After a two year search the Trust first discovered The Old Sawmills in April 2006, when it was suggested to us by Devon Renaissance that they new of a building that might be suitable for our purpose.
The grade II listed building dates back to 1810 when, powered by the waters of the adjacent river Bray, it was originally the Fortescue Estates flour mill. One of the old millstones from the first floor survives and has been retained, placed in the entrance lobby as a reminder of the buildings history. The remains of the wheel race and turbine also survive under the floor of the gallery on the ground floor.
At some point (we don’t know when) its use changed and it became the sawmills for the estates once thriving forestry business, employing we believe some 60 people at its peak, supplying tanninised timber and making gates, doors, bridges etc for customers across North Devon.
This business was closed in 1998 and the Old Mill remained empty until September 2006 when work began on the renovation work for the 360° Trust.
With initial grants from UnLtd, Devon Renaissance, Devon Leader+ and private capital plus continuous investment by the Trust as it has grown the Mill has been transformed to provide over 3000 square feet over three floors of workshop, studio and gallery space and a stunning home for 360° and its members.