The History of Low Mill
Not 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 & Additional sevices
Ancient market town (market day Tuesday) with a wide range of shops cafes and bars. Home of the world famous Wensleydale Creamery. Also worth a visit are The Dales Countryside Museum and The Rope Makers.
Just outside Hawes, visit Gayle Mill, a restored, working Victorian saw mill.
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.
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.
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.
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
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 www.stage1cycles.co.uk
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.
Picnics using local produce from Yorkshire Dales Picnics. Please ask us or go to www.yorkshiredalespicnic.web.com
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 sitting on the back of a fantastic Boom Trike ,a unique and wonderful experience
Bespoke, driver guided tour of Yorkshire by a knowledgeable and experienced guide.
Red Squirrel Trail.
Visit the Red Squirrel viewing area in the heart of Widdale, outside Hawes. Truly amazing experience best done in the morning as the squirrels don’t come our so much after lunch (really!). We have trail maps and the Little White Bus can be arranged to take and collect you.
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.
Finalist in the 2016 White Rose Awards
Trip Advisor certificate of excellence 2013/2014/2015/2016
Silver Award at Visit England Awards for Excellence 2016
Winners of the White Rose Awards Guest Accomadation 2016
Highly Commended at the Visit England Awards for Excellence 2014
We have received a Silver Award after our 1st assessment by GTBS
Winners of the White Rose Awards Guest Accommodation of the Year 2013
Low Mill Guesthouse on Sawdays
A review in The Guardian
Low Mill Guesthouse was reviewed in The Guardian
Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence 2012/2013/2014/2015
Food & Drink Award 2012
Small but Special Accomodation of the Year 2012/13
In The Yorkshire Dales
Breakfast & Dinner Award 2013/2014/2015
Welcome to Yorkshire Member
Gold Award 2012/2013/2014/2015
Breakfast Award 2012/2013/2014/2015
Bed & Breakfast 5 Star Award 2012/2013/2014/2015
AA Gold Star Award 2013/2014/2015
Guest Accommodation of the Year 2013
Please visit the Yorkshire Tourist Board at for further information.