Even if the Mill is not really your cup of tea, the Mill gardens are a lovely place to visit.
The Gardens have been created in what was a wasteland between the River Ennig and our mill leat. The gardens are maintained entirely by our mill volunteers who do a wonderful job of keeping them looking lovely.
The most obvious feature our restored Victorian water-wheel which powers the mill again after lying dormant for 65 years. It is 12 feet in diameter – its 42 oak buckets being fed from our newly restored mill leat which feeds water from the River Ellwye (our top sluice is situated in a private garden so can’t be seen – sorry!).
Following the lower path along the River Ellwye, you will see the little waterfall formed by the leat overflow. Further on there is a lovely willow fence created by Mary Zammit from Builth Wells. Further on are some interesting works of sculpture lurking amongst the plants. You then pass our outdoor ‘thrones’ – do try them if you visit, they’re remarkably comfortable. The lower path finishes at a viewing platform overlooking ‘The Rocks’, our local beauty spot, where the Rivers Ellwye and Ennig converge. The platform is a good spot for wildlife – there are often dippers and brown trout to be seen and more rarely kingfishers, white clawed crayfish and even an otter has been spotted. Please note the lovely iron-work created by blacksmith John Whitehead during the original renovation phase, much of which was paid for by the Talgarth Environment Group who contributed generously to the project.
Heading up from the viewing platform, a newly made flight of stone steps leads to our Upper Leat Garden which has been acquired recently for us by The Green Valleys Hydro – a community interest company which deals in renewable energy. The Upper Leat Garden is an unfinished project but will soon feature a wildlife area, a grain growing plot (do you know what spelt looks like?) and fruit, vegetable and herb plots from which we hope to supply the Bakers’ Table café . You will notice the ‘mini-roundabout created from a 200 year old French Burr millstone – similar to the stones we use for milling – and donated to our mill by Edmund at Great Cantal Farm near Llandrindod Wells.
Heading back towards the Mill along the leat-side path (suitable for wheel-chairs, with access to it from a lift), you’ll pass our wonderful shelter – great if it’s raining! Look a bit harder and you’ll see its wildlife-friendly green roof created using sedum plants. The shelter houses a display on hydro power with a small pelton-wheel turbine – the project initially started as a hydro project before growing into a full mill restoration.
Heading further on brings you back to the Mill and our lift for people with disabilities. We hope you’ll visit us and enjoy seeing the garden for real. Or better still, come and get involved and join our volunteers!