River Beult

River Beult

Infobox_River
river_name = River Beult


image_size =
caption = River Beult at Yalding
origin = several sources west of AshfordTQ 980 390
Coord|51.115933|0.830014|display=inline|format=dms
mouth = River Medway at YaldingTQ 693 503
Coord|51.226666|0.425660|display=inline|format=dms
basin_countries =
length =
elevation =
mouth_elevation =
discharge =
watershed =

The River Beult (PronEng|bɛlt, "belt") is a tributary of the River Medway. It has several sources west of Ashford, including one at Woodchurch. It then flows through Headcorn. At Hunton, convert|7|furlong|km downstream from Yalding it is joined by the major stream of the River Teise. Town bridge lies 10¼ miles (16.5km) from Allington, it is the longest mediaeval bridge in Kent. The river enters the Medway at Yalding . The River Beult is crossed by the railway between Headcorn and Staplehurst. The bridge was the scene of the Staplehurst rail crash in 1865 in which Charles Dickens was involved. cite book | first = Frank| last = Jessop| authorlink = | coauthors = | year = 1966| month = | title = Kent History Illustrated| chapter = | editor = | others = | edition = | pages = | publisher = Kent Education Committee| location = Maidstone| id = | url = ] cite book | first = O.S.| last = Nock| authorlink = | coauthors = | year = 1983| month = | title = Historic Railway Disasters| chapter = | editor = | others = | edition = 3rd edition| pages = pp15-19| publisher = Ian Allan Ltd.| location = London| id = ISBN 0 7110 0109 X| url = ] [http://mysite.wanadoo-members.co.uk/history.yalding/CHRON_Nar.htm Yalding Chronology] ]

Part of the River Beult is notified as a Site of Special Scientific Interest: from Hadman's Bridge, Smarden to the confluence with the River Medway.

Watermills

The River Beult and its tributaries powered a number of watermills. From source to mouth these were:-

Cheveney Mill, Hunton

TQ 708 496 Coord|51.219930|0.446791|display=inline|format=dms This was a corn mill, latterly converted to generate electricity c.1900. The waterwheel was replaced by a turbine made by Messrs Drake & Fletcher of Maidstone. During the Second World War, Italian Prisoners of War were billeted in the mill building. The building survives today, converted into a house.

Yalding mill.

A Domesday site, the mill was still in existence in 1336. [http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/YALDmap2.htm Spartacus Schoolnet] ] [http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/YADvillage.htm Spartacus Schoolnet] ]

Watermills on the tributaries

The River Beult is unusual in that the majority of its watermills were not on the main river itself, but on the tributaries.

Angley Brook

A stream rises at Angley Woods, Cranbrook and flows into the Beult at Frittenden. It powered these mills:-

Pin Pond Mill, Cranbrook.

This may have been a fulling mill.

pratsbourne Mill, Cranbrook.

The miller here was Edmund Luckhurst in 1656 and 1660. [http://www.millsarchive.com/Kent/cranbrookstale/cranbrookstale.aspx Mills Archive] ]

Dog Kennel Mill, Cranbrook

An old fulling mill site.

Friezley Mill, Cranbrook

TQ 771 384 approx Coord|51.117386|0.531403|display=inline|format=dms

An old fulling mill site.

Angley Mill, Cranbrook.

Hockeredge Mill, Cranbrook.

TQ 775 387 Coord|51.119958|0.537261|display=inline|format=dms

This mill was sold to Alexander Courthope in 1523, and his son sold it to Robert Hovenden in 1551. It remained in the Hovenden family for many years, until at least 1704. The mill later passed to the Bonnick family.

Hartridge (Hartridge Manor) Mill, Cranbrook.

TQ 774 395 Coord|51.127176|0.536227|display=inline|format=dms

This was a corn mill. In the mid nineteenth century it was worked in conjunction with the Union Mill, the miller being Mr Russell. The mill building was standing in 1974, devoid of machinery. It probably had a breast shot waterwheel. cite book | first = | last = Fuller & Spain| authorlink = | coauthors = | year = 1986| month = | title = Watermills (Kent and the Borders of Sussex)| chapter = | editor = | others = | edition = | pages = pp72-73| publisher = Kent Archaeological Society| location = Maidstone| id = ISBN 0 906746 08 6| url = ]

Paley (Hawkridge) Mill, Cranbrook.

TQ 777 400 Coord|51.131575|0.540757|display=inline|format=dms

The mill building was standing in April 1974, devoid of machinery. cite book | first = | last = Fuller & Spain| authorlink = | coauthors = | year = 1986| month = | title = Watermills (Kent and the Borders of Sussex)| chapter = | editor = | others = | edition = | pages = p109| publisher = Kent Archaeological Society| location = Maidstone| id = ISBN 0 906746 08 6| url = ]

Lovehurst Mill, Staplehurst.

This was a corn mill. John Foreman, farmer, of Horsmonden hired the mill for 14 years in November 1854. [http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~mrawson/extr9.html Rootsweb] ]

Maplehurst Mill, Frittenden.

TQ 803 416 Coord|51.145137|0.578682|display=inline|format=dmsThis is an old established corn mill site. The mill survives and retains most of its machinery. It has a cast iron overshot wheel driving three pairs of millstones. On June 18 1557 the miller, William Allin and his wife Katherine were burned at the stake at Fairmeadow, Maidstone, along with five other Protestants. The Allins had fed the poor, sold corn at half price and read scriptures to people. [http://www.millarchive.com/kent/millpeople/Kent%20Mill%20People.htm Mills Archive] ]

The earliest surviving part of the mill is dated 1756, David Papillon being the then owner. The mill was extended c.1890, when a steam engine was installed. The original mill building having a peg tile roof with the extension being roofed in slate. The cast iron waterwheel is convert|10|ft|m|2 diameter and convert|8|ft|m|2 wide, mounted on a wooden axle, driving a cast iron pit wheel with 92 wooden cogs. The cast iron wallower has 32 teeth and is carried on a wooden upright shaft, driving a cast iron Great Spur Wheel with 120 cogs. This drove three pairs of millstones. The stones are two pairs of convert|48|in|m|2 diameter Peak stones and one pair of convert|44|in|m|2 diameter French Burr stones by Hughes of Dover & London. The Crown Wheel is cast iron, with 18 teeth, it drove a total four layshafts which drove several machines including a smutter and a Feltons Patent American Grist Mill.

The mill stands on the parish boundary of Frittenden and Staplehurst, with the majority of the mill in the former parish. It was working until the winter of 1947/8, when the machinery was damaged through being iced up.cite book | first = William| last = Coles Finch| authorlink = | coauthors = | year = 1933| month = | title = Watermills & Windmills| chapter = | editor = | others = | edition = | pages =p209 | publisher = C W Daniel Company| location = London WC1| id = | url = ] [http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4158/is_20050420/ai_n14591148 The Independent] ] cite book | first = | last = Fuller & Spain| authorlink = | coauthors = | year = 1986| month = | title = Watermills (Kent and the Borders of Sussex)| chapter = | editor = | others = | edition = | pages = pp95-102| publisher = Kent Archaeological Society| location = Maidstone| id = ISBN 0 906746 08 6| url = ]

Cherry Tree Farm, Frittenden.

Tributary of the Angley Brook

A tributary of the above stream flows into the pond of Hartridge mill. It powered a mill downstream of Mad Dog Shaw.

Crane Brook

The Crane Brook rises at Hartley, it powered a number of mills before joining the Hammer Stream at Biddenden.

Upper Mill, Cranbrook

This mill stood in the area now known as "The Bottoms". The Upper Pond is mentioned in 1503, and in 1545 Thomas Roberts granted a lease to Thomas Burgess of Cranbrooke of the "uppermost mmyll ponde" - information given in the lease suggests that the Upper Mill was a fulling mill then.

Anthony's Mill, Cranbrook

This mill was mentioned in 1416 and again in 1447, its location being in Mellane (Mill Lane). In 1464 a rental entry mentions "Anthony's Mill Pond.

fulling mill, Cranbrook.

This was located near the present day Moat Farm. The mill pond would have been some convert|10|acre|m2 in area. It was most likely a fulling mill.

issinghurst Mill.

The site of this mill is occupied by the present day Lake Chad. In the early 17th century the millers were Francis Chittenden (1634) followed by John Chittenden (1654-69). The mill was a corn mill.

Karckeregge Mill.

The first mention of this mill was in 1353 when the mill was leased. John Bettenham was the lessee in 1416, being the son of Stephen Bettenham. The mill was leased to Peter Courtnope in 1451 and again in 1472, by then probably a fulling mill. The land the mill stood on now forms part of Plumers Farm.

Branden Mill.

A long lost mill site, probably a fulling mill.

Tributary of the Crane Brook

A tributary of the Crane Brook rises at Swattenden, it powered five mills, including those at:-

The Freight, Cranbrook.

A fulling mill.

Bakers Cross, Cranbrook.

This fulling mill was first mentioned in 1500 as "Hancock's Mill". It may have been a fulling mill or a corn mill then. In 1516 it had been replaced by "Thomas Sheffe's new fulling mill". The mill seems to have ceased working by 1604, when a dyehouse was in use at the site. [ [http://www.tonysing.me.uk/History/BakersX/article1.htm Tony Sing] ]

Further tributary of the Crane Brook

A tributary of the Crane Brook flows through the town. It powered:-

Hatmill, Cranbrook.

John Tooth bough a house in Stone Street, Cranbrook in the late eighteenth century. he built a small factory at the back of this house in which he made hats. It was powered by a small waterwheel. The building survives today as a private house.

Hammer Stream

The Hammer Stream powered watermills at:-

Hammer Mill, Biddenden.

This was the most easterly iron furnace in the Weald. In the time of Queen Elizabeth I it was in the ownership of Sir Richard Butler. The mill was replaced by a corn mill in the mid seventeenth century. The Hammer Pond formerly extended to convert|30|acre|m2.

Hammer Mill (corn), Biddenden.

TQ820 383 Coord|51.114952|0.601295|display=inline|format=dms

This corn mill stands some convert|200|yd|m south-west of the site of the furnace. The brick mill building is three storeys high, with a slate roof. The overshot waterwheel was convert|12|ft|m|2 diameter and convert|6|ft|m|2 wide, mounted on an 8¼" (207mm) square cast iron axle. It drove a cast iron pit wheel with 88 wooden cogs. This drove a cast iron wallower with 28 teeth mounter on a wooden upright shaft. The cast iron Great Spur Wheel has 128 cogs and drove four pairs of millstone at one time. The three surviving pairs of stones are two pairs of French Burrs and one pair of Peak stones. The Compass-arm Crown Wheel is of all wood construction, and has 48 cogs. It drove a layshaft and the sack hoist. The mill last worked for trade in 1928, a Mr Hall being the last miller. cite book | first = | last = Fuller & Spain| authorlink = | coauthors = | year = 1986| month = | title = Watermills (Kent and the Borders of Sussex)| chapter = | editor = | others = | edition = | pages = pp66-72| publisher = Kent Archaeological Society| location = Maidstone| id = ISBN 0 906746 08 6| url = ]

Bettenham Mill.

The site of this mill was marked by Mill Field and Millpond Field on the 1840 tithe map.

Tributary of the Hammer Stream

A stream rises at Sissinghurst and flows into the Hammer Stream downstream of Hammer Mill, Biddenden. It powered watermills at:-

New Mill, Sissinghurst.

TQ 802 381 Coord|51.113724|0.575504|display=inline|format=dmsThis mill was mentioned in rate books of 1687 and 1689.

tream at Ulcombe

A stream rises at Ulcombe and flows into the beult at Hawkenbury. It powered a watermill.

Upper Mill, Ulcombe

This was probably the Domesday mill recorded at Ulcombe. Chegworth mill was also known as Lower Mill thus this mill would be the Upper Mill.cite book | first = | last = | year = 1967| month = | title = Archaeologia Cantiana, Volume LXXXII| pages = p32 - 104| publisher = Kent Archaeological Society| location = Maidstone| id = ISBN ]

tream at Chart Sutton

A stream rises at Chart Sutton and flows into the Beult at Cross At Hand. It powered a watermill.

Chart Mill, Chart Sutton.

TQ 794 493 Coord|51.214596|0.569674|display=inline|format=dms

This mill is a timber framed mill on a single storey brick base. The waterwheel was some convert|24|ft|m|2 diameter and convert|4|ft|m|2 wide, it was removed during World War Two. The cast iron axle is convert|9|in|mm square, and bears the legend "WEEKS & SON, MAIDSTONE 1875" on one face. No other machinery is known to exist in the mill, the lower floor having been filled with concrete when the mill was converted, the upper floors being used as an office. cite book | first = | last = Fuller & Spain| authorlink = | coauthors = | year = 1986| month = | title = Watermills (Kent and the Borders of Sussex)| chapter = | editor = | others = | edition = | pages = pp33-35| publisher = Kent Archaeological Society| location = Maidstone| id = ISBN 0 906746 08 6| url = ] It is possible that the machinery is buried within the concrete, but this is not known as a fact.]

References

ee also

Medway watermills article.


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