Coldharbour Mill, Uffculme
This historic woollen mill is one of our nearest heritage attractions. We visited on Sunday 16th October when they had a woolly craft festival on which added to the experience. We joined one of the mill tours which showed how raw wool was spun into yarn and then woven into cloth on the mill’s amazing machines. Mia and Felix delighted in the noise and movement of the machines, the beautiful colours of the wool, and the bits they were given by the tour guide to keep as souvenirs. As well as lovers of engineering and the history of the Industrial Revolution this place should be of interest to military historians as there was a display about ‘puttees’ (yeah, I didn’t know what they were either) that were made for the various armed forces.
This is a fab place to visit if you’ve been learning about Victorian times at school. It brought to life one of Mia’s favourite Horrible Histories songs about conditions in the Victorian workhouse. The Fox brothers who ran Coldharbour Mill were actually quite nice employers and only employed children from the age of 13 upwards for 12 hour shifts! Some workhouses employed 8 or even 6 year olds – the same ages as Mia and Felix when they visited!
The mill steams up its engines roughly once a month on Steam Up Sunday. There is also a small exhibition of dolls houses which seems slightly random but the children (and grandma) really enjoyed looking at them all!
Find out more about the mill including dates for Steam Up Sundays at http://www.coldharbourmill.org.uk