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The historic Nieu-Bethesda Watermill

Nieu-Bethesda is a place you have to explore on foot. Slowly. At your own pace. One of the historic buildings most people miss when visiting the village is the old watermill. The mill was erected in 1860 by Mr B.J. Pienaar, on the original farm, Uitkyk. The original wooden waterwheel was later replaced by the existing metal one. The wheel is driven by water from the village’s ancient stone leivore. The leivore date back to the early days of the village. Residents who have leivore running past their properties pay a minimal amount for water rights annually and channel water into their gardens using smaller gated funnels on the days when the water flows in that part of town.

The watermill has been restored and a couple of locals mill wheat that is used in kitchens like Sterlings Restaurant and Outsiders. Unfortunately, my timing just hasn’t been good and I haven’t had the opportunity to see it work yet.

Getting to the mill if you’re walking from the Owlhouse, cross the bridge opposite the Owlhouse to the west bank of the river to the mill. Or drive around.