AN 18th century mill used by thousands of visitors over they years as a youth hostel has been put up for sale.
Gradbach Mill Youth Hostel, which is near to The Roaches and Flash village, just outside Leek, has been put on the market by the Youth Hostel Association (YHA) of England and Wales.
The property includes the mill and two ancillary detached buildings, in the form of an expansive stone built farmhouse together with staff accommodation. The sale also includes 16.86 acres of land.
The sale is being conducted by Meller Braggins at its Macclesfield office by informal tender, with the closing date set at noon on Friday, September 6. The guide price set by the estate agent is £350,000.
It is unclear whether the site would be re-used as a centre for visitors. If it were put to another use, planning permission would be needed.
The estate agent’s guide said: “The cluster of properties occupy a glorious setting at the foot of the valley along which the River Dane runs.
“The main building comprises a magnificent two-storey wide front structure, and this is complemented by a redundant farmhouse which is ancillary to the main building, as indeed is the detached two-storey built building to the rear that is currently utilised as staff accommodation.
“The whole is generally well maintained and has successfully operated for a number of years as a 92-bed youth hostel, and is equipped as such, impressively so for that matter, and provides extensive sleeping accommodation with ancillary showers, toilets and set within 16.86 acres.”
A spokesman for the YHA told the Post & Times: “This has been a difficult decision as it is a lovely hostel in a beautiful area.
“The accessibility, however, has proved difficult as it is a single track road in some places, which is not been ideal for young people.
“There has been 9,000 overnight stays in the last year, but these numbers have been declining.
“We would need to invest more money in the property at a time we have already have several other premises in the area. The sale of Gradbach Mill will raise funds to use elsewhere.
“We have invested £17 million over the last three years in our properties.
“This money has come from selling premises and also fund-raising.” The agents state in their advertising schedule that it is understood the property originates from the 18th century, and records suggests that it was badly damaged in a fire in 1785 and was subsequently rebuilt.
It was one of two in the area that was used for the manufacture of flax in the mid-19th century.