Alderholt Mill, FordingbridgePosted: 2010-07-18
I do a lot of travelling every year. Though inevitably some of the places I stay are modern, selected for some combination of location and availability (not to mention that old favourite criterion, price), I enjoy staying in historic, traditional accommodation wherever possible. Give me roses 'round the door and a thatched roof, and I'm as happy as a pig in, er, something muddy.
I just had the pleasure of exploring a bit of a forgotten corner of eastern Dorset, north of the Bournemouth conurbation, near the lovely old riverside town of Fordingbridge. While exploring the area, I stayed at Alderholt Mill, a historic working watermill standing directly on the border between Hampshire and Dorset; in fact, the tributary of the River Avon which supplies power to the mill wheel is called the River Allen on one side and Ashford Water on the other! This is a lovely old building, and the mill stream ran directly under my bedroom!
There was a mill here at least as early as the 1330s, and for many years the mill was known as Padner's Mill, after a medieval tenant. The mill now operates on weekends, and produces wholemeal flour for sale. The mill machinery is intact and visitors can watch it working during the Spring and Summer months. There is also private fishing on the water surrounding the mill. The old miller's cottage and warehouses have been converted into self-catering flats, and B&B is available in the main house.
I had a great time staying at Alderholt, and can highly recommend it as a quiet centre for exploring east Dorset and the western New Forest.
Alderholt Mill website