ONE OF our historic buildings just over the moors from Keighley is celebrating 10 years #OffTheGrid.

Gibson Mill, on the Hardcastle Crags estate at Hebden Bridge, has been owned by the National Trust since 1958, and open to the public for 10 years.

During that decade it has operated without a connection to the outside world for energy, water and waste.

The 10 year celebration contributes perfectly with the National Trust’s drive to use 50 per cent renewable energy for all of its properties by 2020.

Gibson Mill is actually the only property in the Trust’s care which is 100 per cent renewable.

Gibson Mill was built around 1800 and is located in a remote part of Hardcastle Crags next to Hebden Water.

One of the first mills of the industrial revolution, it was driven by a water wheel. Initially producing cotton yarn, the addition of the weaving shed in 1840 led to the production of cotton cloth.

At the turn of the century it started a new life as an Entertainment Emporium with roller skating and tea dances, until 1940 when it fell into ruin.

Ten years ago the National Trust’s restoration of Gibson Mill began as a means to create a fully sustainable ‘Off the Grid’ building, to offer a cafe facility and visitor centre, telling the history of the mill.

Due to its remote location at the heart of Hardcastle Crags – a place locally referred to as ‘Little Switzerland’ because of the scenic woodland pathways that criss-cross it - the development of the mill was based on making the best use of the available resources.

It was a conscious decision by the National Trust to enhance the natural surroundings which are enjoyed by thousands of walkers and families throughout the year.

Today, as it was when it opened with a new lease of life, 100 per cent of the energy at Gibson Mill is generated through water turbines and photovoltaic panels on the roof with no mains connection.

This of course presents its challenges, but is one staff and volunteers at the mill share with great enthusiasm to all that visit the mill, proud of the green approach to operating a busy visitor attraction.

There can be times on busy days, especially if it has been cloudy and dry, when there is limited or insufficient water or light to provide the necessary power.

There will be a Dawn Chorus Walk on June 26 from 4am to 7.30pm, offering an outstanding natural orchestral performance.

Other guided walks: Twin Pikes on July 30, 10 miles goes steeply up to Pecket Pike head through Hebden Bridge and on the other moors above Horsehold; Lumb Falls and Walshaw on August 20, five miles taking in the beautiful but little-frequented Crimsworth Dean; Packhorse Trails on September 17, exploring the heritage of ancient parts used are transporting salt, lime and cloth.

Gibson Mill is open daily (except Fridays) from 11am to 4pm. Visit or call 01422 844518 for further information.