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A 12th Century family house and farming estate tucked in beside the Thames in the heart of a unique English village away from the distractions of town, business or busy hotels, Mapledurham is an oasis of peace. The estate is a haven of tradition coupled with a sustainable commerce to maintain the estate viability and ensure its longevity. They have a diverse range of operations on the estate and these include a dairy farm, a hydro electric Archimedes screw turbine, traditional watermill for flour, an arable farm, golf course, several commercial lettings, tea room, two art studios, moorings and passenger boats to and from Mapledurham, a biomass heating system and a country events park to name but a few.The location has attracted many film and television productions including The Eagle has Landed, Miss Marple, Midsomer Murders, Sharpe and The Big Allotment challenge.  More recently  seen in Taboo, Hunderby and even Mr Tumble came to play! Mapledurham also plays host to numerous wedding receptions, car rallies, reunions, corporate events, dog shows, falconry displays and craft fairs. The grounds of the House make a unique riverside venue for any number of events.

James Webb leased the Mill and the lock in 1690 at £60 per annum. His son Daniel Webb took over from him in 1726 at a rent of £100. He was succeeded at a rent of £150 p.a. in 1747 (raised to £205 in 1776) by Thomas Antrum, who went bankrupt in 1784 over a debt of £100 to Myrtilla Mayhew. The tenure of these three millers covered the most profitable years for the Mill.

So important was the mill to the local community that as late as 1823 plans were drawn up to rebuild the Mill in classical style, by J. Phillips of Reading. This startling plan was considered seriously enough for detailed constructional plans to be drawn.

So important was the mill to the local community that as late as 1823 plans were drawn up to rebuild the Mill in classical style, by J. Phillips of Reading. This startling plan was considered seriously enough for detailed constructional plans to be drawn.

*The watermill is perhaps best known for its starring role in the 1976 film, The Eagle Has Landed, where the mill leat is the scene of the dramatic rescue of a local girl by a German paratrooper that results in the unmasking and ultimate failure of the raid.

*It is also the backdrop in the image on the cover of Black Sabbath (album), by the band of the same name.

Hydro-Powered Archimedes Turbine

In 2011 work commenced on the installation of Mapledurham's Archimedes screw thread turbine. The previous turbine which had been installed in the 1920s and was no longer operational was removed so that the new turbine could be placed in the same location. The screw thread has an approximate 20 year life span. By selling the electricity it produces to the National Grid, construction costs are covered in eight to ten years. The remaining time of production generates sufficient funds to enable Mapledurham Estate to replace historic buildings associated with the mill which have been missing since the early 1900s. The first phase was completed in six months, this included the installation of the turbine, reconstruction of the oak timbered footbridge and the reconstruction of the covered walkway. The timber buildings on the island have been incorporated in later phases.

How It Works

The turbine's operating system is extremely efficient, a computer system controls the whole process. The computer receives information from a 'head sensor' located in the River Thames. The system uses this information to control the turbine's variable gearbox to enable the production of the maximum amount of electricity. In simple terms, as the river level and flow rate increases, the turbine's speed and power production will increase up to a set maximum. As the river level and flow rate decreases the turbine's speed and power production will decrease in order to maintain river levels. As long as the river flows, the turbine has the ability to produce sustainable electricity based on a principle which is 2000 years old.

 

MapleDurham House 2022

They are delighted to announce that they are able to offer guided tours of Mapledurham House
for the foreseeable future. Mapledurham House is still a family home and is the very centre of this country estate.  Your guide will create a picture of Mapledurham, Past, Present and Future

After having soaked up the atmosphere and tranquility, why not have a traditional cream tea
At The Coach House Tearoom with freshly baked scones
Tours are available on Tues/Wed/Thurs Afternoons
From Easter until the end of September and must be booked in advance(minimum number 20)

Mapledurham Watermill 2022

The tour will include the beautiful St Margarets Church, the impressive Archimedes Hydro Turbine and of course
Mapledurham Watermill and Gift Shop, followed by a traditional English cream tea
at The Coach House Tearoom with freshly baked scones
using our own flour from the watermill. Tours are available on Tues/Wed/Thurs Afternoons
From Easter until the end of September and must be booked in advance(minimum numbers apply)

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