Beeston and Spurstow watermills

Beeston:  ‘Lost’ Mills  (June 2020)   There were two mills, named by Bott which do not appear to have been recorded in the County database, the Mills Archive or through online searches. Also, Bott gives Horsley Mill, another vanished mill with no written or local evidence for its existence

Bott’s reference: Beeston Upper Mill (MR 560595)  1295 EPNS Calendar of Inquisitions  Post Mortem in PRO; 1830 Swire & Hutchings (map); 1831Bryant (map)  Beeston Low Mill (MR 538602) site near Beeston Castle. 1298 Cal. II.P.M.; 1819 Greenwood; 1830 S&H: 1831 Bryant.  Another mill at Horsley (MR 533584) on boundary Peckforton/Beeston. Placename Horsley Lane still survives. 1297,1387,1376  EPNS (Close Rolls, Eyre, Cheshire Recognizance Rolls).

A good deal of confusion rests on both the recording, mapping and naming of these mills. Sourced 19th century Cheshire maps of Burdett, Greenwood and Bryant and OS maps

Burdett (1777) no record. Greenwood (1819) Bate’s Mill Bryant (1831) shows Horton Mill and both Beeston Lower and Beeston Upper Mills.

OS maps: 1841 only marks Beeston Upper Mill; 1875,1898, 1940 show Horton’s Mill  but the c1840 Tithe gives no name to either  mills at the Horton site or Wharton Lock site. Confusingly, by 1908 and 1949, Bate’s Mill Bridge crosses the canal to Horton’s Mill!.

The Tithe map gives Peter Bate, miller, water corn mill, Tiverton.  At Beeston, Hugh Wharton is the occupier at Wharton Lock yet there is a mill but not given as a water mill

Turning to Post Office and Kelly’s Directories, we find the Bates. family were millers at Horton Mill, at least between 1857 to 1914, with wives doing the milling from 1902 Only the P.O. 1857 shows  two millers, at Beeston, J.Wharton and William Rutter, named separately Believing they worked at separate mills, returned to the tithe and Bott’s reference. It produced a plot with a large pool and access to the R.Gowy and William Rutter was shown as occupier.

Beeston Upper Mill

Beeston Lower Mill

Conclusion: Clearly, there is confusion over the naming of the mill at Wharton’s Lock.  I too k  the miller named in PO directory  1857 and Bott’s reference to  a second mill near Bate’s Mill,as confirmatory. It seems odd Horton is ascribed to a mill with the Bate’s family history.