Farfield Mill

Your Visit

Farfield Mill caters for many interests and ages, offering a vareity of experiences and facilities, including:

  • Heritage displays, telling the fascinating story of the Mill
  • Working looms (weekends only at the moment)
  • Exhibitions by local, national and international artists
  • Children's activities
  • Open artists studios - to observe or rent
  • Resident artists working in a variety of mediums
  • Shopping
  • Refreshments
  • Demonstrations (at specific times)
  • Access for disabled visitors throughout the Mill
  • Education visits for schools by appointment (see below)
  • Group visits (see below)
  • Lift to all levels
  • Toilet on all levels
  • Free car park
  • Coaches by appointment

Schools visits

To book a visit for your school, please email here.

Group visits

We cater for large groups - up to 45 people can be accommodated with prior booking - and can arrange demonstrations (subject to availability) and lunch in our fabulous Café.

“Thank you to everyone involved in being so flexible and making it so easy to hold an event – especially given we’d had to rearrange because of the Cumbrian floods in November. Everyone enjoyed the meal in the Café and I was terribly tempted to stay to tea but couldn't. I am sure that we shall all be revisiting the Mill.” Elizabeth Haworth, The Arthur Ransome Society (www.arthur-ransome.org)

"On behalf of the society, I should like to thank you and those involved for making our visit to Farfield Mill so interesting. Everything ran like clockwork and your introduction talk was most inspirational. Please thank David McDowell for introducing us to the workings of the loom - so good to get a real close up viewing of work in action." Jen Callis, Upper Eden History Society

For more details or to book a group visit, please call 015396 21958. Or email here.

Special requirements

If you have special requirements, please call 015396 21958 or just ask our staff at Reception on arrival.

Getting Around

Farfield Mill is built into a hillside rising steeply from the River Clough and is therefore accessible from the ground on three levels. In the Mill's past, this helped efficient delivery of yarn and collection of made-up cloth and is still useful today for access to the main entrance on Level 3, access to the galleries on Level 2 for artists delivering and collecting artwork, and to Weavers Café on Level 1 (alongside the river). There is also lift access to all levels and disable facilities on each floor.

So Much on Every Level...

A display on Level 2, including a short film about 'The Terrible Knitters of Dent', tells the fascinating story of the Mill and the woollen industry.

Farfield Mill's Resident Artists on Levels 2, 3 and 4 can often be seen working in their studios creating exceptional work. This work is available for sale in our retail galleries on Levels 3 and 4, alongside an unrivalled selection of high-quality art and craft by other artists, many from the region.

Three formal exhibition spaces on Level 2, the Howgill Gallery, the Dover Gallery and 2K show a changing programme of high-quality exhibitions, both touring and curated by the Mill's exhibition staff or invited artists. Additionally, selected artwork is displayed in a number of informal exhibition spaces across the Centre, including The Stairwell at the heart of the Mill and the Loft Gallery.

Level 4 is home to the Mill's collection of floor and hand looms - and on most weekdays, you can see weavers busy at the looms, working on their own projects; they are usually happy to talk about their work and what they are creating. Local lace-makers and rag-rug makers also demonstrate in this area on certain days each month.

Our working Dobcross  and Somet looms on Level 1 (weekends only) illustrate how we're continuing the Mill's weaving heritage by producing our own cloth. This level also offers you one of the best cafés in Sedbergh, Weavers Café (with free entry for all visitors) and from here, you can observe the weaving operation through an internal window.

"I love it here: a delicious pleasure - every sense appealed to." Rachel Raven, West Drayton, Middlesex

DISCOVERY & INSPIRATION

Weaving Production

Our Dobcross and Somet looms are worked on by Weaver David McDowell and his weaving apprentice Juliette Labourne at weekends. These machines produce the cloth used to create Farfield Mill's exclusive in-house designs. You can purchase travel rugs and throws made from this cloth, in the Souvenir Shop. Or call Reception on 015396 21958 to place an order over the phone. (We're sorry, but our online facility is currently out of action.)

"Enjoyed looking at how you [sow] blankets." Alexandra, aged 8, Garsdale Head

We also offer short-run contract weaving using your designs and yarn, woven by our expert weavers on the looms. For more information or to discuss your weaving needs, please contact Lesley on 015396 21958.

The Mill uses wool from local Rough Fell Sheep on its looms and a Rough Fell Sheep video is situated on level 4.

Exhibitions

Our three formal galleries, the Howgill Gallery, the Dover Gallery and 2K, show regular changing exhibitions of art and applied arts throughout the year. Here, you will find wonderful and inspiring work by established local, regional and national artists, as well work by emerging new talents – sometimes still in formal education.

Demonstrations

You can watch weavers working on their own projects on the Mill's floor and table looms on Level 4, alongside other craft workers, including lace-makers and rag-rug makers. All demonstrators are usually very happy to talk to you about their work and answer your questions.

If you specifically wish to come and see any of these demonstrators, please call 015396 21958 to check when the group is next in the Centre.

"Very nice - I enjoyed watching and doing the lacemaking." Lizzie, Clitheroe

Collections

Looms

Since it opened to the public in 2001, Farfield Mill has been loaned, donated or has acquired a number of looms, which now form part of the Mill’s Collection of Floor and Table Looms on Level 4. You can watch our volunteer weaving demonstrators working on their own projects on these looms during the week (not weekends), when they are happy to talk about their work and answer questions. If you specifically wish to come and see particular demonstrators, it's best to call 015396 21958 to check when they are next in the Centre.

"The lady weaving on the top floor was so interesting and generous with her time." Gill Priestley, Glasgow

REFRESHMENTS

A trip to Farfield Mill has to include a visit to Weavers Café, where our catering team will tempt you with a selection of mouth-watering dishes ranging from Farfield-made cakes, scones and tray-bakes, with tea or coffee, to delicious light lunches.

"The coffee shop is simply gorgeous!" A & J Burden, Wiltshire

"Enjoyed the lovely food!" Robert Dixon, Ingleton

Sample our daily lunch specials with a distinctly Cumbrian flavour, using locally-sourced produce - and all prepared on the premises by our own chef. Or call in on Sunday (12-3) for a traditional Sunday lunch, although we have become pretty popular for Sunday Lunches so booking ahead to avoid disappointment is advisable.

We also cater for large groups. Up to 45 people can be accommodated with prior booking. We can arrange a guided tour of the Mill and lunch in our fabulous cafe. Please call Sharon on 015396 21159 for more details or to book a group visit.

SHOPPING

Made @ Farfield

Our Farfield Resident Artists produce items for sale in their studios. You can talk to them about the work before purchasing it and even commission work from them if you don't see exactly what you want.

Farfield Mill Rugs and Throws

At Farfield Mill, we naturally sell the rugs and throws woven on our Dobcross looms - and you can pick one up at various points throughout the Centre. They make beautiful and unique gifts as well as lasting souvenirs of a visit to the Lakes and Dales. If you live further afield, we would be happy to post these out to you; please call us on 015396 21958 and we can talk you through the available designs and colours.

The Retail Galleries

Looking for that one-off gift for a special person or a special occasion? Our Retail Gallery across two floors displays high-quality art and crafts, much of which is produced in the North West. From fine art, sculpture and ceramics, to jewellery and textiles, there's sure to be something to delight the recipient - as much as the giver!

"One of the best craft places we have been to." K Griffiths, Levens

The Souvenir Shop

If you're looking for a place to buy a souvenir of your visit to Farfield Mill, then drop into the Shop on Level 3. Along with calendars, postcards and hand-made cards, you'll find a selection of children's toys, plus smaller gifts, including jewellery and locally-produced soaps and sweets.

In addition to our characteristic Farfield Mill throws and blankets in the Retail Galleries, and our range of lovely souvenirs, you can also purchase textile kits, yarns and specialist books.

Avril's Books

Avril's Books at Farfield Mill is a specialist textile bookshop on Level 3. You'll find a broad selection of second-hand textile books in a cosy, relaxed setting - and if you can't find what you need, Avril can usually source it! Why not buy your book, then retire to one of our sofas in the Café...?

avrilsbooks@aol.com