200 meters east of the manor Nørholm by Varde Å is Nørholm Watermill, which is a beautifully preserved watermill. The watermill is first mentioned in 1406, and is owned and operated today by Nørholm Estate with support from Nørholm Vandmøllelaug.
Nørholm Watermill is beautifully situated by Varde Å approx. 10 kilometers north of Varde and is owned and operated by Nørholm Gods with practical support from Nørholm Vandmøllelaug, which was founded in 2008.
The mill has always been associated with the manor Nørholm (now Nørholm Estate), which in the Middle Ages was a fortified castle. Together with the castle, the mill is first mentioned in 1406, in a lawsuit in which the castle's associated land was awarded to the Crown (Queen Margrethe I.). The watermill building, without land, was awarded to the church. However, the owners of the manor succeeded in repurchasing the land in 1524.
It has been a busy mill and the largest in Ribe county. In addition to the manor, it ground grain for 215 farms and 41 houses, which covered an area of 6,593 acres of land.
The current buildings are from the end of the 18th century, when the landowner Rosenørn Teilmann carried out a thorough renovation. In 1796, a pit and pellet plant was built and in 1916 a turbine was installed, which for many years draws a generator that supplies electricity to the citizens of Thorstrup and the surrounding area. In addition, for a period there has been a smithy and a bakery attached to the watermill.
Nørholm Watermill became unusable when Karlsgårde Hydroelectric Power Plant was expanded during World War II. They changed the course of Varde å, from Ansager to Karlsgårde Sø, and thus took most of the water from the mill. Since then, it has been inactive, but has been maintained by Nørholm's owners. In 2008, a thorough restoration was started. Local craftsmen and mill builder Jens Jørgensen has been responsible for the work. the old blackboards have been taken down and the trusses re-walled with custom-made yellow stones.
Karlsgårde Hydropower Plant has now been closed down and Varde Å has been brought back to its original course, so that water is now being fed to the mill again in an amount that makes it possible to show it in operation. However, permission has only been obtained for the necessary polling in limited time intervals in the months of July and August.