History and renovation

Wallbridge Mill was owned for centuries by successive Marquises of Bath on the nearby Longleat Estate, and run by tenant millers. First producing flour, it went over to animal feed when the estate sold it to the Moore family in 1926.

All this came to an end in 1968. A flash flood coursed through the buildings, ruined the stock and demolished the year's profits. The owners - the three Moore brothers, who had followed their father into the business - retired and closed the building down.

Over the next 30 years the three buildings fell into disrepair then partial dereliction. Tenants and vandals came and went. Its once-tended grounds were overwhelmed by brambles and weeds and the buildings invaded by elder, alder and willow trees.

The current owner bought it in 1999 with the intention of making it work for its living again. Underpinned by a mortgage from the Ecology Building Society, the first and biggest phase of building work finished in 2000, when one building was completed, the water power restored, and the others rebuilt and roofed (but not fitted out). The second was converted to offices in 2003 and is now home to Bruges Tozer Partnership, the architects responsible for the design of the mill (see below).

The mill continues to attract attention and visitors. Industrial archaeology groups, artists (pictured right), engineering students, mature students, other mill-owners and mill enthusiasts are among those who beat a path down the track.

Grade-II listed, the buildings' restoration and conversion won an award for the architects, Nigel Honer and Richard Swann, of the Bruges Tozer Partnership, . They shared joint first place in the Buildings in the Countryside Awards, organised by the Wessex region of the Royal Institute of British Architects. The co-winner was the Rick Stein cookery school in Padstow.