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About

A working watermill, cafe, workshops, forge and grounds owned and managed as a community venue by the Vale Mill Trust

About Us

Escape the hustle of the city.

The Mill is located in a tranquil dell, adjacent to meadows and wooded walks with picnic facilities and a relaxing garden area. Visitors can explore, rest, play, make art or take photographs in the peace and quiet, enjoying the natural surroundings of the building and the millpond. And don’t forget to visit the Mill Race Cafe to sample the delights on offer and support the mill with every purchase!  

Funding and Support

Since the Vale Mill Trust bought The Mill from Gateshead Council in 1994, it has been supported by a long list of individuals, charitable organisations and generous businesses, who have given money, materials and time to help us get where we are today.

In 2022, we received a generous grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund

Read about our funding and support

Meet our lovely team

We have small board of trustees and a team of enthusiastic volunteers.  Here are a few of them: you can meet more on the Volunteer page, and if you’re interested in doing us, please get in touch.

Simon Smith

Chair of Trustees

Julia & Dave Cook

Gardening Volunteers

Denise

Garden volunteer working on historic allotment

John

Grounds and maintenance

Carole

Cafe volunteer

Alex & Dave

Grounds and maintenance

Glenn and Dave

Garden volunteers

Tommy

Grounds and maintenance

Steve

Garden volunteer

Chris Tilney

Our brick expert!

Kev

Woodwork & buildings

Syd (middle) with Kev & Julia

Woodwork

Glenn

Gardens

Sue

Gardens

The Mill's Story

The farmer started milling in about 1730, to produce feed for the hundreds of horses and ponies that used to pass through on their way to Stella Staithes, carrying coal from nearby mines and lead from as far away as Alston.

By 1830, the lead-mines were exhausted, corn prices were too high for a small mill to make a profit, and the railway had arrived at Blaydon, which transformed the way industrial products were transported.  The mill ceased production and the farm started to depend on poultry and pigs.

When the original farmhouse was knocked down in 1903, the mill building was converted into a weathertight barn for the storage of crops. The wheel and all the mill machinery were lost.

By the 1970s, the building was derelict and the village stood on the edge of a huge area of gravel extraction.  All seemed lost, but in 1994, Gateshead Council charged the Vale Mill Trust a nominal fee to buy the building and its surrounding land and restore it to its former glory.

Since then, it has gone from strength to strength!