sup tea!’; Detailed, handcrafted models of various wagons and carriages plus two scenic displays of mills and a farm yard; Fun interactive displays; Clear and simple interpretations of the miller's equipment and its use; A range of authentic sounds and smells that stimulate all the senses. Come and find out what a quern is... even children can grind their own corn.
They do have some limited access places (it is an historic building) however they do cater for people with limitations by : producing a virtual tour DVD of the exhibitions within the mill and its curtilage. A stair-lift from ground level to the stone floor of the mill (about 5 steps) with a wheel chair available on the stone floor (please note the DVD is located on this floor). The Tea Room, Transport museum, gardens, water wheel, ducks, gypsy caravan (and much more) are accessible for wheel chair users / pushchairs and a wheelchair is available to use if anyone requires one. There is access to the Tea Room, Transport museum and Disabled (Baby changing unit) toilet without having to negotiate the wooden bridge with its few steps. There are handrails on the route to the Tea Room and Transport museum (alongside the stream). The Mill has handrails on both sides of the stairs for added safety (there are 4 floors altogether). There are audio-guides for the visually impaired and clear sign-age for the hard of hearing with touch screens by some exhibits.
Location : The Mill House, Mill Lane, Bishop's Lydeard, Taunton, Somerset, TA4 3LN
Transport: Taunton (West Somerset Rail) then bus. Bus Routes : 28 and 613 stop outside.
Opening Times : Tuesday to Friday + Sunday 10:30 - 16:00
Tickets : Adults £5.50; Seniors £4.50; Children £2.00
Tel: 01823 432151