St Osyth Tide Mill

The first mill recorded in St Osyth was in the Domesday Book which indicated Clare's Hall had a mill. Following the founding of St Osyth Priory in the early 12th century. The Mill Creek “the melflete” was first recorded in 1285 and records show a mill existed on the Creek in 1491.

The last mill stood on the Causeway which carried the road to Point Clear across St Osyth Creek. The timber framed building was said to date from 1730 - 1760 although older timbers were found. These could have been from previous mills on this site.

The St Osyth Tide Mill was a corn mill driven by two undershot water wheels, one was 18' 6"diameter by 6' 0" wide and the other 17' 6" diameter by 7' 0" wide. Mill Dam Lake was the hand dug water reservoir. It was filled by the small stream or the incoming tide in the Creek. 3 hours after high tide the level in the Creek had dropped sufficiently below the level in the lake. The sluice gates were opened and the water wheels began to turn providing power to the mill.

The life of a tide mill miller was governed by the tides so there was no regular working day. The mill could be powered for up to ten hours per day in two five hour sessions. Today a sluice gate lies near the spot where the mill once stood.

The Mill was last used in the 1920s and then left to deteriorate. During the war it was further damaged by two mines which exploded in the Creek. Despite attempts to save it, it was finally demolished in 1962. Mill Dam Lake is now a wake boarding and water sports centre.

Little is left of the Mill but the Museum does have one of the millstones, one of the wooden cogs and some drawings and sketches made during one of the rescue attempts. The museum also has many images of the mill.