Building In Gateshead, Tyne And Wear
Water Mill on the edge of Blaydon, originally built in 1730.
Path Head Water Mill is situated on the outskirts of Blaydon near Blaydon Burn and was originally built in 1730. It has been restored since, and is entirely run by volunteers who are passionate about the heritage of the building. A number of the volunteers are former library staff, so you are guaranteed excellent customer service!
The site is small but perfectly formed and takes approximately 30 minutes to look around. There is the water mill itself to admire and there are some lovely well kept grounds to wander about in. There are a few interesting features in the grounds, including the stone seat built by a team of trainee dry-stone-wallers (cool job!) and the huge turf map of the UK, but possibly the most interesting are the heritage bricks.
You may have seen us mention Joseph Cowen Jr on our Summerhill post and he was a well known politician and journalist. His father, also Joseph Cowen, was a politician and manufacturer. In 1828 he went into business with his brother-in-law Anthony Forster and formed the firm 'Joseph Cowen and Co', which was a fire brick manufacturing company. Due to the quality of the clay used in the bricks, the business grew rapidly and helped to further his career.
It is brilliant to see these on display around the grounds and a lovely nod to the history of the area.
Entry to the mill is free at the minute, but donations are welcome. The volunteers told me the site is a work in progress but when I visited on a Saturday afternoon it seemed a very popular spot. Perhaps it was the homemade cakes and extensive drinks menu in the Mill Race Cafe. There is lots more information on their website: Path Head Water Mill.
I definitely recommend a visit and you can always extend your trip by taking a trip to Summerhill and having a wander through the nearby Blaydon Burn.
Place contributed by Sandra Clemens
I love the great outdoors and have been a National Trust & English Heritage member for years. I also love going off the beaten track and finding places like Sharp's Folly or Rothley Castle which are hidden gems in Northumberland. My favourite recent hike was climbing Red Screes in the Lake District on a whim, not fully grasping how high 776m was. It was still an achievement to conquer a Wainwright walk and I hope to do more one day.
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