The Ilfracombe Bicclescombe Mill landmark and tearoom is set to reopen after a three-year closure.
The 18th century mill in Bicclescombe Park closed in 2019 and is currently being renovated thanks to the work of its new owners. Lee & Gayle D’Arcy, of High Bickington, have been undertaking the refurbishment over the past few months and plan to reopen the tea room at the end of May.
Believed to date from the late 18th century, the mill was sold to Ilfracombe Urban District Council in 1933. After falling into a state of disrepair, the Rotary Club of Ilfracombe set out to restore the mill, which led to the overhaul of a majority machinery. After 10 years of restoration work by the Rotary Club, the English Tourist Board has provided a grant to cover the cost of completing the remaining work. This included converting the adjoining farmhouse into tea rooms and a craft center with additional funding from Ilfracombe Urban District Council.
Once open, the tea room will welcome dogs and serve light lunches, cream teas, breakfasts and pastries. The Devonshire family also plans to host a variety of events throughout the summer and will be available to host private events.
New owner Lee D’Arcy said the tea room aims to embrace the mill’s history and eccentricity and tie it into elegant yet comfortable decor.
He said: ‘We are delighted to be opening the doors to the tea room this month and hope that families will come with their children and dogs and join us for a cup of tea and cake. We want to be stewards of this magnificent building and our renovations will hopefully help it survive long into the future.
You can follow the evolution of the tea room via its Facebook page.