The History of Low Mill

Water WheelNot everyone can say “come and have a look at my waterwheel” but in our new life in the Dales we can! In fact Neil is still often to be found admiring it in quieter moments of the day. Like the house, the wheel was in need of some repair work when we moved in. After a couple of months work we are glad to say the wheel is now in full working order once more. All the spokes have been replaced and 95% of the backboards. The wheel has been given a new coat of paint (sadly claret and blue) and is once more turning beautifully. Below is a brief history of Low Mill.

Low Mill was built in the 1780’s and was used to grind corn. The building has undergone many transformations and uses in its past. It is believed that milling ceased around 1907.

As with many flour mills fire was always a problem. There was a major fire in 1830 and a slightly less devastating one in 1848. It is still possible to see charred roof timbers in the ceiling of the Store room.

Following the great fire of 1830 some alterations were made to the building. The East end of the building was added creating more storage and this is where the dining room and kiln room are now sited. This extension enclosed the water wheel and a new kiln was built – the original kiln being in the cellar below what is now the garage floor. The height of the building was raised and the roof was replaced. It is believed a new, larger water wheel was also installed at this time.

After milling ceased the building was used as a dairy from 1920 – 1929 and then as an army cook house and feeding station during World War II. After the end of the war the building was mainly used for storage and animal housing, until in 1973 it was purchased in a semi derelict state by Dr Christopher Cole. He undertook a massive refurbishment of the old building including restoring the wheel and mill machinery. Dr Cole also used the mill as a workshop and dolls house museum. Sadly following his death the mill remained empty for a number of years and once more the condition of the building began to decline.

Then in June 2010 Neil and Jane McNair purchased it and a new chapter in the life of Low Mill began …..

Local Interest & Area


Ancient market town (market day Tuesday) with a wide range of shops cafes and bars. Home of the world famous Wensleydale Creamery.


Lovely stone village, a former market town with two tea rooms, a delicatessen, excellent village shop, three pubs and beautiful walks in the surrounding area. Filming for the BBC TV series “All Creatures Great and Small” took place here.


Holds a large market on Fridays. Many cafes, pubs and intersting shops. Visit the nearby Forbidden Corner an amazing labyrinth of tunnels, follies and the bizarre.


Beautiful old Dales town, famous for its racing stables and the fascinating ruins of its 12th century castle.

Aysgarth Falls

A lovely riverside walk allows you to view the River Ure tumbling over the limestone steps that create the falls. The falls have appeared in Kevin Costner’s Robin Hood Prince of Thieves! Slightly further afield are the historic towns of Masham(where you will find the the Black Sheep Brewery), Skipton, Grassington, Richmond and Ripon.

Bolton Castle

As seen in the recent series The Dales – Near Leyburn, a medieval castle in the heart of the Dales, falconry and wild boar and an amazing building to visit. Nice tea shop too!


The World of James Herriot – brings the books and tv series to life in the town where James Herriot practised.


Photography workshops

Experience nature  photography with award winning professional wildlife photographer Simon Philpotts ,he has a private hide overlooking the red squirrels at Snaizeholme and he offers workshops or one to one tuition on numerous birds and Dales wildlife ,please ask or visit his website www.wilddales,co,uk

Cycle hire

We are now able to arrange cycle hire from Stage 1 cycles in Askrigg who have hybrid bikes for hire and also offer group tours ,please ask for details or look on their website stage1cycles@gmailcom

Massages and holistic treatments

If you would like to treat yourself to a massage or treatment in your room during your stay please ask and we can advise you on the services offered by Sharon our travelling therapist





Wensleydale Equestrian Centre is just out of the village.

Yorkshire Trike Tours

Amazing chauffeur driven trike tours in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. See the beautiful Dales from behind the wheel of a classic car.


We are situated in the heart of Wensleydale and whether on our doorstep or further afield there can be no better place to walk. We have walking cards to suit all abilities.

Our Awards & Press Coverage

Find below some of the awards we’ve received and our coverage in the press.

We have received a Silver Award after our 1st assessment by GTBS

Winners of the White Rose Awards Guest Accommodation of the Year


Low Mill Guesthouse on Sawdays

A review in The Guardian

Low Mill Guesthouse was reviewed in The Guardian

Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence

Food & Drink Award 2012

Small but Special Accomodation of the Year 2012/13

In The Yorkshire Dales

AA Breakfast & Dinner Award

Welcome to Yorkshire Member

Gold Award

Breakfast Award

Bed & Breakfast 5 Star Award

AA Gold Star Award

Guest Accommodation of the Year 2013

More information

Please visit the Yorkshire Tourist Board at for further information.