Gayle Mill, in Hawes at the western end of Wensleydale, is a historic water-powered saw mill, dating from about 1784, and is thought to be the oldest structurally unaltered cotton mill in existence.Since it was built in 1784 by Oswald and Thomas Routh, it’s been through the industrial revolution, two world wars, men walking on the moon and the invention of the internet.
It's often been said that not much changes in the Yorkshire Dales. However, nothing could be further from the truth for Gayle Mill.
The legacy of Gayle Mill is a powerful one. During its life, it has helped clothe Britain, supported the local community and manufactured tools and equipment that still shape the Yorkshire Dales landscape to this day.
Right from the start, Gayle Mill harnessed the power of water to run machinery and with true Yorkshire resourcefulness pioneered the generation of electricity in the early 1900s, to light up our small corner of Wensleydale.
However, whilst the world changes around us and Gayle Mill continues to evolve, it’s good to see that some things don’t change. Living proof of this is Tony Routh, a direct descendant of the original founders and part of the team that still run the Mill today.
In 2004, Gayle Mill gained fame of a different kind, as one of the finalists in the BBC TV "Restoration" programme, and more recently Channel 4’s “How Britain Worked” featuring Guy Martin. Why not come and visit the bike that Guy built, a wooden vintage Velocipede, which takes pride of place in the Mill.
Gayle Mill is owned by the North of England Civic Trust (NECT) and operated by the Gayle Mill Trust (GMT).
Visit ; www.gaylemill.org.uk
Telephone ; 01969 667 320