Heritage Consultancy


harnessing natural power for 2000 years

Water-powered mills first appeared in Britain soon after the Roman army arrived in 43AD. The watermill quickly became an essential feature of every community.

A watermill uses the power of flowing water to rotate a waterwheel. This drives millstones inside the building which grind cereal grain into flour or 'meal'. The building itself can be constructed of brick, timber or stone - whatever was available locally. Watermills often blend harmoniously into their surroundings, creating scenes of rural beauty.

The engine of a watermill is its waterwheel, which can be located either inside or outside the building. The working spaces inside a watermill are very often overlooked, but are of equal importance to the building and its machinery.

Bonwick HC has been involved with many inspiring watermill conservation projects over 15 years. Our activities include the specification of repair designs for waterwheels and working parts, conservation planning for structural works, recording surveys and rescue archaeology. We work with conservation bodies, local authorities, private individuals and community groups.

At the heart of our work is a passion and drive to preserve these iconic symbols of the UK's industrial heritage. Visit our Projects page or view the case studies below.


3-D Computer-Aided Design (CAD) is used to prepare drawings of replacement wood and metal parts for waterwheels