Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member broadoak2006
N 54° 57.926 W 001° 43.868
30U E 581235 N 6091681
This is a beautiful preserved watermill at Path Head on the western side of Blaydon.
Waymark Code: WMHQHT
Location: North East England, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 08/05/2013
Published By:Groundspeak Regular Member Tharandter
Views: 5

In the final one mile or so of Blaydon Burn, before it flows into the Tyne, there was, at its peak in the late eighteenth century, at least eight operational watermills. This gives an indication of the sheer numbers of mills where the conditions were suitable. Whilst Blaydon Burn did have its own Path Head (Peth Head) Watermill of which only the ruins now remain, only a short distance to the west lies the now preserved mill, feeding from Stella Burn. Both mills were situated in the Path Head area just south of Summerhill. The ancient pathway there goes back to the Bronze age, evidenced by the discovery, in the 1930s, of bronze age cists containing human remains and artefacts.

The mill was built and grinding corn for the local community in 1730. At that time, with coal local mining in particular, the Path Head area was quite a hive of activity. With the advent of the railways, new better roads, and resulting industrial development near these transport links, Path Head declined becoming once more a tiny, quiet farming hamlet. The Cowens of Stella Hall changed the Hall entrance from the Path Head route (the old Hexham road) to the newer Blaydon to Ryton road, accelerating the decline. I have been advised that during the Cowen era the mill was under their ownership. The Cowens were successful nineteenth century industrialists, mine owners, then MPs, who had such a huge influence in the Blaydon locality (see Joseph Cowen and Blaydon Burn information under separate headings).

The Path Head Watermill was still operating in 1895 but by 1930 it had fallen into disuse, the mill wheel had gone and by the 1960s all that remained were some dilapidated buildings.

In the mid 1990s a Trust was formed and with help from Gateshead MBC, Local Heritage Initiative Funds and some hard working and enthusiastic people, work began on restoring the mill. Necessary spare parts were searched out from other ruined mills and slowly but surely, with a lot of dedication, the mill was rebuilt to its former working glory. It now functions fully but is set up for joinery and wood turning rather than flour milling.
Current Status: Still In Use

Current Use: Tourist attraction

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johnbullock visited PATH HEAD WATER MILL 08/19/2013 johnbullock visited it