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Riverside Café

Treat yourself to something tasty from the Riverside Café in the Welcome Building. If you're seeking a morning coffee, light bite for lunch or a tasty treat, we have a seasonal menu to suit. The café is accessible for disabled visitors and families, with seating both indoors and outside. You do not need to pay admission to visit the café.

Opening times:

Tuesday to Sunday and bank holiday Mondays, 10.30am-5pm.

Last orders are at 4.30pm.

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Victorian Machinery & Exhibition

Our creel, which looks like an upturned boat hull, is thought to be the only surviving example of its type still in use today. Along with the warping mill, seen in the background, it is thought to be over 130 years old.

Our weaving shed’s historic layout was designed to fit a large number of looms in a small space, to increase productivity and reduce running costs. The power looms were manufactured between the 1890s and 1960s. It can take at least three weeks to thread up a loom before weaving can begin. The weaving itself is a relatively quick process; it is possible to weave five metres of plain silk taffeta a day.

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Original Mill Wheel

The Mill is built on Frog Island, around which the River Test and its tributary flow. The crystal clear waters have provided the Mill with power for over 200 years, by driving our cast iron waterwheel, which was made in the 1890s. It is an undershot waterwheel, meaning that the river flows under the wheel, turning it as it goes. On the top floor of the Mill you can discover how a system of interconnecting gears and shafts transmits the power to the silk winding frames

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The Mill Shop

Our shop can be found in the Welcome Building, conveniently close to the car parks. It’s a beautiful contemporary space to browse. Discover exclusive, seasonal ranges and items created from silk woven on our historic machinery, as well as products related to our events and exhibitions.

Opening times:

Tuesday–Sunday and bank holiday Mondays, 10.30am–5pm.

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The gardens

After exploring the Mill take a stroll around our gardens, and enjoy stunning views of the River Test. The land on which the Mill is built is known as Frog Island, but no one knows how it got this name.

Ask at the shop for our Nature Trail and look out for the colourful markers around the gardens. Why not do some wildlife spotting. The ducks are always friendly and the river is full of fish and other river creatures to discover.

Plan your visit

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  • The Mill (Tue-Sun & Bank Holidays) 10:30am - 5pm
  • Riverside Café (Tue-Sun) 10:30am - 5pm

Please check for information on closures and notices. Last entry is 4pm. Last orders in the café 4.30pm.
(Café also open bank holidays)

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Buying your tickets online is the most convenient way to book your visit.

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Whitchurch Silk Mill
28 Winchester Street
RG28 7AL

Getting here
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