DESPITE flood and structural damage, a landmark in Winchester is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year.

The Winchester City Mill, on Bridge Street, is in need of essential repair after flooding beneath the ground floor forced the wheels to temporarily stop turning - but that did not halt millers’ celebrations of its tenth year of milling stone-ground flour.

The occasion was marked with a visit from Dame Helen Ghosh, Director General of the National Trust.

The Mill, which at 270 years old is one of the oldest working watermills in the country, had previously undergone an ambitious 12 year restoration programme by the National Trust, after standing motionless for 90 years.

Dame Helen said: “I was delighted to join the team at Winchester City Mill to celebrate their tenth anniversary.

“I enjoyed looking around the Mill and hearing from the volunteer millers and bakers about their work, as well as sampling some of their baking. I was also wonderful to see the CCTV film of the otters, who are regular visitors.

“Despite the recent flooding, spirits were high and we hope the Mill will be back in full working order very soon.”

Once repairs are completed, the Mill will return to being a hive of activity, with its 16 millers grinding corn every weekend and Wednesday, whilst others package the flour, and manager Anne Aldridge said the visit boosted morale.

“We’ve had a tough time at the Mill recently, but whilst the flood damage means we’ve had to temporarily stop milling, most of the Mill remains open for business so we can continue to welcome visitors,” she said.

“It was lovely to have something to celebrate last week, and the visit from the Trust’s Director General has really boosted morale – we can’t wait to get the huge water wheel back in action!”

Winchester City Mill continues its celebrations with events throughout the year, including a Cadbury Easter egg trail challenge from April 18-21.