"Hidden gem... nestles by the Chelmer Canal, which offered a lovely walk... there were enthusiastic and knowledgeable members of the Beeleigh Mill Restoration Group on hand to give guided tours, with lots of engineering detail!" – Essex Days Out
This historical mill is one of the most attractive and fascinating in East Anglia. Once a major mill site, working up until the early 20th century, Beeleigh Steam Mill includes a rare Wentworth beam engine, elephant boiler and circular all-iron steam mill dating from 1845.
Our guides are pleased to show you around and explain the mill’s workings. Visits by appointment.
There have been water mills recorded on this site since 1066, including in the Domesday Book. Records dated 1683 refer to two fulling (beating and cleaning of cloth in water) mills and two corn mills. A channel of the River Chelmer once flowed through the site, operating the water wheels and giving access for barges.
When rebuilt in 1795 the mill was five storeys high, with ten millstones and two water wheels. Contemporary accounts describe many barges anchored around it, connecting with ocean-going ships at the Hythe in Maldon, bound for London and beyond.
Steam came to the mill in 1845, when the Wentworth beam engine and elephant boiler were installed, which remain in place in excellent condition. These drove a further 5 sets of millstones, making Beeleigh one of the largest milling sites in Essex.
In 1875 the weatherboard water mill was complete destroyed by a fire that lit up the local countryside for miles. The steam mill survived and remains as it was left.
There are future plans to develop the site as an educational and heritage destination.
If you are travelling on public transport to get to one of the Essex Country Parks – take a look at the Traveline journey planner.
You could include viewing the outside of, or an organised visit to, Beeleigh Steam Mill in a walk around the wider area, such as Navigation walks: Beeleigh and Ulting walk - PDF, 745KB, which is around 6 miles.
Our mills team can design a school group visit to Beeleigh Steam Mill that will release children’s imaginations as well as meet your curriculum needs. Please call the team on 0345 603 7624 to find out more.
We will be open for visitors on 9 and 10 September between 11am and 4pm for the National Trust Heritage Open Weekend.
You can park at the Museum of Power, Langford and walk to the site, a distance of around 1 mile.
There are no toilets on site.
Because of the historical nature of the building, there is no disabled access. Spaces are confined on ground floor and in the beam engine viewing gallery.