High Corn Mill Blog


Popular TV shows are giving today’s brides a false impression of the time it takes to find the perfect wedding dress.

But while programmes such as ‘Say Yes To The Dress’ and ‘Don’t Tell The Bride’ suggest great bridal gowns are easily grabbed, Skipton wedding dress retailer Mandy Abramson says it takes time to carefully research designers, reputable stockists and styles to ensure a proper fitting.

Said Mandy who owns Cinderella’s bridal boutique at High Corn Mill: “With ever-changing trends, it can be hard for brides to keep up to date with the latest fashions and styles. For example, we’re seeing a lot more interest in Hollywood glam and shimmering fabrics but the ‘vintage tea party’ style wedding is on the decline.

“While many television programmes make the cycle look super easy and speedy, in reality, the whole process can be a bit of a shock! Realistically, you need seven months to order a gown and allow time for alterations – I see hundreds of brides every year and usually just one in that period fits their dress perfectly!”

As the 2020 wedding season gets underway, these are Mandy’s top tips for choosing a wedding dress:

  • Have an open mind. We all know what shapes and sizes suit our body but try to let the store consultant guide you in what style would look best – no one knows those dresses better.
  • Limit your number of dress shopping guests. It can be difficult for a bride to be heard in a crowd full of opinions and thoughts – Mandy suggests no more than two to three people at a fitting.
  • Think choice. Does the shop have a large product range from different designers? How often do they update their stock?
  • Take your venue into account. For example, a slim-fit dress may be lost in a large space, but will a large frock fit in a small venue? Or if it’s overseas, will it be too heavy?
  • Look at recent reviews. A business might have been great five years ago, but it may not be the same owner. Before visiting, explore what recent customers have to say – join their social media pages and look at how the shop is interacting with other consumers.

Said Mandy: “When it comes to ordering your dress, expect to pay around 50% deposit and if you are buying off the peg, you’ll need to pay in full and take it away with you.

“Do not pay for anything in full unless you are taking the dress with you!  

“And be sure to ask for alteration prices before the work is done. If you feel the price is too much, don’t forget you’re entitled to take your dress to be altered elsewhere.”

Cinderella’s has been established since 1999. Based in Skipton’s High Corn Mill, it offers a wide choice of dresses from top UK designers RomanticaJennifer WrenPhoenixPureRichard DesignTiffanys.


Sexton & Co, the Skipton-based hair, beauty and nail salon has a new owner.

Long-serving employee Emma Day, who began working at Sexton & Co 16 years ago, has taken over from founder Tom Sexton who has gone out to pursue a new career around his passion for horses.

Said Long Lee-based Emma: “I’m delighted to become the new owner of Sexton & Co – Tom presented me with a fantastic opportunity and I simply couldn’t say no!

“Sexton & Co has been established since December 2003 and has a large, loyal customer base. It’s also the only salon in the town to have the latest CACI Synergy machinery – offering a non-surgical face lift.

“I have a number of exciting plans for the business, but my first priority is to build on the salon’s beauty offering, extending its services and expanding the hairdressing team.”

Located in the medieval High Corn Mill, Sexton & Co offers a wide range of services including hair treatments, manicures and pedicures, bridal makeup, waxing and massages.  

It employs a total of four members of staff; owner and hairdresser Emma Day, hairdresser Karen Cowens, nail technician Linda O’Hagan and beauty therapist Anne-Marie O’Hagan.

Situated in the heart of Skipton and just a stone’s throw away from the High Street, High Corn Mill has been an integral part of Skipton’s life for over 700 years with records dating back to 1310 and once formed part of the castle’s property. The mill’s offering for the 21st century is somewhat different to 700 years ago – educational fun and a selection of independent shops plus hair and beauty establishments.

For more information on treatments and offers please call 01756 709388 or visit www.sextonco.co.uk or https://www.facebook.com/TomSextons/

Picture shows L-R: Karen Cowens, Emma Day, Linda O’Hagan and Anne-Marie O’Hagan.


Skipton’s High Corn Mill has issued a charity calendar in aid of Parkinson’s UK.

The 2020 calendar features pictures of the town and surrounding areas including Skipton Castle, the woods, town centre and High Corn Mill, with all imagery supplied from local photographers Stephen Garnett Photography and S & A Photography.

All proceeds from the calendars will be donated to the selected charity.  

Said High Corn Mill’s owner, Andrew Mear: “Skipton is an amazing town so what better way to shout out about it to tourists and local residents than with a calendar that features stunning photography as well as supporting a great cause.

“I’ve chosen Parkinson’s UK as it’s a cause close to my heart – sadly my grandfather passed away from the disease so I’m looking to raise as much money as possible to help the organisation continue its excellent work.”

The calendar is available to purchase from The Home Company and other retail units based in the High Corn Mill and costs £15.00.  

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.


Skipton’s High Corn Mill on Chapel Hill is celebrating a second successful coffee morning in aid of MacMillan Cancer Support.  

The pop-up coffee morning, held on the top floor of the historic mill, raised £108.49 for the charity, which has been organising the annual nationwide ‘World’s Biggest Coffee Morning’ event for 28 years.

Said owner of the mill, Andrew Mear: “It’s great to see all the different businesses within the mill coming together to support such a great cause and make it a success for the second year running. We were also delighted to have members of the public come along to enjoy a cup of coffee and a slice of cake!”


Skipton’s High Corn Mill on Chapel Hill is hosting its second annual coffee morning on September 27 in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.

It will be encouraging its some 100 employees from businesses and retail outlets throughout the mill to ‘bake it or fake it’ in support of the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning. Members of the public are also welcome.

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: “As last year’s event was such a success with both employees and members of the public, raising an amazing £235 for the charity, we simply couldn’t say no!

“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 27th to enjoy a cup of tea or coffee and a slice of homemade cake – all in support of this very worthwhile cause – and make it a success for the second year running.”

If anyone would like to make a donation to the event or find out further details, please email davina@akapr.co.uk


One of Skipton’s oldest landmarks, the 14th century High Corn Mill, has seen tourist numbers rise following an increase in the town’s footfall of 1.2% within the last 52 weeks.*  

Owner of the historic mill, Andrew Mear said: “It’s great news that the town’s footfall levels are up by 1.2% as it’s a boost for the local area. The figures also suggest that the town’s footfall is up 2.5%* on the national average, which is superb!   

“It’s also encouraging to see so many people coming to the mill and taking advantage of its free attractions.”

It is the second year in a row that High Corn Mill has enjoyed uplifting visitor numbers.

Last year, the mill, situated at the entry to Skipton Castle Woods, enjoyed a 40% increase in tourist numbers.

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.

For more information on High Corn Mill, please see https://highcornmill.co.uk/

* Information taken from Skipton BID’s footfall counter analysis for the period ending 17th June 2019.


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.