Illuminating the past – Enhancing the present – Inspiring the future

The Abbot’s Mill Project

The Abbot’s Mill project is centred on the site of a former water mill on the River Stour in Canterbury. The project aims to re-instate a water wheel into the old mill race which will generate electricity for an education centre about sustainable living, renewable energy and the importance of the River Stour in the history of Canterbury’s development. This centre will be downstream on the opposite bank to the mill on the other side of St Radigund’s Bridge. A community café and a community-led woodland/wildlife garden based on permaculture principles will be created here.

Both sites have interesting histories. The first watermill here belonged to the monks of St Augustine’s Abbey – hence the name. The last mill on the site was built in 1792 as a city granary during the Napoleonic Wars. It was a landmark construction, six storeys high, and was designed by John Smeaton who also designed the Eddystone lighthouse.  From 1896 the mill was known as Denne’s Mill and it was sometimes called the White Mill. In October 1933 the mill was destroyed by fire. The timber-frame burnt for seven days and nights, half a million gallons of water were poured on the flames and the streets were lined with spectators.
Abbots Mill ProjectGoulden view
The Roman town wall ran along the line of St Radigund’s Street and Pound Lane. Parts have been recorded either side of the bridge and the house at No 19 Pound Lane incorporates a medieval wall tower.

Members of the Trust have been working with on site with weekend volunteers.
Click here for more about getting involved with the project.

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