About us

Our History

About us

Bought in 2016 by the Manduell family who farm in Wasdale, the Sawmill buildings and waterwheel were painstakingly restored over a period of 2 years to retain the industrial character of the building within the Lake District National Park World Heritage Site.

There is evidence of a cornmill on the site in the 1790s, but it was a working sawmill from at least the mid-1800s until the death of the last estate tenant in 2015. In 1963 UK Atomic Energy reached agreement with the then Estate owner to instal an electric motor to run the saw blades in case so much water was drawn from Wastwater to supply the coastal nuclear facilities, that there was insufficient flow in the river Irt to turn the wheel. Unsurprisingly the water wheel soon fell into a state of disrepair

The restoration of the wheel was undertaken at nearby Gosforth involving wonderful craftsmanship and about 2 tons of oak from nearby Muncaster Mill. Much of the metalwork in the building has been restored or, was replicated exactly to extend what is now the café seating area. As far as possible materials were sourced from local businesses with virtually all the craftsmen involved in the project living within a 10-mile radius of the site.

The restoration was completely self-financed without any grants and by employing local businesses, local craftsmen, and sourcing materials as locally as possible, it provided a significant boost to the local economy. As visitors enjoy the food and refreshments on offer as well as the farm shop, that boost to the local economy continues daily both through the jobs created but also the fact that much of the food and gifts available are sourced from other local Lake District businesses.