Stour watermills

Stour watermills

for centuries as a source of power. Many different processes were performed by the use of water power:- Corn milling, fulling, paper making and electricity generation. Many of the mills survive today as house conversions, with two of them still working commercially.

Upper Great Stour

The Upper Great Stour powered eight watermills, with a further two on tributaries.

Bayton Mill, Lenham

TQ 903 503 wide, on a wide, carried on a convert|7|in|mm square cast iron axle, driving a cast iron Pit Wheel with 88 cogs. This drove acast iron wallower carried on a convert|6.5|in|mm square cast iron Upright Shaft, which also carried a convert|6|ft|10|in|m|2 diameter Great Spur Wheel which originally drove four pair of millstones and latterly drove two pairs.Watermills, p77-81]

Westwell Mill

TQ 992 474 Coord|51.191|0.849|display=inline|format=dmsThis corn mill at Westwell has been converted to residential use, retaining its overshot waterwheel.Francis Frith's Windmills and Watermills, p96]

East Stour

The East Stour powered four watermills.

Evegate Mill, Smeeth

TR 063 380 Coord|51.104|0.945|display=inline|format=dms

Hanover Mill, Mersham

TR 049 391 Coord|51.115|0.926|display=inline|format=dms

The corn mill at Mersham is still engaged in the milling trade, owned by T Denne and Sons.

wanton Mill, Mersham

TR 039 388 Coord|51.112|0.912|display=inline|format=dms

This corn mill still retains its machinery. The overshot waterwheel is convert|8|ft|4|in|m|2 wide and convert|6|ft|8|in|m|2 diameter, driving the machinery via a cast iron ring gear with 72 teeth. There were originally four pairs of millstones, of which two remain, driven by a system of belts and pulleys. This dates from the 1840s, when the mill was reworked by Messrs. Holman's of Canterbury. There was a twin cylinder self-condensing steam engine by Hall's of Dartford, built in 1840 which provided auxiliary power. This was dismantled and donated to the Newcomen Society in 1920. The original intention was that this would be displayed in the Science Museum, but it later passed to the Henry Ford Museum in America.Watermills, p120-28]

evington Mill, Willesborough

TR 032 415 Coord|51.137|0.903|display=inline|format=dms

Sevington mill was a corn mill which had two overshot wheels driving a total of five pairs of millstones. The mill was refitted in 1852. It burnt down and was a ruin by 1939.

Great Stour

The Great Stour powered sixteen watermills, with another on the Kennington Stream.

East Hill Mill, Ashford

TR 015 427 Coord|51.148|0.880|display=inline|format=dms

This water and steam mill was a corn mill, one of those run by Messrs H S Pledge & Co. The converted building survives, used as a nightclub, with a dummy waterwheel outside. It was the only watermill in Ashford, which was well supplied with windmills and steam mills.

Wye Mill

TR 049 469 Coord|51.185|0.931|display=inline|format=dms

The mill at Wye was run for many years by the Denne family. The building survives today.

Chilham Mill

TR 078 534 Coord|51.242|0.976|display=inline|format=dms

The large corn mill at Chilham is the best preserved on the River Stour. The waterwheel is convert|14|ft|6|in|m|2 diameter and convert|7|ft|10|in|m|2 wide, carried on a + section cast iron axle of a nominal convert|20|in|mm diameter. This also carried a cast iron Pit Wheel convert|10|ft|8|in|m|2 diameter with 96 cogs driving a Wallower with 34 teeth on a cast iron Upright Shaft carrying a cast iron Great Spur Wheel with 114 cogs. This drove six pairs of millstones, originally all underdrift, but one of the Stone Nuts has been adapted to drive a vertical shaft which powered auxiliary machinery and drove the sixth pair of stones overdrift by belt and pulley.Watermills, p44-52]

Chartham Corn Mill

TR 097 554 Coord|51.259|1.004|display=inline|format=dms

The building of this corn mill at Chartham survives converted to residential useFrancis Frith's Windmills and Watermills, p69] and devoid of machinery. It was powered by a low breast shot waterwheel some convert|10|ft|m|2 wide. There was also a turbine some convert|4|ft|m|2 in diameter which drove a pump.Watermills, p35-37]

Chartham Paper Mill

TR 108 549 Coord|51.254|1.020|display=inline|format=dms

This mill is a Domesday mill. There was a fulling mill in 1438 and paper production started circa 1730. Tracing paper was discovered here after a worker accidentally added too much starch to the mixture. The paper mill is still working commercially, producing tracing paper to this day. It is owned by Arjo Wiggins.cite web | url =| publisher = Geograph| title = Chartham Paper Mills| accessdate = 2008-04-02]

Cock Mill, Canterbury

TR 145 580 Coord|51.281|1.074|display=inline|format=dms

The River Stour bifurcates through Canterbury, the western stream powered two watermills and the eastern stream powered eight.

Cock Mill was a small mill with a single waterwheel. It was demolished in the 19th century.cite web | url =| publisher = The Mills Archive| title = Canterbury, Cock Mill| accessdate = 2008-04-02]

Dean's (Westgate, Shafford's, Hooker's) Mill, Canterbury

TR 148 583 Coord|51.283|1.079|display=inline|format=dms

This was a corn mill. The mill was rebuilt circa 1790 and had two internal waterwheels driving eight pairs of stones. The mill was bought by William Hooker in the 1890s and was renamed Westgate mill. The mill burnt down in June 1954.cite web | url =| publisher = The Mills Archive| title = Canterbury, Dean's Mill, Cereal Milling| accessdate = 2008-04-02]

Barton Mill, Canterbury

TR 156 588 Coord|51.288|1.091|display=inline|format=dms

The following mills are those on the eastern stream of the River Stour in Canterbury.

This was the last watermill in Canterbury that was working for trade. For many years it was a paper mill, and then a corn mill. There were two waterwheels driving the millstones, and probably another waterwheel which drove other machinery. The millstones were latterly replaced by roller mills. There was a fire in 1951, after which the mill was modernised, and another fire in July 2004 meant the end of milling at Barton mill. Some of the buildings survive, converted to residential use.cite web | url =| publisher = The Mills Archive| title = Canterbury, Barton Mill, Cereal Milling| accessdate = 2008-04-02]

t. Mildred's Mill, Canterbury

This corn mill stood within the city walls, and disappeared in mediaeval times.cite web | url =| publisher = The Mills Archive| title = Canterbury, St. Mildred's Mill, Cereal Milling| accessdate = 2008-04-02]

t. Mildred's Tannery, Canterbury

The tannery in Canterbury occupies a very old site, even older than the cathedral. The current firm was established in 1878 by Joseph and Samuel Conolly. Leather from the tannery was of the highest quality, and has been used in the coronation coach of King Edward VII, Rolls Royces, Concorde, the QE2, Ferraris, and the Houses of Parliament.cite web | url =| publisher = International Herald Tribune| title = Leather Makers to the Queen (and Ferrari and Jaguar Too)| accessdate = 2008-04-02] The tannery buildings are now converted to residential use.

Mead Mill, Canterbury

Little is known of this mill, which disappeared centuries ago.cite web | url =| publisher = The Mills Archive| title = Canterbury, Mead Mill| accessdate = 2008-04-02]

King's Mill, Canterbury

TR 148 580 Coord|51.281|1.079|display=inline|format=dms

This corn mill stood on an ancient mill site. The mill was granted to St Augustine's Abbey by King Stephen in 1144. In 1174 it was repossessed by the Crown, and granted to Rohesia, the sister of Thomas Becket. The mill stood opposite The Weavers House, and marks in the brickwork show where the waterwheel was.cite web | url =| publisher = The Mills Archive| title = Canterbury, King's Mill, Cereal Milling| accessdate = 2008-04-02]

Queen's Mill, Canterbury

Abbott's (City, Denne's) Mill, Canterbury

TR 148 582 Coord|51.282|1.079|display=inline|format=dms

This corn mill stood on the site of a medieval mill owned by the Abbot. The building dated from 1792 and was originally designed as a granary by John Smeaton. In 1794 it was converted into a watermill by Joseph Royle and James Simmons. cite web | url =| publisher = The Mills Archive| title = Souvenir leaflet of 50th anniversary| accessdate = 2008-04-02] The building was convert|60|ft|m|2 square in plan, and six storeys tall. The base was brick and the upper five storeys were wood, clad in white painted weatherboarding. At the time it was built, it was the second tallest building in Canterbury, after the Cathedral. There were two waterwheels each convert|12|ft|m|2 diameter and convert|6|ft|m|2 diameter driving a total of eight pairs of stones. cite web | url =| publisher = The Mills Archive| title = THE CANTERBURY MILLER'S TALE | accessdate = 2008-04-02] In 1896 it was bought by Denne's. The mill was destroyed by fire on 17 October 1933.cite web | url =| publisher = The Mills Archive| title = Canterbury, Abbot's Mill, Cereal Milling| accessdate = 2008-04-02] The cast iron axle survives on site.Water and Wind Power p72]

Black Mill, Sturry

Sturry had two watermills, neither of which survive today.

White Mill, Sturry

TR 175 600 Coord|51.298|1.118|display=inline|format=dms

This corn mill has been demolished, with only scant remains of the machinery remaining. There is a turbine of some convert|4|ft|m|2 diameter, and a low breast shot waterwheel convert|14|ft|10|in|m|2 diameter and convert|7|ft|2|in|m|2 wide.Watermills. p134-38]

Tributaries of Great Stour

Kennington Mills

TR 032 454 Coord|51.172|0.905|display=inline|format=dms

The mills at Kennington were powered by wind, steam and water. The windmill was built in 1813 by Messrs. Hill, the Ashford millwrights. The millers in 1886 were Messrs. Pledge, who had several mills in the Ashford area. In 1892 Charles Stanley took the mills. The sails from the windmill were taken to Pluckley windmill when Kennington mills closed. The windmill was an empty shell by the 1930sWatermills and Windmills, p228-29] and was demolished in 1952.The Windmills of Kent, p99] The windmill was connected by a footbridge to the watermill building and the steam mill building was attached to the windmill base, which survives today. The watermill was powered by the Kennington Stream.

Little Stour

The Little Stour powered four watermills.

Littlebourne Mill

TR 214 581 Coord|51.279|1.173|display=inline|format=dms

Littlebourne mill was a corn mill with a breastshot waterwheel. The building survives, converted to residential use.Francis Frith's Windmills and Watermills p86]

Ickham Mill

TR 214 580 Coord|51.278|1.173|display=inline|format=dms

Ickham mill was a corn mill. The building survives, converted to residential use.

Wickhambreaux Mill

TR 220 556 Coord|51.256|1.180|display=inline|format=dms

Wickhambreaux mill was a large corn mill, with a brick base and four storeys clad in weatherboarding. The mill has been converted into flats, and retains its breast shot waterwheel.

eaton Mill, Wickhambreaux

TR 226 586 Coord|51.283|1.191|display=inline|format=dms

Seaton mill was a large mill, with tarred weatherboarding. It had a breastshot waterwheel and a steam engine. The building survives, converted to residential use.Francis Frith's Windmills and Watermills p82]



*cite book | first = | last = M J Fuller and R J Spain| year = 1986| month = | title = Watermills (Kent and the Borders of Sussex)| pages = pp21-22| publisher = Kent Archaeological Society| location = Maidstone| id = ISBN 0 906746 08 6
*cite book | first = William| last = Coles Finch| year = 1933| month = | title = Watermills & Windmills| pages = | publisher = C W Daniel & Co, | location = London
*cite book | first = West| last = Jenny| year = 1973| month = | title = The Windmills of Kent| pages = | publisher = Charles Skilton| location = London| id = SBN 284 98535 1
*cite book | first = Anthony| last = Bryan| year = 2000| month = | title = Francis Frith's Windmills and Watermills| pages = P96| publisher = Frith Book Company Ltd| location = Salisbury| id = ISBN 1-85937-242-2
*cite book | first = Martin| last = Watts| year = 2000| month = | title = Water and Wind Power| pages = P72| publisher = Shire Publications| location = Princes Risborough| id = ISBN 0 7478 0418 4

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