Sarehole Mill
Sarehole Mill ( grid reference SP099818 ) is a Grade II listed water mill (in an area once called Sarehole) on the River Cole in Hall Green, Birmingham, England. It is now run as a museum by the Birmingham City Council. It is one of only two working water mills in Birmingham, with the other being New Hall Mill in Walmley, Sutton Coldfield. Built in 1542 on the site of a previous pool. It was once known as Bedell's or Biddle's Mill after the name of an early owner. In 1727 is was described as High Wheel Mill. The current building dates from 1771 and was restored 1969. As early as 1755, the mill was leased by Matthew Boulton, one of the pioneers of the Industrial Revolution and leading figure of the Lunar Society, for scientific experimentation. It is believed he converted the machinery for use in metal working. As well as milling grain it has been used for grinding bones for fertiliser, metal rolling (Matthew Boulton) and wire drawing. J. R. R. Tolkien lived within 300 yards of the mill between the ages four and eight, and would have seen it from his house. He has also said that he used the mill as a location in The Lord of the Rings . It was a kind of lost paradise ... There was an old mill that really did grind corn with two millers, a great big pond with swans on it, a sandpit, a wonderful dell with flowers, a few old-fashioned village houses and, further away, a stream with another mill. I always knew it would go " and it did. - said Tolkien in an interview with Guardian journalist, John Ezard in 1966, before the mill's restoration. The grassland and grounds nearby host the annual Tolkien Weekend event that celebrates the life and works of Tolkien. The mill is part of the Shire Country Park. As a Community Museum, that is branch museum, of the Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery it is owned and run by Birmingham City Council and is open to the public without charge, April - October.

  • Birmingham, page 13, Douglas Hickman, 1970, Studio Vista Ltd.
  • Hall Green and Hereabout, John Morris JONES, ed. Michael Byrne 1989
  • Here and Then - The past of Our District, John Morris JONES,
  • A Guide to the Buildings of Birmingham, Peter Leather, ISBN 0-7524-2475-0


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