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There are records of a mill at Houghton, on the River Great Ouse since 974 AD. Surrounded by fertile agricultural land, and one of 120 miles on the river, Houghton Mill became one of the most productive and by 1850 had reached the height of its prosperity. However, in the second half of the 19th century its production fell behind as the newer steam powered mills surpassed it and it finally closed in 1928. In 1934 it was saved from demolition and ownership was transferred to the National Trust. After use as a Youth Hostel from 1935-1982, the National Trust opened the mill to the public and restored the mill machinery. It is now the last surviving operational flour mill on the River Great Ouse.