The Mill Forge History

This page details how a rundown farm was transformed into a popular wedding venue with a series of conversions and new buildings.

The Mill Forge History

History of The Mill Forge

The premises now known as The Mill Forge began life as Grahamshill farm which also comprised a grain mill, powered by horse and from which the present name is derived.

The farm buildings date from c1740 and were the home farm to Mossknowe estate which was the primary landowner of the parish. The house on the property was built in 1862 for Mr William Graham, son of the Graham family of Mossknowe, whose initials are carved into the stone lintel above the main door of the house and are still clearly visible today.

Grahamshill was farmed until 1988 when the current proprietors bought it as a rather run-down property, with many of the old buildings having fallen into disrepair. The first task undertaken was to make the farmhouse habitable for the new owners to move in. It was decided that the stables and byre would possibly convert to form accommodation in a bed & breakfast style.

The Mill Forge History

In March 1989 the new owners, the Smith family, moved in and work on the conversion began. Mr Smith being a joiner founded Grahamshill Joinery and the workforce began the renovation.
The stables adjacent to the house were taken back until there was only the outer walls left standing and renovated to form chalets 1-5 and a laundry store. At this time we traded as Grahamshill Chalets. The opening of these chalets coincided with an influx of workers into the area as the A74 was upgraded from dual carriageway to motorway in 1990. These chalets were first let on the 5th November 1990. Work began on chalets 6-9 in the spring of 1991 and was completed by late summer 1991.

The next project was to form our restaurant and bar areas. The barn was underpinned, a cellar excavated and formed and the barn was totally renovated by Grahamshill Joinery along with local tradesmen. All the woodwork was constructed by Grahamshill Joinery including the open timber roof to the roundhouse which was based on the previous "gincase" (a circular building where the horse drove the mill, grinding the grain), remnants of which could be seen on the outer walls of the barn. As many of the original features as possible were incorporated into the building.

Building The Mill Forge

The ninie chalets were upgraded and the barn was opened for business as a restaurant on May 6 th 1993 under the name of The Mill, in keeping with the farm's history.

Whilst becoming a very popular venue for local people there was also a lot of interest in people having their wedding ceremony on the premises and the anvil was readily transported around the premises.

Due to demand a further fifteen chalets were purpose-built at the top of the grounds and were opened in June 1996, followed by an extension in 1997 to the barn to form a larger bar area. As the wedding bookings grew, so did the need for a separate area in which to conduct the ceremony and so The Forge was built with its own garden area, with three further chalets being added at this time.

The Mill Forge History

The gardens and grounds have been increased gradually over the years as each extension or building has been completed, with the most well known feature being the mill wheel. Not, as most believe, a part of the original mill, but bought by the Smith family who restored it to its former glory. The mill wheel has since become quite a local landmark.

In 2002 the kitchen and Conservatory Bar were both extended, and in 2004 five new bridal suites were built taking the number of rooms to thirty-two.

In April 2006 a new building housing the reception, office, shop and a changing room was opened.
We now have thirty-three rooms.

In October 2007 we opened a children's play area with swings, slides and climbing frames.

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