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Churchhill Forge makes waves for visits during National Mills Weekend

Kidderminster | Attractions | Published:

Visitors to an historic watermill were "amazed by its raw authenticity" according to delighted volunteers who maintain the site.

Churchill Forge, located on Churchill between Stourbridge and Kidderminster, is one of only four water-powered hand-tool forges left in the UK.

And on Saturday and Sunday it opened to the public as part of National Mills Weekend which features many sites not normally accessible.

WATCH: Take a look at this historic watermill which has been delighting crowds

Churchill Forge Water Mill
Churchill Forge Water Mill

David Bache, part of the volunteer group which maintains the watermill, said there had been a great response.

"Firstly it is interesting engineering and for us a volunteers it is very therapeutic working in the countryside," he explained.

"We get a great response from most of our visitors. People say it is a really outstanding experience and encourage us to keep all our work going.

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"We have a lot of knowledgeable visitors and it is interesting to explain to people what would have gone on here.

"They are amazed by the raw authenticity while they are here."

The forge dates back from around 1800 and has two working waterwheels from the 19th century, which measure 17 feet in diameter.

The waterwheels power crocodile shears in the yard and line shafting in the workshop – which has the original pneumatic hammers, a press and a drop stamp which are all driven from the line shafting.

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Today, the forge looks as it did in the early 1900s, and is a miniature time capsule of hand-tool iron-working from the 20th century.

During the festival both wheels were in operation for the public to see.

Other mills that opened in the Midlands region were Sarehole Mill, in Hall Green, in Birmingham; Daniel’s Mill, in Bridgnorth; Charlecote Mill, in Hampton Lucy between Stratford and Warwick; and New Hall Mill in Sutton Coldfield.

Churchill Forge produced metal tools and implements such as spades, shovels and ladles until the early 70s.

The site has been maintained by a group of volunteers since it closed down.

The next open days at the site will be held on June 11 and July 9.

Visit www.churchillforge.org.uk for more information.

Robert Cox

By Robert Cox
Senior Reporter - @rcox_star

Senior Reporter covering news in Wolverhampton.

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