Bridgewater, a village in the Adelaide Hills is known for the landmark Bridgewater Mill, and includes a hotel, shopping centre and assorted shops and supermarket. The area is leafy with stately European trees and gum trees and is a popular Adelaide Hills residential area.
Bridgewater is easily accessed from the South East Freeway, or from the alternate Old Mount Barker Road between Stirling and Hahndorf. Bridgewater is less than 20 minutes drive from Adelaide.
The village had its beginnings in 1840 when an inn was built to service travellers at the fording point across the creek known as Cox Creek or Cox’s Creek. This creek crossing was used by coaches, bullock drivers and other traffic on route between Adelaide and Melbourne.
John Dunn built the mill with its huge waterwheel at the locality in the late 1850s. The water wheel harnessed the running water to power the stone wheat grinders. He built numerous flour mills throughout South Australia and must have been particularly proud of this one, as he named the settlement Bridgewater after the village of Bridgewater in Somerset England, where he was born. The mill provided employment and the village prospered.
Today the beautiful old mill houses a restaurant and cellar door for Petaluma Wines.
There is a leafy park next to the mill with lawns, stepping stones across the creek, picnic tables and children’s playground.