Page Updated:- Wednesday, 31 March, 2021.


Earliest 1990

Crabble Corn Mill

Open 2020+

Lower Road


01304 823292

Crabble Mill 1905

Above shows the working mill circa 1905.

Crabble Mill 2009

Above a similar shot 2009.

Crabble Mill 2009

The mill from the Dover end.

Crabble Corn Mill 1965

Above photo showing the mill looking over the duck pond, circa 1965. Kindly sent my Julian Mannering, member of the Mannering family.

Crabble Mill 1964

Crabble under a blanket of snow. Looking up the back stream towards the mill with the cottages and their gardens on the left. Taken winter 1964. (Photo credit: John Mannering).

Crabble Mill Pond 1964

After a heavy snowfall the trees, yew hedges and bamboo are weighed down by their loads. Looking across the top end of the mill pond, with the old hay barn in the distance and one of the gypsy caravans that Edward Mannering kept in the field. Photo taken 1964. (Photo credit: John Mannering).


Not a public house, but a working corn mill, however, they do have a fully licensed café, which is also available for private functions, serves a variety of snacks and meals for their many and varied functions and holds annual beer festivals every May.

Owned, operated and maintained by Crabble Corn Mill Trust, the mill was rescued from demolition and opened to the public in 1990.

The current structure was built in 1812 alongside an existing mill which was later demolished to allow for additional storage space. This is now the exhibition area on the ground floor and the tea rooms.

Records show that there has been a mill on this site since at least 1227 when Henry III granted a Charter of Confirmation to St. Radigund's Abbey.

The Mill is a working museum and as such shows Georgian and Victorian engineering excellence at work using one of natures most powerful forces - water.

In 1999 the Mill won the prestigious Presidents Award from the Association for Industrial Archaeology.

Six floors of exhibits and milling machinery describe the process of turning wheat into flour, and this organic wholemeal flour is available for sale in the gift shop and the Farm Shop.


From the Dover Express, 2 January 2002. By SIMON FINLAY

Demand for answers over corn mill.

LOCAL Liberal Democrat Antony Hook has written to Dover and Deal MP Gwyn Prosser demanding answers to questions relating to the Crabble Corn Mill which is subject to a possible investigation by the Charity Commission.

Mr Hook’s letter followed an exclusive report in the Dover Express which detailed how the commission demanded to see five years of the mill’s accounts which should have been lodged between 1996 and 2000 and a host of other material.

Mr Hook claims that he has seen sensitive material and has sent it on to the commission’s case officer dealing with how the charitable trust - of which Mr Prosser is a trustee - has been run in recent years.

The defeated Lib Dem general election candidate asked Mr Prosser four ‘pertinent’ questions to which he is still waiting for answers.

Mr Hook said: “It is vital that all the facts are known in order to protect this wonderful piece of heritage. Public money has been spent on the mill and there is a clear public interest.”

The trustees held a heated meeting last month ahead of the December 15 deadline when paperwork should have been sent to the commission’s London headquarters.

It is understood that tighter security was called for to prevent leaks of documentation to the Dover Express.

In a long list of demands, the "commission requested the accounts, all details relating to the trust’s acquisition of a property, all bank details and minutes of all meetings at which current trustees were appointed.

The commission may take steps to use its legal powers and launch a full-scale inquiry if the paperwork has not been sent in its entirety.

Trust chairman Alan Davis blamed ‘administrative oversights of the past’ for the accounts not being lodged with the commission in 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000.

He has reported the Dover Express to the Press Complaints Commission over alleged ‘inaccuracies’ contained in our front page exclusive on December 6. The Express will fight the complaint.

Mr Hook added: “It is good that the Dover Express has told the public what is going on. I’m sure that if all the facts come out, these problems can be dealt with.”

A commission spokesman said: “We have received something from the trust inside the deadline but we are still going through it. The case officer has been on annual leave.”

Labour councillor and trustee Eileen Rowbotham refused to answer questions about the issue when quizzed by political foe Paul Watkins.


From the Dover Express, 14 February 2002. EXCLUSIVE By SIMON FINLAY.


THE Charity Commission received serious allegations that money from the government's ‘New Deal’ scheme helped a private company connected to Crabble Corn Mill, the Express can reveal.

Commission chiefs have called on Ian Killbery to provide documentation to prove Invicta Media Productions Ltd did not benefit ‘directly or indirectly’ from the £50,000 cash injection.

Mr Killbery, who is a longstanding trustee and former chairman of the Crabble Corn Mill Trust, must also satisfy the commissioners that Invicta Media did not gain from monies raised by the mill’s Friends.

The Deal town councillor helped to buy - with the help of lottery funds - two cottages on the site in 1995.

Invicta Media, a video production company of which Mr Killbery is a director, then leased part of the property from where the business was run.

But it is claimed that he did not, as the then chairman of the trust, seek Charity Commission approval for the purchase or the lease, in direct contravention of the Charities Act.

Other claims surfaced that the trust ‘effectively subsidised’ the company by paying its utility and photocopier bills.

The details emerged in a document in the hands of the Dover Express.

The Express reported in December last year that the commission expressed concerns that no annual returns and accounts had been lodged for the period 1996-2001 by Mr Killbery.

The commission has indicated that leasing of part of the property to Mr Killbery's firm could pose the question of a conflict of interest.

Mr Killbery applied afterwards for a ‘connected person order’ which would have validated the lease but this was refused by the commission as it could not issue ‘retrospective orders’.

A statement, written by current chairman Alan Davis, states clearly that Mr Killbery was in charge of dealing with the ....

(Page 3 information missing)

From the Dover Express, 27 June 2002. By SIMON FINLAY.

Mill boss quits. Killberv goes at stormy AGM.

FORMER Crabble Corn Mill chairman Ian Killbery has resigned as a trustee of the tourist attraction, the Dover Express can reveal.

Mr Killbery announced his decision to relinquish his position at a stormy one-hour annual meeting of the panel which runs the mill in Lower Road, River.

The long-serving trustee hit the headlines earlier this year when the Charity Commission investigated and later cleared him of a number of allegations.

One of the accusations he faced was that his company may have have benefited from cash given to the mill under the government’s New Deal because he ran a video production company from the site. Mr Killbery claimed: “I was a victim of a smear campaign.

“The parlous state of the mill’s finances is another reason. There was a £3,000 profit in 2000 and a £3,000 loss in 2001.

“The Charity Commission actually looked into the relationship between my company and the mill charity and said it worked out to the benefit of the charity.”

It is not a secret that there have been serious tensions between Mr Killbery and certain trustees in recent years.

Current chairman Alan Davis said: “He resigned. He said he didn’t want to continue. The re-election votes were about to be taken and he stood up and made his statement.

“He said that he didn’t want to continue with the trustees now in post.” Asked about the stormy nature of the meeting, Mr Davis said: “There was always bound to be some rancour because of the publicity we have received and the problems that have been incurred.”

The Express revealed last December that the commission had raised concerns that no annual returns had been lodged by Mr Killbery for the years 1996-2001.

The disclosures were likely to cause embarrassment for the trustees - one of whom is Dover and Deal MP Gwyn Prosser - as they shared equal responsibility for administrative matters at the mill.

The trustees are due to meet again tomorrow to finalise a statement for public release about the year’s events at the mill.


From the Dover Express, 18 July 2002.

Corn mill trustees face fight to survive.

THE trustees of Crabble Corn Mill are fighting for the tourist attraction’s survival, the Dover Express can reveal.

They are understood to have sought legal advice over liability for debts and are said to have met with a lawyer last Thursday.

Falling attendances, a lack of trained volunteers and a host of other factors have been blamed for the crisis.

A well-placed source said: “Closure is an option - not the one the trustees want, but an option. It will either be shut permanently or put in mothballs until further notice. It cannot go on losing money in the way that it has.

“The money that we generate through the summertime keeps us going through the winter when it opens on Sundays only.

“Members spent about £60 on stamps for a mailshot to schools across the county but the response has been very poor.” The source also pointed to roadworks affecting passing trade and the effect that the foot and mouth epidemic had on tourism across the country.

The source added: “There was a loss of about £3,000 last year. The trustees have sought help to see if they are liable for it.” Under the terms of the mill’s status as a limited company, it cannot run at a loss.

In the mill’s annual statement chairman Alan Davis hinted: “I hope fellow trustees may see a more hopeful way ahead but for the sake of preserving the mill, we should consider other options.”

Paperwork needed to file annual accounts for 2000 to 2001 has also gone missing - and presumed lost - from the mill.

The mill has been bedevilled by misfortune in recent times - the lowest ebb being a Charity Commission investigation into account keeping.

Six years’ worth of accounts had not been entered to the commission and various allegations also needed to be answered by former Chairman Ian Kilberry.

The trust lost Ian Kilberry recently when he resigned citing a ‘smear campaign’ against him as he went.


From the Dover Express, 19 January 2006.

A DOVER tourist attraction is aiming to go with the flow this year by using the water of the River Dour to generate electricity.

Crabble Corn Mill, built in 1812 and opened to the public in 1990, has applied for a grant to install a hydro turbine at the site.

Mill manager Ant Reid said the plans for the state-of-the-art equipment were very much ‘pie in the sky’, but that water power would have huge benefits for the site.

He said: “The turbine would be used to generate electricity for the mill itself and any left over would be sold back to the national grid.

“Our biggest cost is electricity for lighting, heating, etc. If we could have even half of that generated by the turbine, it would make our lives a little bit easier. ”

The waterway has been monitored since last year, and even though flows have been extremely low at times, experts say it would still be possible to run the turbine.

The mill would have to apply for an extraction licence to take water out of the Dour, but Mr Reid said he was confident the equipment would have no negative impact on river levels.

He said: “You do have to have an extraction licence, but the water does go back in the river again. It goes in one side and goes out the other - the Dour is not going to lose any water at all.

“It won’t have a detrimental effect. We are about protecting the environment, not about destroying what we’ve got there.”

The turbine, which is thought to cost in the region of £40,000 to £50,000, also has monitoring equipment that would automatically shut the machine off and return the mill to its normal electricity supply if river levels dropped too low.

The funding application has been submitted to renewable energy grants body Clear Skies, with a decision hoped for later this year.


• Records show there has been a mill on the site in River since at least 1227, when Henry III granted a Charter of Confirmation to St Radigund’s Abbey.

• The mill as it exists today was built in 1812 by Joseph Webb Pilcher, whose family owned similar sites in Temple Ewell and Kearsney.

• Pilcher went bankrupt in 1842 following two years of bad harvests. The mill was leased and then purchased in 1843 by Dover man Wilsher Mannering, who paid £2,610 for the site.

• Despite new machines being installed during the industrial revolution, the mill could not survive and shut down completely in 1907.

• The site was saved from demolition in 1972 and was bought by preservation society the Cleary Foundation a year later.

• The Crabble Corn Mill Trust took ownership of the property in 1988 and opened it to the public in 1990 after two years of restoration work.

• The mill is believed to be haunted; a figure has been seen climbing the building’s wooden stairs and mysterious writing has appeared on a flour-covered surface.

• In 2004 the mill called in paranormal investigation team UK Haunted, who ‘picked up’ the ghosts of a small boy, a miller, a mother mourning dead twins and a dog.

Information and photos taken from 2006

Aim: To investigate possible paranormal phenomenon at Crabble Corn Mill.

Background: Owned, operated and maintained by Crabble Corn Mill Trust, the mill was rescued from demolition and opened to the public in 1990. It can now boast to be one of the most complete and working examples of a Georgian watermill in Europe.

A mill has stood on this site for 750 years - the first mill was built by the monks of St. Radigund's Abbey in the 13th century. The ruins of the Abbey can still be seen up on the hills to the west of the Mill.

In 1812, John Pilcher owned a small country mill at Crabble. He built a huge new mill beside it, so he could get profitable government contracts to mill flour for the troops guarding Dover against Napoleon's threat of invasion.

This sketch shows the new 6-storey mill behind the old one, which was kept working for about 30 years. The new mill had "state-of-the-art" technology, based on ideas from millwrights in the USA. There they had developed the "automatic mill" - where once the grain was unloaded into the grain bins, it was untouched by human hand until it was bagged up into flour at the other end.

The material was carried from one machine to the next by means of conveyors, elevators and chutes. Many of the machines could adjust themselves automatically to changing conditions - a remarkable degree of automation for the early 19th century! This was necessary because there were so many mills on the river.

In its Victorian hey-day, Crabble was one of over a dozen watermills along the short River Dour - which is only 5 km long from its source to where it flows out into the Harbour.

Seven of these were flour mills like Crabble; processing the wheat grain from local farms all over the North Downs. Of the others, five made paper, and one crushed oilseed.

There were 4 mills upstream off Crabble, which meant that the flow of water in the river was greatly affected by what the other millers were doing - each mill passed its water down to the next one downstream.

When the wars against Napoleon finished in 1815, the Pilcher family took advantage of the slump in trade to buy up several other mills in Dover. There is documentary evidence that they bought a steam engine from Boulton & Watt, and opened Dover's first steam-powered mills down by the harbour.

But by the 1840's they ran into difficulties: their bankers were pressing for loans to be repaid, and all their mills were sold.

Crabble Mill was bought by Willsher Mannering, a young miller who already had two other watermills in Dover. He made major improvements, demolishing the old mill and adding 2 extra pairs of millstones to the new one, making five in total.

He built up good trade shipping flour by sea up to London, which was then growing fast. Dover too was growing more prosperous - after major harbour improvements in the 1850s, the town's cross-Channel trade was booming. This was helped by the opening of the London to Dover railway in 1844.

In the last quarter of the 19th century several changes combined to drive the old watermills like Crabble out of business:

New methods of milling by rollers were perfected in Austria. Roller milling produced the finer, whiter flour that customers wanted.

Coal was cheaper, making steam power an economic alternative to water-power.

The British government dropped the "Corn Laws", which put heavy taxes on imported grain.

Big new steamships imported foreign grain from eastern Europe and across the Atlantic at cheaper prices than locally-grown wheat. Many English farmers stopped ploughing their fields and kept dairy cattle instead.

Big new roller mills powered by tireless steam-engines began to open up in the ports like London, Hull, and Liverpool.

By 1893 the Mannerings decided to close Crabble Corn Mill, and concentrate all their flour production in another mill downstream - which they had recently re-equipped with rollers and a steam engine. Crabble's millstones and waterwheel had become out-dated.

Fortunately, the Mill was not dismantled - none of its machinery was sold for scrap. In fact, the Mannerings kept it well-maintained until their flour business went bankrupt in 1957.

Julian Mannering, a member of the Mannering family, writes (31/Dec/2015) to tell me the following:- The business was not bankrupted; it was closed down due to competition in 1957.

After that, the family were able to keep up only the most basic maintenance needed to prevent it falling into decay, and then in 1973 the mill was acquired by the Cleary Foundation. This charitable trust set about restoring the mill,  which houses perhaps some the oldest working machinery in Europe, having been purchased second hand when the mill was built in 1812.


It was a minor miracle that the mill survived intact. After restoration costing over £500,000, we can again see the millers at work.

The collection of unique automatic flour making machines give an insight into the ingenuity required to feed our great-great grandparents in the days of the industrial revolution.

Reported paranormal activity

Over the years there have been several sightings at the Mill. On our site visit several of these were recounted to us.

Edward and WiIliam Cruft

Edward and William Cruft were brothers and apprentice millers at Crabble Mill in the 1800's. Edward was 4 years old when he met his demise at the mill on level 5, where he fell into the hopper and drowned in the flour, 1814.

William met his death 4 years later on level 2 when he fell into the gear workings, 1822.

Both the boys are buried in the local churchyard St. Peter & St. Paul's.

There have been several reported sightings of children in the mill over the years, visitors to the mill have commented on occasions as to the "Victorian children running around, a nice touch!"

George Doynes

George Daynes was married to Phoebe and they bore 18 children. George and Phoebe resided in one of the millers cottages sited next to the mill.

George, born in 1851 became a miller at Crabble in 1883 until 1892. George contracted millers lung and died in 1907.

Several people have reported respiratory difficulties whilst in the Mill.

Miller's lung:

A type of allergic inflammation of the lungs (hypersensitivity pneumonitis) in people who are hypersensitive to the granary weevil (the wheat weevil or Sitophilus granarius). People who work with grains or flours contaminated with this weevil are at especially high risk for this disease. Hence, the name miller's lung.

Persons who have developed a hypersensitive to the granary weevil typically have an acute reaction including fever, cough, chills, and shortness of breath within hours of re exposure to the weevil. Given no further contact with the evil weevil, the person's symptoms typically improve over a day or two, but weeks may be need for full recovery.

In the subacute form of miller's lung, a cough and shortness of breath develop over days or weeks and may be so severe as to require hospitalization. With chronic miller's lung from contact with the weevil over months to years, there may be scarring (fibrosis) of the lung with increasing shortness of breath and a cough productive of sputum, progressing over months or years to respiratory failure.

Previous investigation has taken place at this site by Kent Paranormal Group and we will be taking this into account when undertaking our investigation.


Camera) Nikon Coolpix 3100 Fuji Finepix S9500

Kodak Easyshare cx7310 Sony DCSVl

Olympus Camedia C160 Fuji Finepix S550

Camcorder) Sony DCR- H30E Samsung VP-D351


Sony Hi-8

EVP) Olympus DM-20 (x3) Sony VOR tape

Sony Digital Recorder Cassette Recorder

Tomy Walkabout Digital "Monitors

Whisper 2000 Super Sensitive Sound Modulator

EMF) Spectral Electronics ElI-1F Meter

Gauss EMF Meter

Spectral Electronics 2G

EMF Meter Gauss Master

ElectroSensor EMF Detector

Cellsensor EMF Meter

Trifield Natural EMF Meter

CCTV) IR Nightvision

Wireless CCTV Cameras (x2)

Monitor / Receiver (x2)

Mini CCTV Colour Cameras + Receivers (x2) VCR (x3)

DVD Recorder

Thermometer) Laser Thermometer Maplin 610C

IR Laser Thermometer Model 110CE (x2)

Environment Meter

Digital Probe Thermometer

Inside / Outside Digital Air temp. Thermometer

Hygro- Thermometer

Other) Data Logger EL-USB2 (x3)

IR Emitter Sony HVL-IRM (x2)

Binatone :N1R200 2-Way Radios (x4)

Binatone MR610 2-Way Radios (x2)

Metek Laser Measure

Timeguard Passive IR Motion Sensors (x3)

Active IR Beam Doorway Sensors

Cable Detector



Tapes (VHSIDVDlHi-8/MiniDV/Cassette)

Trigger Objects


Co-Investigators: Kim, Dean, Ian, Rick, Sarah, Paddy, Rachel.

Guests: Sharon, Sharon, Richard, Tracy.


At no time during this investigation were the team privy to prior reports or information given to Dean, Kim and Ian on their site visit.


Investigation Times 2100hrs-0600hrs Areas to be investigated

Crabble Corn Mill

Cottage number 2

Cottage number 4

There were three teams for the evening.

Dean and Kim joined each group in turn throughout the night, as well as monitoring equipment and taking measurements.

2100hr Start

All group members off-loaded their equipment into the designated base camp area, (Main Reception)

A member of staff or one of the team then gave a brief on the building. Toilets and smoking areas etc, this was followed by a guided tour of the building and the two cottages so everyone was familiar of the layout. There were a few danger points to watch out for at this location, and noted.

2130hr Back to base where the selected equipment was set up around the building:

Data logger (Kim) Level 5

Datalogger (paddy) Level 6

Datalogger (Dean) Level 4

CCTV Cottage 4

CCTV Level 2

Camcorder/ Dvd Recorder Level 3

Camcorder Level 6

Voice Recorder (Dean) Level 4

Voice Recorder (Rick) Cottage 2

Trigger Objects Level 6

Camcorder Mobile

Dean and Kim also recorded the whole evenings investigation on their digital voice recorders.

2200hrs Investigation readings were taken throughout the night by all core team members, Dean and Kim the majority of readings.

Team 1 (Ian) First location was Level 5

Team 2 (Rick) First location Level 2

Team 3 (Paddy) First locations will be Cottage number 2 and 4

This was team quiet time, taking photos, and asking for communication for 1 hour.

2300hrs Break twenty Minutes

2320hrs All groups switched locations Team 1 to the cottage, Team 2 to Level 5, Team 3 to Level 2 again as before 45 minutes to an hour.

0020hrs Break 20mins

0040hrs All teams swapped for the last time Team one to Level 2,Team 2 to the Cottage, Team 3 to Level up to an hour

0140hrs Break 10 mins. The groups then merged and split into two

Team leader Ian (Team 1) Ian Sarah Rachel and Sharon Paddy (Dean)

Team leader Paddy (Team 2) Rick Richard Tracy and Sharon (Kim)

The first séance of the night took place, no glass or Ouija boards were used on this investigation; one team was in the cottage and one in the mill.

0250 hrs The first of the night's lone vigils began

0500hrs Team de-briefing of this investigation which closed around 0515

Time variance allowed and noted due to team change round and placing of equipment.


23.00pm: Dean and Kim enter Cottage 4 to install equipment: Temperature recorded 0°c inside cottage, outside temperature 2°c. The coldness in the cottage was noted by them both. Dean also comments that as leaving the mill to install equipment in the cottage that he heard whistling behind him in the basement.

23.20pm: Team 2 on Level 2, Sharon saw the alarm sensor light flash blue twice. Also on this vigil Sarah saw a shadow of what she describes as a small child possibly 4 or 5 years old.

23.35pm: Team 1 on Level 5, Tracy has a sense of "playfulness"

23.35pm: Team 3 in Cottage, Paddy calls to teams in Mill as several flashes were noted in the courtyard in front of the cottage. Possible camera flashes from the Mill were discounted and light was investigated.

00.20am: Dean and Kim enter Cottage 2, the atmosphere is noted as very still and oppressive, temperature drop noted from 5°c to 2°c in 20 minutes.

00.20am: Team 1, Cottage 4, repeated bumps heard, Tracy had a feeling of "irritation"

00.20am: Team 3, Level 2, Whistling heard by team on several occasions, heard again at 00.54am

00.20am: Team 2, Level 5, Sarah and Sharon felt uneasy. Sarah feels as though someone has died on this level.

01.10am: Team 2, Cottage 4, each team member undertook a loan walk through the cottage. An uneasy feeling was noted by them all in the upstairs rooms. Rick had the impression of children being there.

01.35am: Above team still at Cottage 4, Sarah notes a shadow on the door, either a child or small adult. At 01.40am Sarah feels a breath on her face several times.

02.40am: Teams merge, Level 2, Whistling heard by team during vigil.

02.40am: Other team venture back to Cottage 4, the rest of the evening was spent between the two locations and no other phenomena was recorded on our investigation logs.

The rest of the evenings vigils passed without any further points of interest.

Equipment Results

CCTV, Cottage 4 Nothing detected on tape

CCTV, Level 2 Nothing detected on tape

Camcorder/Dvd Recorder, Nothing detected on tape

Camcorder, Level 6 Nothing detected on tapes

Voice Recorder (Dean) Nothing detected on tape

Voice Recorder (Rick) Nothing detected

Camcorder (Ian, Mobile) Various sounds detected, inconclusive

Personal voice recorder Dean Nothing detected on tape

Personal voice recorder Kim Nothing detected]

Datalogger Levels No unusual temperature readings noted


This is a timber structure and sounds of any variance travel considerably, therefore we cannot rule out the buildings natural movements; expanding and contracting, and other factors causing noises detected on our equipment.

The flashes seen by Paddy were investigated and no cause could be found. The mill does have security lighting but upon investigation was too low to have been the light that was seen. We do not know where the light source came from!

The whistling which was noted by several of the team throughout the evening in various parts of the mill can not be accounted for. We were told later in the evening that a previous employee at the mill did have a tendency to whistle a great deal and used to mimic bird song.

Our findings on the evening are inconclusive.

References / Thanks to:



Ghost Connections would like to thank Crabble Corn Mill staff for accompanying them on their investigation.


From the Dover Mercury, 31 March 2005. By MARY GRAHAM.

A day in the life of a Crabble com miller.

EXCITING ideas to complete the restoration of Crabble Com Mill and tell the story of its place in history are being considered.

They include creating a heritage centre explaining the power of the River Dour, renovating the miller’s cottages to create a reconstruction of a mill yard, an ecology project for schools and “twinning” Crabble Corn Mill with other water mills in Europe.

Ideas are at a very early stage, and project managers are working with heritage organisations, including English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Nevertheless, it is hoped that an Interpretation Project will be complete for the 20th anniversary of Crabble Com Mill as a building preservation trust on June 26, 2007.

The schemes for the mill aim to explain how Crabble Corn Mill was once part of a network of mills along the River Dour, and how the power of the river has been harnessed over the years for industry. Education activities on the ecology of the river will also feature.

General manager Anthony Reid said: “This is about preserving our history, but also bringing the mill up to the museum standards.”

PRESERVING HISTORY: Miller's cottages, within Crabble Corn Mill. Ideas to re-develop the cottages are being discussed.

Another strand of the project involves documenting the story of the Mannering family, owners of the mill for 100 years. The family were keen that the mill be preserved and trustee’s now hope to document a day in the life of a miller, based on evidence and anecdotes from the family.

These ideas are now being discussed because while the renovation of the mill building is complete, project manager Neil Anthony is revisiting a viability study, produced in 1987, looking at the ideas that were not completed as part of the restoration.

“Crabble Corn Mill is only part of the story,” said Mr Anthony. “This is about interpreting the mill as part of a major complex of mills along the Dour and that story of the importance of the River Dour needs to be told.”

As part of the 20th anniversary celebrations, Mr Anthony said that a time capsule would be concealed in the mill for future generations.

Crabble Corn Mill trustees also want as many people as possible to come forward to form a volunteer bank.


From the Dover Mercury, Thursday 9 March, 2006.


Graham Butterworth

Above showing Graham Butterworth who is organising the beer festival at Crabble Corn Mill.

The beer festival at Crabble Corn Mill was such a 'resounding success last year that the planners are aiming to make it even bigger and better for 2006.

Preparations are already under way for the event, which will see some 30 real ales and ciders on sale on Friday and Saturday, May 26 and 27.

As a charity event with all proceeds going to the Crabble Corn Mill Trust, the organisers Graham Butterworth and Ant Reid are now in need of sponsors. Local businesses can sponsor a cask of ale for £80, or help out with printing costs, portable toilets, food and two way radios.

More than 800 drinkers packed into the mill last year, surpassing all expectations.

"It was absolutely buzzing and we were ecstatic," said Mr Reid. "That's what has prompted us to follow it up this year."

Guitarist Roger Betts will be supplying the Friday evening entertainment. On the Saturday afternoon it's folk band the Rambling Boys and in the evening the female duo No Limits.

"It's a picturesque water mill and it's in a picturesque area," added Mr Reid. "What more could you ask for? We are just praying there will be good weather like last year."


From the Dover Express, 17 January 2008. Exclusive report by Rhys Griffiths.

BOSSES at Crabble Mill faced with a cash crisis have issued a “use it or lose it” plea to Dovorians.

Crabble Corn Mill 2008

A slump in visitor numbers has left the historic River attraction’s management facing a fight to keep its doors open as running costs spiral.

It is feared a lack of income could force the Georgian water mill, considered one of the finest in Europe, to close as cash brought in by tourists and special events fails to meet ever-increasing bills.

Mill general manager Ant Reid told the Express: “We are struggling financially, but we are hoping to overcome this.

“It is down to overheads increasing each year and a lack of support.

“Our visitor figures were a quarter of what we had the year before, and that is where the money comes from.

“We are talking about insurance and utility bills: every business has them but our insurance costs are £150 a week. It is an extortionate rate. The trustees will look to reduce that if possible.

“It would be better if more local people could use the mill and go along to the events we put on. Every little bit does help.

“We are meeting with the trustees to look at ways of trying to get money in the..... (Page 3 missing)


From the Dover Express, 3 April 2008.

Trouble at mill.

Ant Reid

Theft: Crabble Corn Mill manager Anthony Reid.

CROOKS have stolen a trailer containing a water tank from cash-strapped Crabble Corn Mill.

The River attraction was raided some time between 6.30pm on Tuesday, March 11 and 9.00am the following day.

It is thought thieves gained entry by busting a padlocked gate to the mill’s courtyard where the trailer had been kept overnight.

Mill manager Anthony Reid, 38, who was the first person to spot it missing, said the trailer had been invaluable in helping to do chores.

Mr Reid said: “We are a little bit snookered without it. We would use the trailer at least three times a week.

“We have a big mill pond here and there’s a lot of litter and vegetation that collects in it which needs to be removed. We would store the stuff in the trailer before disposing of it.”

The Georgian water mill is holding its annual beer festival on Friday, May 23 and Saturday, May 24, and the trailer was to be used to collect ales from various breweries.

Mr Reid said: “I just think it’s extremely sad there are people out there that would steal from a charity.”

Anyone with information on the crime is asked to call police on 01303 289180.

From the Dover Mercury, Thursday 22 May, 2008.


DOVER'S new mayor, Cllr Diane Smallwood, is due to open the beer festival at Crabble Com Mill at 3pm tomorrow (Friday).

The beer festival weekend is the mill's biggest fund-raising event of the year and musicians from the Dover area will play live to entertain festival-goers.

Blues guitarist Roger Betts will play on Friday and the Rambling Brothers and Barry Goss will play on Saturday.

The White Cliffs Tour Bus will provide a pick up and drop off service to the mill throughout the day and night, costing £1.20 each way. It will pick up from the Law Courts in Pencester Road and Dover Priory train station.

Tickets are on sale at the mill costing £3.50 for the Friday and £2 for Saturday.


From the Dover Express, 29 May, 2008.


Report by Rhys Griffiths Pictures by Andy Jones.

Crabble beer festival 2008

Cheers: Above right, (left to right) Barney Buttifint, Luke Meredith, Brett Meredith and Steve Tester raise a glass.


BEER lovers got to grips with Betty Stogs before getting their hands on a Loose Cannon at this year's Crabble Corn Mill beer festival.

Drinkers flocked to the River venue to sample some of the more obscure ales on offer from breweries across Kent. Among the ales on tap were Oyster Stout from Whitstable and Dartford Wobbler from Darenth.Beer festival 2008 Live music, raffles and great grub were on offer alongside the selection of real ales and ciders.

Colin Hall, a Crabble trustee, said: "This is a well run event in a superb setting which is really enjoyed by many locals and visitors.

"We see a lot of the same people coming back year after year. There's always an excellent atmosphere and first-class entertainment Beer festival opening 2008 throughout the event.

"This is the biggest event we have and the profits go a long way towards the upkeep of the mill."

Trust chairman Harry Reid said: "This has become so important that without it the mill would not survive.

"It is very important that people keep supporting it year after year, it is vital for the mill's survival."

Ribbon: (left to right) Above, River parish councillor Brian Cuff, Mayor of Dover Diane Small wood, Mayoress Jean Farrell and Councillor Sue Nicholas officially open the ale festival.

Ale fans tell us why they love the Crabble festival.

Beer festival 2008

Don Hunter

Beer festival 2008 Beer festival 2008

Brett Meredeth

Retired immigration officer Don Hunter, (left) of Park Avenue, Broadstairs, is a regular at ale festivals and says the beer is the main attraction. The 60-year-old, who was born into a family of publicans, said: "It is good fun because you meet like-minded people and the beer and cider is excellent. "I was born in a pub in Lancashire and my father was born in the same pub which my grandad took over in 1896. "You could say I have grown up in a family with a love of real ale."

Carpenter Brett Meredith, (right) of Danes Court, Dover, comes to the Crabble beer festival every year with friends. The 42-year-old said: "I have been here many times and wouldn't miss it now. "It is a really nice venue and the beer is great. We all have a laugh and the atmosphere is fantastic. "There should be a good group of us out today so it will be great fun."

Old Lone Gin Band 2008

Above showing The Old Lone Gin Band and Friends.

From the Dover Mercury, 21 May, 2009.

Beer festival

Kmfm radio presenter Johnny Lewis will be opening the beer festival at Crabble Corn Mill, Lower Road, River, tomorrow (Friday) at 3pm. The festival continues on Saturday from 11am until 11pm.


From the Dover Mercury, 4 June, 2009.

Counterfeit £20 notes passed at beer festival

Crabble Corn Mill beer festival 2009

Smiles at the Crabble Corn Mill beer festival turned to disappointment as a number of fake £20 notes were passed.


PEOPLE are being warned to check their £20 notes after a number of fakes were passed at the beer festival at Crabble Corn Mill.

More than 1,000 people attended the festival but when the organisers counted the takings afterwards they discovered they had taken £160 in fake £20 notes.

The counterfeit notes are said to be smoother than genuine notes, and the embossed £20 over the Queen's head is not there. The words "promise to pay the bearer on demand the sum of twenty pounds" have the first part missing.

The numbers on the fake notes are AD75912147, BB60507125 and BB60 838880.

"It was so busy the notes were not checked and they are so good in the outside night light you would not pick them out easily," said Crabble Corn Mill Trust chairman Harry Reid.

Despite the fake notes, the organisers hope that last year's record surplus of £10,000 for the mill's coffers will be matched.

A total of 47 beers and 15 ciders were on offer, with the vast majority from Kent's breweries.


From the Dover Express, 28 May, 2009

On tap at the mill

BEER lovers flocked to Crabble Corn Mill in Lower Road, River, at the weekend for the mill's annual real ale festival.

Crabble Corn Mill beer festival 2009

The popular event kicked oft on Friday afternoon after being officially opened by radio presenter Dom Code and Mayor of Dover Sue Jones.

Drinkers were spoilt for choice, with a wide selection of ales and ciders from brewers across Kent and even further afield.

A number of the most popular brews were snapped up so quickly that many casks had been drunk dry by the time revellers began arriving for the second day of festivities on Saturday, but there were still plenty left.

The festival is the biggest event held at the Georgian mill each year and is a major source of revenue for the charitable trust which runs the attraction.

Crabble Corn Mill bar staff 2009

Above shows the volunteer bar staff in from of the wide selection of ales.

Crabble Corn Mill drinkers 2009

From the Dover Express, 4 June, 2009

Beer festival scam leaves bitter taste.

Success of charity drink event blighted by fake notes

Report by Rhys Griffiths

Crabble Corn Mill 2009

CRABBLE Corn Mill is celebrating after hosting another successful beer festival last month.


The two-day event had more than 1,000 ale lovers flock to the historic River attraction in Lower Road to enjoy a range of quality brews and musical entertainment.

It is estimated this year's festival made a profit of about £10,000, but the mood was soured by the discovery that crooks had spent £160 in forged new £20 notes.

Manager Ant Reid

The mill's general manager Ant Reid said: "We are gutted they have done this to a charity, it's as low as you can go. All money raised goes back into the mill and the fact someone has done this has left us lost for words.

"It is impossible to check every note taken at each different pay point on the site.

"We will get UV lights for next year, it will slow down the operation but hopefully it will stop this happening again and if we catch anyone the police will be called."

The fake notes were discovered when the takings from the weekend were counted.

A record crowd attended the festival on its opening night, with about 730 people coming along on Friday, May 22, meaning many of the most popular beers had already run out when the gates opened again on Saturday, May 23.

The event is the biggest bash in the social calendar at the mill and the money raised helps to keep the site open to the public.

Mr Reid said: "We would like to say a big thank-you to all the sponsors who helped us make the festival such a success. Thanks to the Express for all your coverage, and thanks to all the acts who performed. Without all the help we just could not do it.

"The forged cash leaves a nasty taste in the mouth because lots of effort goes into this event and people give their time as volunteers, so it's terrible when something like this happens."


How to spot a real £20

• Feel of the paper: Bank notes are printed on special paper that gives them their unique feel.

• Raised print: By running your finger across the note you can feel raised print in some areas, such as the words Bank of England and in the bottom right corner around the figure 20.

• Metallic thread: This appears as silver dashes on the back of the new-style £20 note. If you hold the note up to the light, the metallic thread appears as a continuous dark line.

• Watermark: Hold the note up to the light and in the clear area on the left, you will see an image of the Queen's portrait together with a bright £20. This can also be viewed from the back of the note.


From the Dover Express, 5 November, 2009

Tipplers at the Mill

DRINKERS flocked to Crabble Corn Mill in River for a cider festival on Saturday - but the Sunday session was a wash-out thanks to the rain.

Cider festival drinkers

The festival, which saw fans of real ale and cider tuck into around 40 brews, was held to raise cash for the charity which runs the tourist attraction in Lower Road.

More than 230 people attended the festival on the first day, but torrential downpours meant the second day was something of a non-event.

The festival was the first time the mill, which is home to an annual real ale festival in the summer, has hosted a cider event - and management hope it will become a regular fixture in the mill's calendar.

Among the drinks on offer were brews from the Wantsum Brewery which was founded earlier this year by former Pfizer employee James Sandy after he was made redundant from the pharmaceuticals firm.

He said: "Rather than leave this part of Kent I decided to start a business which might employ me and others."


From the Dover Express, 20 May, 2010


Two-day event needs volunteers

Report by Kathy Bailes

GET ready to raise a glass of real ale as the beer festival returns to Crabble Corn Mill.

The sixth festival at the Lower Road landmark is on next Friday and Saturday May 28 and 29, between 11am and 11pm.

Visitors can quaff from a choice of 50 real ales and a dozen ciders. There is an emphasis on local produce and 37 of the beers come from breweries based in Kent.

Last year some 1,200 people flocked to the event, with a similar number expected this year.

This year, to help with queuing problems, the opening hours have been extended and there will be a separate cider bar.

Friday will also be a ticket-only day, so people are advised to book in advance by calling the mill on 01304 823292.

Tickets will be sold on the gate on the Saturday.

Graham Butterworth, from Crabble Corn Mill, said: "We get tremendous help and support from the local branch of Camra, although this is not a Camra organised event.

"The beer festival is the largest single fundraising event held by the trustees in the year, and in these difficult economic times the trust has come to rely upon the income generated just to meet day-to-day running costs."

Sponsors include Shepherd Neame, NT Rix Scaffolding and The "Fox" pub.

Mr Butterworth added: "We would not be able to hold this event without the help of the local businesses that sponsor it. The trust is very grateful to all the sponsors who have contributed.

"We recognise that this year, once again, the economic outlook remains poor, and like everyone, Crabble Corn Mill is facing a difficult time ahead.

"Despite this the trust is very pleased that so many local firms have, once again, displayed tremendous support and come on board to sponsor the event."

Entry fees are £4 on Friday, May 28 and £2 on the Saturday Dover White Cliffs Tours is putting on a mini bus service from Dover Priory Railway Station for the duration of the festival.

The cost is expected to be £1.70 each way. Like Crabble Corn Mill itself the festival is organised and run by volunteers. If anyone wishes to volunteer, particularly to help on the Saturday they can contact the mill by phone or e-mail.


From the Dover Mercury, Thursday 27 May, 2010.


A TWO-DAY beer festival at Crabble Corn Mill starts tomorrow (Friday).

It is the sixth beer festival organised at the mill in Lower Road, River, and is open from 3pm to 11pm tomorrow and 11am to 11pm on Saturday.

The festival will feature 50 real ales and a dozen ciders with the emphasis on local produce. More than 35 of the beers come from Kent-based breweries.

Entry is limited tomorrow with tickets having to be bought in advance, but tickets will be available on the gate on Saturday. For more information phone 01304 823292.


From the Dover Express, 3 June, 2010


Anger as fake beer tokens used to rip-off charity event.

Report by Rhys Griffiths

FRAUDSTERS have struck at a beer festival for the second year running.

Forged tokens, worth around £60, were used at the Crabble Corn Mill ale festival on Friday night, a year after fake bank notes were passed off by crooks at the event.

All profits raised at the two-day festival go towards the charity which operates the historic attraction, and general manager Ant Reid has described the people who used the forgeries as the lowest of the low.

On Friday and Saturday, around 1,000 came to enjoy the many ales and ciders on offer at the mill in Lower Road, River.

Mr Reid said: "It was a very successful event, and we would like to thank all the volunteers and sponsors because without them, we just couldn't put it on.

"But what happened on Friday leaves a sour taste in your mouth because you work so hard.

"At the end of the day, it's a charity they're ripping off, which is the lowest of the low.

"It looks like somebody came on site then went off and returned after copying the tokens."

Last year, cold-hearted fraudsters used £160 in forged £20 notes at the event, so this time round volunteers were being vigilant and using detectors to root out forgeries.

But the convincing copies of the beer tokens were tough to spot.

Mr Reid told the Express police were not informed of the fraud because of the relatively small sum involved.

Crabble Corn Mill beer festival opening 2010

NOT AGAIN: After opening to the public on Friday, the Crabble Corn Mill ale festival was hit by fraudsters, for the second time in two years.



Tony Holman from Densole

Pictures by Phil Medgett.

 HUNDREDS of beer lovers flocked to the annual Crabble Corn Mill ale festival last week.

Drinkers supped a host of real ales and ciders and enjoyed live music at the two day event at the historic site in River.

Fraudsters passed off around £60 in forged tokens at the bars on Friday night but organisers said despite that the festival was a success.

Among the beers on offer was a drop from Cornwall called Doom Bar and a brew from Whitstable called Pearl of Kent.

Organisers thanked volunteers and sponsors for supporting it, and all profits raised will go to the charitable trust.










Festival drinkers 2010 Festival drinkers 2010

Above photos showing the festival drinkers 2010.


From the Dover Express, Thursday 16 September, 2010


CRABBLE Corn Mill is still on the lookout for sponsors to support its second annual cider festival which is happening later this year.

The festival Is taking place on October 8-9, and will feature a range of ciders and real ales. Profits go to the charitable trust which runs the historic attraction in River.

For information about supporting the event call general manager Ant Reid on 01304 823292.


From the Dover Express, Thursday 30 September, 2010


CRABBLE Corn Mill will be the venue for a cider and ale festival at the beginning of October.

Connoisseurs can test a sample of 25 ciders and four real ales at the event on Friday and Saturday, October 8 and 9.

The festival is being held to raise funds towards the running of the historic mill in River.

Anyone who is able to help out on either day can call 01304 823292 or e-mail

Acoustic duo Cultured Pearl will play on Friday evening and The Ramblin' Boys will perform on Saturday afternoon.

The headline band on Saturday evening is guitarist Roger Betts.

Entry fees are £2.50 on Friday, doors open 6-11 pm, and £2 on Saturday, open noon-11 pm.

A shuttle bus service will operate between Dover Priory and the mill for the festival. This service from Dover White Cliffs Tours costs £1.70 for a single fare.


From the Dover Mercury, 26 May, 2011. 70p


MORE than 1,000 people are expected to attend a beer festival at Crabble Corn Mill this weekend.

The festival is open tomorrow (Friday) between 3pm and 11pm and on Saturday from 11am to 11pm. It is the single most important fundraising event for the Crabble Corn Mill Trust.

There will be 53 real ales and 17 ciders on offer, much of it produced in Kent. Entry on Friday will be limited to ticket only, price £4, and these can be obtained from the mill, in Lower Road, River, the "Fox" public house in Temple Ewell and the tourist information kiosk near the clock-tower on Dover seafront.

For Saturday tickets will be available on the gate price £2.50.

A Chicago-style blues band called the Bluetown Sheikhs will be playing on Friday evening; The Bottles are playing on Saturday afternoon and the Saturday evening entertainment is provided by popular guitarist and singer Roger Betts, who lives in the village.

There will be a barbecue and other food available. Dover White Cliffs Tours is providing a mini bus service from Dover Priory railway station to the mill throughout the festival, at a cost of £1.50 each way.


From the Dover Express, Thursday, 29 March, 2012. 65p. Report by Sam Inkersole


Corinne Pierard and Cheryl Crees

HANDMADE: Corinne Pierard and Cheryl Cres be opening a new shop at the Crabble Corn Mill

Picture by Andy Jones GIAJ20120327B-0

Friends plan to sell arts, crafts and produce.

FOUR friends have clubbed together to open a new gift shop at the Crabble Corn Mill.

Cheryl Crees, Fiona Steward, Corrinne Pierard and Louise McLeish plan to open Shop at the Mill on Easter Sunday.

The store will be selling locally-made arts, crafts and food produce, jewellery, wood-spun ornaments and fabrics from about 18 local suppliers.


Profits will be donated to help support the running of the Crabble Corn Mill.

Cheryl Crees, 59, is a former UK Border Agency officer from Shepherdswell who took early retirement last year.

After six months of meticulous planning, the group's plans have finally come to fruition.

Cheryl said: “It's great that we can finally look forward to opening up the gift shop.

“The mill have been great in helping us sort out the shop before we open with any work that needed to be done, and we hope that we can donate them a lot of money through the profits we make.

“We are really encouraging local people to get involved with the shop. If they have something to sell then we want to help them.”

Mrs Crees and her new business partners met each other through attending farmers' markets across the district, and each shared the ambition of opening a small gift shop.

The shop will only be open at the weekends and on bank holidays to fit around the volunteer workers at the mill, but Mrs Crees has no worries about the reduced opening hours.

Cheryl added: “We all shared the same ambition so it made sense for us to all work together on this.

“We all get along really well and I can't wait to start working with the girls and making the shop a success.

“We want people to come and visit the mill, then come to the shop after, so they can take a memento of the day away with them.”


From the Dover Express, Thursday, 17 May, 2012. 65p. Report by Kathy Bailes


Event is extended to toast Jubilee

BEER-LOVERS will be able to tease their taste buds for an extra day at the Crabble Corn Mill festival this year.

Organisers will stage the annual fundraising event for three days instead of the usual two as part of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee festivities.

The eighth Crabble beer festival will run from Friday, June 1, to Sunday, June 3.

This year will feature 54 Kentish real ales and ciders in a bid to raise cash for the historic mill, which is run entirely by volunteers.


Mill Trust chairman Graham Butterworth said: “The previous seven beer festivals have been well-received by people in the local community and from farther afield.

“Last year numbers were down on previous years, possibly due to the hard economic climate, but we still attracted about 1,000 visitors for the event.

“This year we face competition from a number of local events being held to celebrate the royal Diamond Jubilee. In order to give people time to celebrate that, and the option to also attend our beer festival, we have extended our festival to three days.

“The beer festival is the largest single fundraising event held by the trustees in the year, and in these difficult economic times the trust has come to rely upon the income generated just to meet day-to-day running costs. Like Crabble Corn Mill itself, the festival is organised and run by volunteers.”

The festival is open on June 1, between 3pm and 11pm, on June 2, between 11am and 11pm, and on May 3, between 11am and 7pm.

The Friday will be a ticket-only event. Tickets can be paid for and reserved in advance from Crabble Corn Mill and The "Fox" pub in Temple Ewell.

Saturday and Sunday tickets will be available on the gate. Prices are £4 for the Friday £2.50 for the Saturday and £1 for Sunday.

Entertainment includes The Old Country Crows on Friday and The Easy Street Buskers on Saturday Sunday will feature an open stage session before Captain Patch and The Mermaid Mollies play from 2pm.

The event is sponsored by businesses including Shepherd Neame, NT Rix, Adams printers, The "Fox" pub and The Friends of Crabble Corn Mill.


Anyone who would like to volunteer can call the Mill on 01304 823292 or e-mail

Dover White Cliffs Tours is running a continuous, 16-seater minibus service from Dover Priory railway station to Crabble Corn Mill for the festival. The first bus out on Friday will leave Dover Priory at about 2.45pm. On Saturday the first minibus leaves the station at about 10.45am. Fares apply.


From the Dover Mercury, 31 May, 2012. 80p


A BEER festival is being held at Crab-ble Com Mill this weekend.

It starts tomorrow (Friday) from 3 until 11pm and continues on Saturday from 11am until 11pm and Sunday from 11am until 7pm.

The festival is the most important fundraising event for the mill and this year there will be 54 real ales and 17 ciders on offer, all produced in Kent.

“This year there has been a continuing trend of new breweries and cider-makers becoming established in the county,” said festival spokesman Graham Butterworth.

“At the time of this festival there are roughly 24 brewers and 17 cider-makers operating throughout Kent, more than we have seen for many a year.

“We have the products of 14 Kent breweries, one more than last year.”

Although the number of people attending was down last year, the festival still attracted about 1,000 visitors.

“This year we face competition from a number of local events being held to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.”

Entry tomorrow (Friday) is ticket only, and tickets must be paid for and reserved in advance from the mill or The "Fox" public house at Temple Ewell. Tickets for Saturday and Sunday will be available on the gate.

Tickets for Friday are £4, £2.50 for Saturday and £1 for Sunday.

“Like Crabble Corn Mill itself the festival is organised and run by volunteers,” said Mr Butterworth.

Entertainment tomorrow (Friday) afternoon will be provided by local group The Old Country Crows and in the evening by Cultured Pearl, On Saturday afternoon the Easy Street Buskers will be playing and the Old Country Crows will return on Saturday evening.

There's an open stage session on Sunday, followed at 2pm by Captain Patch and The Mermaid Mollies.

A barbecue, curry, other food and non-alcoholic drinks will be available in the mill tea room.


From the Dover Express, Thursday, 14 June, 2012. 65p. Report by Kathy Bailes


SPONSORS are needed to help celebrate the 200th year of a unique Dover landmark.

A family fun day and a weekend of music and real ale will be staged in August to mark the bicentenary of the Crabble Corn Mill in River.

The building is one of only a handful of operating water mills from the 19th century left in Europe.

Originally built in 1812 the mill was opened to the public in 1990 after being saved from demolition. It is owned, operated and maintained by the Crabble Corn Mill Trust and is one of the most complete and working examples of a Georgian watermill in Europe.

The 200th anniversary will be celebrated on the Bank Holiday weekend, August 25-27.


Chairman Harry Reid

CELEBRATION: Above, Crabble Corn Mill Trust chairman Harry Reid hopes to get sponsorship to help with the mill's 200th anniversary event.

Trust chairman Harry Reid, whose son Ant is mill manager, said: “We want to put on a family fun day on August 27 with lots of stalls, Punch and Judy, bouncy castle and balloon modelling.

“We hope to get some other Trust chairman Harry Reid hopes to get sponsorship to help with the children's entertainment and will also be doing free mill tours.

“Over the weekend we will have music in the afternoons and evenings and real ales and ciders, although not on the scale of the beer festival.

“We are really hoping to get sponsorship to help us pay for the groups.”

The Trust is asking private and corporate sponsors to donate £25 in return for 2 tickets, 2 pints of beer or cider, a mention in the events programme and posters and display space for publicity.

Retired engineering manager Mr Reid said: “The event is important to us as it commemorates and celebrates 200 years of the corn mill.

“We want to enjoy the event and promote the mill.

“We are hoping to get around 300 people in."

The family day will also include a children's hunt the character game in the mill.

Entry will be £1 adults, free for under-14s.

To offer sponsorship call Mr Reid on 01304 823710.

■ Find out more about Crabble Corn Mill at


From the Dover Express, Thursday, 4 October, 2012. 65p.


Crabble Corn Mill will open its gates for its annual Cider and Ale Festival this weekend.

Opening on Friday at 3pm, the three-day event will feature a large range of tipples to suit every taste, There will also be food and entertainment.

The festival will run from 3pm to 11 pm on Friday, 11 am to 11 pm on Saturday and noon to 7.30pm on Sunday.


From the Dover Express, Thursday, 11 October, 2012. 65p. Report by Scarlet Jones


Cider staff 2012

PINT PULLERS: Bar staff are ready for thirsty punters; from left, Mick Howarth, Linda Thompson, Roger Everett and Rob Crascall.

ORGANISERS of a Dover cider festival have said this year's event was so popular that crowds drunk the mill dry.

The annual Cider and Ale Festival returned to Crabble Corn Mill on Friday, attracting large numbers of people all keen to try out the local beverages and have fun.

The three-day event is a major fundraising event for the mill, which is managed by a group of volunteers.

Colin Hall, one of the mill's trustees, said: “The festival was the most successful to date.

“So many people turned up on Saturday that they drank the mill dry.

Thankfully, the East Stour Cider Company made an emergency delivery on Sunday so that the third day of the festival could take place.”

Mr Hall said that the trustees wanted to thank all those who attended over the three days.

He added: “We would also like to thank the volunteers for their hard work and the musicians for the entertainment over the three days.”

Colin Hall 2012

WELCOME: Colin Hall, trustee and treasurer of Crabble Corn Mill, was on hand to welcome festivalgoers

Cider drinkers 2012

CHEERS: From left, Ian Stead, Andy Mackay, Colin Codfrey and Stuart Price help to drink the mill dry

Pictures Andy Jones.

From the Dover Mercury, 30 May, 2013. 80p.


THE hot weather at the weekend was certainly the perfect excuse for people wanting to quench their thirst, and where better than the popular beer and cider festival which was held at Crabble Corn Mill.

Beer festival 2013

Visitors to the mill, in Lower Road, River, were spoilt for choice, with more than 70 different types of drink on offer, all of them brewed in Kent.

The festival, which opened on Friday and continued on Saturday and Sunday, was the most important fundraising event of the year for the mill, and a spokesman for the trust which runs it said it was particularly critical in these “continuing times of austerity”.

Mill volunteers were serving up 56 real ales and 18 ciders, providing a showcase for Kentish produce, with every one of them coming from some of the 26 breweries and 19 cider makers based in the county.

Derek ButcherJim Dawkins

Above showing left Derek Butcher, right, Jim Dawkins.


And while people tried a drink or two, they were also able to enjoy some entertainment. On Friday afternoon Driftwood played a traditional mix of folk songs and in the evening it was the turn of Cultured Pearl to play a variety of acoustic covers of well known and not so well known songs and original material.

Two local bands supported the festival on Saturday afternoon, the Cow Pats and Quidnunc, while the Dave Ferra Blues Band, an exceptionally talented blues band with a good local fan base, entertained in the evening.

On Sunday, the Bottles and invited guests played their own arrangements of popular and folk music.

To accompany the beer and cider, there was a barbecue, traditional hog roast, and curry and other food and non-alcohol drinks were served.

Bob Crascall

Bob Crascall serves up the ales Pictures:

Tony Flashman FM2612727 Buy pictures from


From the Dover Express, 12 June, 2014. By Mike Sims.

HGVs thundering past mill at risk to structure.

New signs ‘increase’ traffic past building and river wall.

THE new £4,000 road signs in River are so confusing they have led to a rise in lorries thundering past the 200-year-old Crabble Corn Mill, according to its concerned chairman.
It is feared that the increase in the number of heavy goods vehicles is damaging the road, historic, mill and the river wall. The latter is already suffering two leaks.

The Express reported last month that two new signs, believed to have cost in the region of £2,000 each, had been erected in an attempt to stop lorries driving through River.

But they were widely mocked by perplexed parish councillors and residents, who accused the county council of installing them in the wrong place.Harry Reid

Mill chairman Harry Reid said this week: “The sign erected at the junction of Valley Road and Lower Road is confusing.

“If I read it correctly it is directing HGVs along Lower Road and past a 200-year-old mill.

“The mill was never built to withstand such vehicles. Since erecting this sign and the one on Crabble Hill opposite Lower Road, the heavy traffic has increased through the village and along Lower Road.

“Kent Highways and Councillor Geoff Lymer have certainly given no consideration whatsoever to this wonderful old mill, which a few volunteers work tirelessly to keep open for future generations.

“Councillor Lymer may well think these new signs are fit for purpose, but he obviously knows very little about the mill or indeed the village of River, and neither does Kent Highways.”

Mr Reid said the river wall had leaked twice due to the traffic, heaping more pressure on the mill’s volunteers.

The Lyndhurst Road resident said: “The more that heavy traffic uses Lower Road, the more likely that a river wall will give way completely and cause damage to nearby property.

“Neither these river walls or the mill itself were built to withstand this.

“They have also not given consideration to the fact that families stand along the Lower Road railings feeding the ducks, with no protection against such vehicles as there is no pavement on the river side.”

County councillor Lymer, who paid for the Valley Road sign using his member funds, said the signs “do conform to the Vienna Convention for road signing and the Guildford Rules”.

He added: “I am still looking at various routes proposed to me. None of the suggestions so far, in my view, stand up to scrutiny.

“I will not make any decisions until all ideas have been exhausted.”

From the Dover Mercury, 9 July 2015. By Victoria Chessum.

Mill is ‘at risk.’

Fears HGVs could cause damage after cracks found near road. Harry Reid said cracks in the wall next to the road at Crabble Corn Mill could eventually mean the river bursts

Harry Reid

Crabble Corn Mill is at risk of major structural damage if lorries continue to thunder through River.

Chairman Harry Reid said two to three cracks had appeared in a wall that separates the river from the road.

He fears the situation could cause more harm to the mill and will eventually cause the river to burst.

Mr Reid said: “I think there will eventually be a major burst of the river which could cause structural damage to the mill.

“It is more than 200 years old and it was built when Lower Road was nothing more than a  horse and carriage track."

The mill shares ownership of the wall with KCC Highways, but he said that repair work would take months and is “far outside of reach.”

The building, which has been standing since 1812, is run by volunteers and it is funded by donations.

Mr Reid’s idea of a solution would be to install signs deterring lorries exceeding 7.5 tonnes from using the narrow residential roads.

“Certain people take pictures of the lorries turning around,” he said. “They get themselves into all sorts of a mess.

“There is no need for an artic in River. The only ones who need supply are the two pubs and a couple of shops.”

Mr Reid said there are signs in Lower Road and Common Lane that are illustrated with arrows encouraging truckers into the village.

River Cllr Pauline Beresford said that she was regularly informed of lorry situation.

She said: “We do get some lorries through this area and most of them do get turned back at the bridge in Kearsney.

“They have been going to dead-ends from their sat navs which say they will reach the industrial estate.”

Geoff Lymer, Kent County Council member for Dover west, said: “Following complaints during 2014 by members of Crabble Com Mill, regarding HGVs travelling along Lower Road, I had a site meeting with members, where I was shown water possibly leaking from the bund for the mill, flowing across the road.


“At the time members of Crabble Mill told me this water flowing along the road had not existed a few years earlier and they believed it to be caused as a result of perceived damage caused by HGVs.

“I arranged for structural engineers to examine the area, covering the whole of the bund and to cover a small road bridge further back along Lower Road.

“The engineer’s report showed no structural damage.”

He added: “I am currently looking into alternative measures to prevent the more determined foreign HGV driver from using the Alkham Valley Road, with the resultant problems by the rail bridge at Temple Ewell.”

From the Dover Express, 15 October, 2015.

Cider and ale.

RIVER: The ever-popular Crabble Corn Mill cider and ale festival is being held this weekend.

Doors open at 3pm on Friday and the fun continues until 7pm on Sunday.

There will be 52 ciders and 28 real ales on offer, along with music from several bands throughout the event.

A spokesman said: “This festival promises to be our best ever as it is getting more and more popular each year.

“Last year we had 1,238 visitors to the festival over the weekend and every effort is being made by the organisers to break this record number.” Friday is a ticket-only event due to the huge popularity.

■ Tickets are available online at Saturday’s admission is £3 and Sunday’s £2.

From the Dover Mercury, 7 January 2016.

A failed attempt to break into the Crabble Corn Mill over Christmas has caused £800 of damage.

Harry Reid 2016

Harry Reid, chairman of Crabble Com Mill Trust, said his volunteers are heartbroken after three hooded men were seen on CCTV destroying ladders that were chained to a fence and other security cameras on Tuesday, December 22.

Outside lighting was also damaged in the incident that happened between midnight and 2am.

Mr Reid said: “We are all volunteers who put on events to raise money for the mill and it just rains what we have done.

“We have given the CCTV images to the police.

“The volunteers are extremely disappointed - what they are seeing is the little bit of profit made from Christmas being swallowed up. All the hard work they put in for the events has been destroyed.”

The police confirmed they are investigating the incident.

A spokesman said: “It is thought three men were involved and officers are studying CCTV images to identify them.”

Mr Reid said it was heartbreaking for all the volunteers who took six weeks to put on the mill’s Christmas programme.

“So many people come from around the village to get these events going,” he said.

Dom Sharp, 37, from Crabble, has since set up a crowdfunding page online in a bid to help the mill recover some of the costs.

Miss Sharp, a university student, said: “I just wanted to help the mill out.

“I’m a local girl and I felt angry. All the hard work they do at the mill - it’s a cost they could do without.

“I’ve asked for £500 but anything else would be a bonus for its upkeep.”

To donate, visit:

■ Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 quoting crime ref: ZY/399/16 or Kent Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.


From the Dover Express, Thursday 30 May 2019. By KATIE BOYDEN

CROWDS of punters showed up to enjoy a pint or two at Crabble Corn Mill over the weekend.

The annual beer and cider festival took place across the bank holiday weekend and showcased 60 beers and 31 ciders from both local and national breweries.

There was live music on offer throughout the weekend from groups Stellar Talk, Endless Knot, Shameless, the Easy Street Buskers and Ade & Friends.

Visitors were able to enjoy their pint in the sunshine among the beautiful historic surroundings of the mill.




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