The Willow Works on Old Trent Road is the only surviving building of what was once one of the main cottage industries of Beckingham. Many villagers were employed both at the Willow Works and from home to help in the willow industry to create items such as baskets, fencing etc.
An earlier building once stood alongside the River Trent by Dog Island and much of the land round about was dedicated to willow growing.
The Old Willow Works has created great interest for its potential to the village of Beckingham. Through grants received from various bodies it has been possible to save the building from total collapse and help to create a multi-functional amenity. The Willow Works has been re-roofed and re-pointed, with new windows and doors and vents in the roof in-keeping with the original style. In addition bat boxes and Barn Owl nestboxes have been installed in the loft area.
The next stage of the Willow Works has created interior display areas for use by the community, stand-alone units available for businesses to rent, an office and storage facilities for the village History Group and a function room for hire for appropriate events. The area outside the building has been landscaped with willow planting, interpretive notice boards, ponds, car park and a picnic area. The north and south boundaries now have maturing native-species hedges to give protection to flora and fauna from the cold easterly winds which can blow across the flood plain.
The following pages follow the Willow Works through from its rich history through the renovation work carried out and to the present day where it is open for business and taking bookings.
Various rooms at The Willow Works are available to hire. These include the Function/Conference room, two exhibition rooms and the outside area. Prices vary depending on room usage. As the Willow Works is a community venue, special rates may apply for local residents. Please note that use and ownership of the Willow Works will be changing in the near future contact Mark Ablett email Mark.Ablett@crestra.org.uk for more information.
For directions to the Willow Works using satellite navigation the postcode is DN10 4PY. The OS grid reference is SK795900. Or click here for link to Google Maps. On reaching Beckingham the Willow Works is best reached from the roundabout where the A631 and A620 meet south of Beckingham. Leave this by the road into the village. After less than 200 metres, take the first right into Station Road. This road takes you over a level crossing after which it becomes Old Trent Road and is a single track with passing places. The Willow Works is on the left about 1 km beyond the level crossing. With its long, windowless south-facing wall it is unmissable.