The historic Cotswold buildings of Baker’s Mill and Twissel’s Mill lie in the Golden Valley below Frampton Mansell. The Grade II Listed Property is mentioned in the Doomsday Book and recognised to be of outstanding interest.
Originally harnessing waterpower to grind corn, the mills were used to spin Cotswold wool or silk when weaving became a major occupation in the villages of Oakridge and Chalford nearby. You can still find teasels grown for teasing the wool in this area of outstanding national beauty.
The golden Cotswold stone was quarried in the area with oak beams and cut stone brought from an old abbey in Stroud to add a two story wing to the main house in 1964.
Martin Neville spent the next fifty years preserving the unique national heritage site characterized by a series of Georgian tunnels, sluice gates and cascades that have visitors from Holland, Germany, Belgium, USA and South Africa to the valley.
The valley includes sites of historic and scientific interest and there is easy access to a number of footpaths ideal for dog walking.
A steep path leads up to Jackdaw Bridge that take you across the Great Western Railway built by Isambard Kingdom Brunel around 1850, or walk along the Thames and Severn Canal towpath either to the Daneway Tunnel below Sapperton or westwards past the village of Chalford and on to Stroud.
The main stone-roofed Cotswold stone building, with its wooden spiral staircases and mullioned windows, dates from 1501.
The property has been used as film locations in dramas such as ‘The House of Elliot’, ‘Dark Secret’, ‘Cold Caller’, ‘The Durrells’ ‘Arthur of the Britons’, along with popular television serials such as ‘Come Dine With Me’.
Nature programmes filmed on the property include ‘Animal Magic’, ‘Really Wild Show’, ‘Pet Nation’, ‘Velvet Claw’ and ‘A Day in the Life of the Otter’.
The view down the lake is lovely in spring, summer, autumn and winter.
Learning to sail on the lake
Whilst being of specific interest to industrial archaeologists the property has been used for photo-shoots and by groups of artists.
The garden features a number of Cotswold stone features and wrought iron gates collected over the years.
There are a number of rural pubs and restaurants nearby including The Bell at Sapperton, The Crown in Frampton Mansell, the Butchers Arms in Oakridge and The Daneway Inn, all of which are within walking distance.
Over the years, members of the Gloucestershire Society for Industrial Archaeology, Wiltshire Wildlife, Gloucestershire Wildlife, Worcestershire Wildlife, The Ramblers, The Canal Trust, Cirencester University, The Arthur Ransome Society have visited Bakers Mill, exploring the environs of the River Frome and impressive canal locks dating from 1786.
Bakers Mill has been profiled in Country Life and Listed Heritage Magazine
Steps down to a studio apartment in the annex
Information on these early Cotswold mills can be found in a number of books published by the History Press including Stroud Through Time, Stroud and the Five Valleys and ‘Oakridge – A history’
There were once 200 water mills in the Stroud Valley