High Corn Mill Blog

Summer Holiday Family Fun At High Corn Mill

Parents looking to entertain youngsters during the long Summer holidays can enjoy a free day out exploring historic sights and scenery in Skipton.

So says Andrew Mear, owner of one of the town’s oldest landmarks, the 14th century High Corn Mill, a free visitor attraction close to Skipton Woods.

Said Andrew: “When the weather isn’t great, it’s easy to stay indoors and allow the kids to entertain themselves – but the Summer holidays present the perfect time to explore the local area and see things there isn’t otherwise time to do so.

“Finding something that’s both free and fun to do is important for many families, so a day out with a picnic is still a great favourite.

“High Corn Mill offers 700 years of history and children can enjoy learning about it at the free, fun and educational Waterwheel House and see the ancient water wheel and turbine located in the heart of the building.

“Open seven days a week, visitors can see the inner workings and get a close up view of the giant water wheel and pull the handle to turn the wheel.

“For those parents with non-stop energetic children, explore Skipton Castle Woods. Home to rare ancient woodland sites, there’s a four-kilometre circular walking route (Earl of Thanet) that starts at the mill and showcases some of the town’s industrial heritage and the woods’ upper paths. Once completed, have a short break and refuel with a picnic at the front of the mill, next to the canal and river on the grass.

“Or exit the woods via the walls of Skipton Castle (well worth a visit, although this is a paid-for attraction) and into the town centre.

“After lunch go and enjoy a walk along the canal and see all the brightly coloured, different types of boats.”

The mill is situated just a stone’s throw away from Skipton’s award-winning High Street and is home to a mix of quality independent shops, health, beauty and wellness services and businesses.

Said Andrew: “The mill has parking facilities meaning its easily accessible for all visitors.”

For more information on the Earl of Thanet Walking Trail, please see https://skipton.woodlandtrust.org.uk/things-to-see-and-do/


Physiotherapy business Physio Phoenix has relocated to Skipton’s Victoria Square.

Established by Carleton-based Ruth Skinner its new location will enable the business to provide a wider range of services.

Ruth qualified as a physiotherapist in 2001 and has extensive experience and knowledge of working across many different settings both privately and in the NHS.

Said Ruth: “It’s great to finally get my own premises – I’m excited to see what the future holds for Physio Phoenix! Our new central base will enable me to service a greater number of local residents with a wider choice of options.” 

The rapidly expanding Physio Phoenix team currently consists of Ruth and Michelle Thersby, both experienced chartered physiotherapists who also offer acupuncture.

Jasmine Pennett, who previously played rugby for Yorkshire and has also represented the country in running, will be on hand to deliver sports massage. She is currently undergoing extra training to allow her to provide a specialist service to cancer sufferers.

Claire Occardi will also be based in the premises offering clinical hypnotherapy.

Andrew Mear, md of Eagerlux Properties which owns the premises, added: “We are delighted to welcome Physio Phoenix to Victoria Square. It’s great to support other local businesses and its new central location means that it should do very well.”

Ruth has a passion for sports including running, cycling, Pilates, yoga and wild swimming.

For more information about Physio Phoenix and the services provided please contact: Ruth@physiophoenix.com or 07849774538.

Opening hours are variable and include evenings and some weekends. Physio Phoenix is also looking for another chartered physiotherapist to join the team to offer further appointment slots.

The physiotherapy business is sponsoring the Carleton Sheeplechase on July 14. For information visit https://www.facebook.com/sheeplechase/  


A battle of wits is being played out at Skipton’s High Corn Mill where a small flock of pigeons has taken on the management – and is winning!

The unwanted pigeons are causing havoc around the car park and outside of the building, aerial ‘bombing’ cars and the historic mill’s roof space with their distinctive deposits.

But despite repeated attempts to move the birds on, mill owner Andrew Mear says he’s fighting a losing battle.

“We’ve tried everything over the past 12 months, but they just won’t take the hint,” said Andrew. “Our first tactic was to use fake owls which are supposed to frighten them off, but they mistook them for friends and just sat next to them.

“Next we decided to use a more aggressive deterrent and bought Harry the Hawk. He swung around on a stick and was actually quite terrifying – but mysteriously vanished before he could see any of them off.

“These birds are cleverer than you think and don’t seem to want to leave us at all. They’ve made a comfortable home at the mill, get well fed by people walking along the nearby canal – and they definitely seem to know me now. Whenever I arrive they give me a look which says ‘What’s he going to try next?”

Andrew’s latest tactic has been to buy special deterrent netting for the roof of the building – but so far that hasn’t done the trick either. He said: “Far from stopping them landing on the roof and creating a mess, they see it as a cosy nesting site and have made themselves even more at home. It’s hard to know what to try next – but the battle goes on!”

High Corn Mill is one of the oldest buildings in the town with over 700 years of history. The ancient mill offers a great mix of quality independent shops and health, beauty and wellness services and located within the heart of the building is the fun, free educational attraction, Waterwheel House.


Children are being invited to ‘rock up’ at Skipton’s High Corn Mill this Easter – for a hunt with a difference!

Rocks painted by pupils at First Steps Nursery on Newmarket Street have been placed around the popular tourist attraction on Chapel Hill for children to find, with five Easter egg prizes up for grabs.

There will be 10 painted rocks to find and five winners will be chosen on 23 April and announced on The Home Company’s Facebook and Twitter pages and High Corn Mill’s website.

Said Andrew Mear, owner of the mill: “Following the success of our Santa Trails at Christmas, we wanted to do something fun outdoors this spring. And what child doesn’t want an extra chocolate egg at Easter? We hope lots of people joy in the egg hunt and find the lovely decorated rocks created by First Steps Nursery.”

To join in, pick up a form at The Innovation Centre downstairs in the mill and fill in where you have seen the rocks. Once you have found all 10 (or as many as you can find), post your form back at the Innovation Centre or hand it in to The Home Company.


A brand new beauty salon is bringing a touch of the X Factor to Skipton.

Beautique has opened on the corner of Victoria and Albert Street and is the only salon in Skipton to stock the Beauty Lab International product range, as used and endorsed by the recent X Factor finalists.

Said salon owner Natacha Young: “After working freelance for four years I was keen to find premises of my own. In a stroke of luck my mum spotted that the Organic Ship was closing and the unit’s landlord, Andrew Mear, was able to have the premises ready for me in just four weeks!

“All my clients have followed me and are loving the new space and the new Beauty Lab product range. I have two floors here, one dedicated to nails, reception and a comfortable waiting area and the other is a totally private space for treatments like facials and massages. I’ve already had lots of enquires and bookings from new customers, thanks to its prominent location.”

Andrew Mear, md of Eagerlux Properties which owns the premises added: “Natacha’s done an amazing job of sympathetically transforming what is probably one of the oldest retail properties in Skipton into a really modern salon.”

Beautique is open Tues 9am-6pm; Wed to Sat 9am-7pm, Fri 9am-6pm and Saturday 9am-4pm. For further information telephone 01756 228020.


Businesses at Skipton’s High Corn Mill on Chapel Hill were inspired to pool their resources to host a Bake Off and coffee morning in aid of MacMillan Cancer Support on Friday morning.
The pop-up coffee morning, held on the top floor of the historic mill, raised £245 for the charity, which has been organising the annual nationwide ‘World’s Biggest Coffee Morning’ event for 27 years.
Organiser of the event, Victoria Benn from AKA PR, which is based in the mill, said: “It was wonderful to see all the different businesses here coming together to make the event a success. Raffle prizes and cake donations came from all quarters including; Just Teachers, The Frame Shop, Tom Sexton Hair Stylists, The Spirit of Pilates, Cinderella’s, The Lightwell Practice and The Home Co. We were also delighted to have members of the public come along to enjoy a cup of coffee and a slice of cake!”



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One of Skipton’s oldest landmarks, the 14th century High Corn Mill, situated at the entry to Skipton Woods, has enjoyed record visitor numbers.
The best ever summer for more than a generation ensured visitor numbers to the historic attraction were up a massive 40%.
Said Andrew Mear, md of High Corn Mill: “The great weather brought people out in their droves this summer, so it has been wonderful to see so many people taking advantage of High Corn Mill’s free attractions. Indications are that visitor numbers are up 40%, a fantastic boost to the whole area which also features the entrance to Skipton Woods.”
Built in 1310, the mill was originally established by Robert de Clifford to grind corn for the castle and the town. After being purchased by the Mear family in 1990, High Corn Mill took on its most recent incarnation as home to a portfolio of independent shops and businesses.
The ancient water wheel which once powered the mill’s grinding stones, now the focal point of the free visitor attraction, can still be turned using a special handle. Sat alongside it, Eller Beck now powers a carbon neutral water turbine which generates enough energy to supply all the businesses within the mill, plus the surrounding residential areas. The mill also features several industrial artefacts and an exhibition about its 700 year history.


Employee’s at Skipton’s High Corn Mill on Chapel Hill are gearing up to ‘bake it or fake it’ for the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning on September 28, in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.
The event, which starts at 10.30am and runs until 12.30pm, is being organised by High Corn Mill landlord Andrew Mear and AKA PR, whose offices are situated within the 12th century building.
Said Andrew: “High Corn Mill houses well over 100 employees who work for a range of different businesses and retail outlets, so we have a ready-made audience – and potential bakers – for this great national charity event.
“We are hoping that all employees, their customers and members of the general public will come along to the top floor of the mill on the morning of the 28th to enjoy a cup of tea or coffee and a slice of homemade cake – all in support of this very worthwhile cause.”
If anyone would like to make a donation to the event or find out further details, please email victoria@akapr.co.uk


The latest addition to Skipton’s flourishing Victoria Square is Greenwood, a unique gourmet café bistro.
Opening its doors on August 23, highly regarded chef Helen Nixon and former management trainer Gillian Hodgson, both from Haworth, had been searching for the perfect venue in which to launch their first venture together.
Said Gillian: “Victoria Square has a lovely European café culture feel to it, which just felt perfect for our café bistro. During the day Greenwood is a stylish but traditional café, serving everything from soup and sandwiches to more gourmet foodie inspired dishes. However, what makes it that little bit special is that during the evening it transforms into an intimate bistro, with damask table cloths and a full artisan anglo-Mediterranean menu.”
Added Helen, who has previously worked at the Mitre Carlton in London: “I love creating gorgeous food with fresh local ingredients. All our food is locally sourced and made fresh to order, so absolutely everything can be tweaked to accommodate any dietary needs. Word of mouth has meant that we’ve already been quite busy and have received some fantastic feedback, especially about our evening bistro, which has been a great start for us.”
Landlord of Greenwood, Andrew Mear, said: “Gillian and Helen have transformed 6 Victoria Square into a stylish modern café bistro which really enhances this unique Skipton backwater.”

Greenwood is open Monday to Wednesday 9-6pm and Thursday to Saturday 9-5pm, then from 7-11pm for the evening bistro. On Sundays it is opens 9-6pm offering a full Sunday lunch menu. For further information visit www.greenwoodbistroltd.co.uk


The new owners of Huddersfield’s iconic former grammar school, Huddersfield College, are appealing for information and photographs about its former incarnations.
Brothers Andrew, Nicholas and Simon Mear, owners of San Pedro Properties which recently acquired Highfields, the Grade II listed former Huddersfield College building, want to incorporate elements of the property’s distinguished past into its refurbishment and redevelopment.
Said Andrew Mear: “Huddersfield College has a great personal significance to us since both our father and his sister studied there. Our plans are to convert Highfields into 33 plus very spacious, high spec apartments, which also in some way, through the incorporation of important names, facts or historical imagery, reflects the key milestones of the building’s history.”
If anyone has any information, stories, plans or photographs the brothers would be delighted if copies could be forwarded to ajmear@hotmail.com.
Built in 1839 at a cost of £5,000, the stunning 33,000 sq ft building was designed by JP Pritchett. With its distinctive castle battlement style parapet, it was originally a boy’s grammar school before becoming Huddersfield College in 1909. It later became part of Huddersfield Technical College in 1975.
The £1.2M development and makeover is due to start shortly, with the first apartments being released for rental later in the year.

High Corn Mill