Mapledurham House and Water Mill.If you would like this blog as a free app, you can find it here.
We chose to visit on one of the days there was an event. Yesterday it was a falconry day and we saw many birds of prey. The Falconry day was put in by Extreme Falconry, who are based in Dorset. I have seen several birds of prey shows but this company was, by far, the most knowledgeable and entertaining. The owner has been in the business for 40 years so really knows his stuff. Their website is here. They are currently trying to raise £5,000 for a bird hospital. My children enjoyed the 'show' as much as myself and my husband.
Mapledurham is off the A4174 between Crowmarsh and Reading, much nearer to Reading. The road to the house is quite long and down windy country roads; you may feel you are lost but you won't be. When you arrive you can pay by card but this involves a call to the restaurant and a walk to its till.
The house is not open all the time. Please check here.
The house and water mill are on the Thames. Mapledurham is right next to Caversham and across the river from Purley on Thames, although there is no bridge to get across to Purley. The mill is the only working water mill on the Thames. It is possible to buy flour from the shop, along with preserves and a few other products, which are produced on site. The shop is open to the public, which is good news because I have developed a liking for their marmalade. It is possible to watch the miller at work. Unfortunately under 18s are not allowed, which is a shame if you have, like me, a child obsessed with Aunty Mable and her show 'Come Outside'. Shop opening times and details of the day with the miller are here.
The mill isn't the only interesting feature. The house also has its own electricity generator in the form of an Archimede's screw. This provided endless fascination for my children.
There is a lovely, and not too expensive, restaurant which sells ice cream, scones and cakes. The coffee is filter coffee.
The House is lovely. It is occupied by the family and so most of it is shut off from the public, although the gentleman of the house was also watching the falconry yesterday and was eager that we all had a good time.
We learnt that the house has two priest holes. Unfortunately they are not open to the general public. One is beneath the hearth of a fireplace - which you can read about here - and the other behind the altar in the, still used, family chapel. If you are catholic the family welcomes you to worship in their chapel on an appointed Sunday of each month. My daughter is very interested in Priest holes after seeing one at Baddesley Clinton house, a National Trust property.
Another interesting feature, if you like this sort of thing, is that the cushion Queen Victoria knelt on during her coronation is on display.
There are occasionally boat rides. You can use this company, which starts from Caversham and takes you to the watermill. Sometimes boats leave from the mill and take you back again but it's best to check on their website.
If you are looking for a day out in the summer 'Robin Hood The Musical' is on in the grounds of the house on 12th August at 1pm. you can book tickets here.
You can find Mapledurham House on this map.
This is a Gingko tree, which you can find about here.
Lots of lovely roses in this garden.
The shop is inside the mill, below.
Diagram showing how the mill operates...
As of 27th June 2015...
An array of produce...
Caversham Park Gardens. Information can be found here. I've not been here yet, but I shall!
At the moment there is an open air cult cinema. The programme for which can be found here.
Mapledurham playing fields.
Tokers Green park.
Gallowstree Common park
Kidmore End park.