A Brief History

Woodbridge was one of the first tide mills in the country, and was unquestionably the last one working – operating for well over 800 years.

The earliest record of a tide mill on this site by the River Deben is in 1170. It was owned by the Augustinian Priors for around 350 years until Henry VIII confiscated it, and for the next 28 years it was in royal ownership. Elizabeth I sold it to Thomas Seckford whose family owned it for over 100 years, followed by several private owners. In 1793 the present mill was built on the site of earlier ones. By the 1950s it had become the last working tide mill in the country, but in 1957 finally closed. It was saved in 1968, restored and opened to the public in 1973. Recently, further protection and restoration work has brought it back into use as a fully working tide mill as well being a fascinating and remarkable living example of our industrial and cultural heritage.

Pay a visit to the mill and discover the entire fascinating history!

Pit Wheel

What you need to know

Adult (16yrs+) – £5.00
Accompanied Child FREE OF CHARGE FOR AUGUST 2022 (normally 5-15yrs – £2.00)
Visitors with access limitations – Free


Book Advance Tickets

The Mill is open every day from 11am – 5pm

There is a calendar of wheel turning times at the top of this page

It is recommended that you allow up to an hour to visit the Mill’s three floors and outside area.

Woodbridge stands on the A12, the road that links London and Lowestoft and on the rail line that links Ipswich with Lowestoft. From either direction follow signs to Woodbridge and take any entrance into the town. The Tide Mill is by the river and accessible from several car parks. See the Plan Your Visit page for more details.

Woodbridge Tide Mill is a Grade I listed building dating back to 1793. As you can imagine this, together with the building being over three floors, does give us some challenges in being able to provide equitable access. Click the button to find out more.

Access Information