Beechwood Bed and Breakfast is close to many National Trusts one being Batemans. Just North of Beechwood B and B a 35 minute drive and you will arrive in the beautiful countryside of Burnish where you will find Batemans. Rudyard Kipling could see beyond the shabby farmhouse that Bateman’s had become: its history never ceased to inspire him throughout the 34 years he lived here.
‘Behold us,’ he wrote in November 1902, ‘lawful owners of a grey stone, lichened house – A.D.1634 over the door – beamed, panelled, with old oak staircase and all untouched and unfaked.’
Bateman’s after the Kiplings
After Kipling’s death in 1936 Bateman’s passed to his wife Carrie. Following her death in 1939 the house and 330 acres of land were given to us as a memorial to her husband.
The restoration of the mill
The mill was subject to a major restoration programme between 1969 and 1975 as it had fallen into a sad state of repair. The generator was still there but the turbine casing was split due to it being allowed to freeze-up in the late 1920s. At that time an oil-engine driven generator was installed near the battery house to give house lighting until the mains supply came in the early 1930s.
The Royal Engineers rebuilt the turbine-generator and a team of volunteers tended to repairs on the fabric of the mill and her machinery, including replacing the waterground floor had disappeared and the roof was broken and leaking. Some of the brickwork was rotten and the weatherboarding of the outside walls needed replacement. Woodworm and beetle had attacked the machinery and the framwork. The site was overgrown and the waterways choked.
The mill continued to grind quite happily until last year when the the axle tree started to emit some unfamiliar and worrying noises, so it was decided that after 40 years of service a new one was needed. Fund raising for £150,000 was started for this major project which will include improvements to the mill’s water supply so that milling can take place more frequently.
In August 2016 the old axle tree was removed and a new one has been created by Ian Clark Restorations. It is hoped that the new parts will be put back early in 2017.