Just outside of Wimborne at a crossing point on the River Stour is the village of Walford. The name 'Walford' is derived from the old word for wobbly, or uncertain, denoting that the river crossing was a treacherous ford.

The history of the mill at Walford is clouded in uncertainty. In David Popham's book 'The History of Wimborne' there is a reference to a 'mille at Wimburn Town Centre end' which is believed to refer to Walford Mill in the 16th century.

The existing main building is believed to date from 1760/70. It is also believed that at this time the mill was powered by 2 waterwheels of the undershot type and about 2.4 metres in diameter. There is, however, no evidence left in the building of this period.

The mill complex had a chequered history, particularly after it ceased operation as a working mill in 1966. From this date is was used successively as a coal yard, builders yard and a furniture showroom. The Dorset Craft Guild, a registered educational charity formed in 1978, was invited to take on the lease of the mill at a peppercorn rent from 1986. Subsequently the mill has gained a reputation as a centre of excellence for contemporary British craft and design.

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