Old Mills

Photo:Windmill on the hill to the south of Ratcliffe House

Windmill on the hill to the south of Ratcliffe House

C Morice c.1840

Photo:Water Mill - Mill Street

Water Mill - Mill Street

Document typed by Jackie Embury from Miss Hislop's handwritten green book owned by Janet Chennells


The earliest mention of mills is in Doomsday Book.  “The Abbot of Westminster holds Eschewelle two mills worth fourteen shillings.”

Generally each manor had its own mill and people had to send their corn to be ground at their lord’s mill.

These mills were the water mills of Ashwell, the one in Mill Street probably stands on the oldest site.

Of windmills which came into use in England at the end of the 12th Century Ashwell had three, one above the Fordham Clunch Pit, one above the Barns, and one west of the water works.

In an old catalogue of 1796 the Mill Street mill is said to be in good repair, and subject to a yearly rent of 220 quarters of malt, and a yearly payment of £1.6.8d. to Pembroke College, Cambridge.

This page was added on 29/07/2011.
Comments about this page

I am interested in the mills in Ashwell in the 17/1800's.  Are there any records of who worked in these mills and who owned or managed them.

By Mary
On 15/08/2014

There is an article on windmills in Snippets of Ashwell History Volume 2 by David Short. This gives a good overview of the situation. However I am sure there is a lot more to find out. One could start looking in the census returns and trade directories.


By Peter Greener
On 15/08/2014

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