Lesser Mills

These are Cheshire mills where little information is recorded or, given research, new material can be added. At present (Jan 2020)  some 25 mills are being considered starting with those where scant evidence is available.

28th February 2020

As these are long-winded pieces another mill,  a windmill at Foulk Stapleford, will be considered first.

No record appears either in Bott’s survey or that of Norris.

This was a belated find as it was first recognised  in August 2019. On rechecking the Tithe Apportionment TA 1838 EDT 160/2, it seemed likely a mill was in plot 198 described as a ‘house, mill etc. This was not near the Gowy or any watercourse on any 19th accepted cartographer’s maps such as Greenwood, Bryant nor on OS maps of the same date.

Given as Foulk Stapleford, the field was only a short distance from Hargrave Hall.

Despite the low topography a windmill is entirely possible.  Where the site is exposed, as is characteristic of this area and the Gowy lowlands as whole, windmills were once not a rarity as might be assumed. As David Hayns wrote:

We don’t think our area as ‘windmill country’, more as an area where watermills flourished on the many watercourses, such as the Rivers Weaver and Gowy. However, it ma be that some of the windmills  in our area were constructed as ‘auxiliaries’  to water mills, so that in times of drought it might be possible to use wind power to grind local corn.

By the fourteenth century windmills were becoming fairly numerous.(Hewitt, Medieval Cheshire, p.34).

Justification

  • Tithe apportionment records a mill
  • Site is acceptable
  • No watercourses nearby
  • OS maps of C19th and C20th the site

Aerial view shows a bare earth patch in field. Tithe and OS maps suggest the same.

Note the radial paths and the dark centre to the circular patch. A  pond would become vegetated and blend with the grass. Perhaps, the bareness of the patch suggests an obstruction below the surface.

Many present-day windmill sites often show a double ring with  one enclosing the tower structure and another larger one surrounding it.

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Dunham-on-the Hill (MR SJ  469 716)  TA Dunham (by Thornton  EDT 145 (1843) WINDMILL

Bott suggests a windmill as a raised mound  in Mill Field (307)  though field-names are best support by documentary evidence.

The following cited by R.Stewart-Brown, Cheshire Inquisitions Post Mortem:Stuart Period 1603-1660(P-V) Vol III, The Record Society of  Lancashire and Cheshire, 1938, Vol 91 p.165

 i.p.m Edward Whitby :They say the said Edward Whitby was seised in fee tall, to him & heirs male of his body, with remainder, in default of such issue, to Robert Whitby, brother of sadi Edward, & heir male of his body, in default to the female heirs of the body of Robert, father of said Edward & their issue, of a capital mess., 3 other mess., a dovecote, a windmill, 20 a. of land, 3 a. of meadow, 14 a. pasture,  5 a. of wood & common of pasture for all beasts in Dunham upon the Hill & Happesford

The windmill may be at Hapsford but the  higher elevation of Dunham is more probable.

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Cotebrook (MR SJ 57057 65122) EDT 159/3  1838. WATERMILL

Cotebrook is situated on a stream between Utkinton Mill and Oulton Mill.

Neither Bott or Norris surveys record this mill. CHER and Mills Archive do hold a record.

With reference to Dodgson’s Place Names of Cheshire, v3 Rushton, pp 293/293, Cote Brook is first recorded as le Brokh, in1360. The mill, Colbroke Mylne appears in 1476

Only found reference is an i.p.m Thomas Beeston 1458: (16 Edw. IV.

   Thomas Beeston held in demesne, as of fee, the manor of Beeston, and the mills of Horseley and Colbrooke, from sir John Sutton, knight, baron of Malpas, val. viiil. was, viiid, also part of the Thornton share of Kingsley fee, and the lands of Teverton, Huxley, Burwardsley, and Bradeley in Malpas. John Beeston son and heir. (Ormerod 2, p.144)

The millpond (57006 615125) is alongside the A49. Now totally overgrown with a stream fed by the overflow from Utkinton Mill. During heavy rainfall water cascades on to the road suggesting the culvert under the road cannot carry the overload.

The stream crosses under the road into the Shire Horse site and is directed to meet Sandycroft Brook and on to Oulton pool.

There is difficulty with Dodgson’s interpretation (Vol 3, pp 292-293) in separating Cotebrook and Yeanley mills from Oulton Mill.

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2nd March 20020

Yeanley also as Yanelegh (see Ormerod 2, p210, 1819)     Watermill                    MR SJ 59981  61203 this contrasts with CHER SJ  57006500 ( this is Cotebrook Mill).

This is a tricky one as the records are the bare minimum based on Dodgson’s field names (Vol 3, p.292). Confusion  between Oulton, Rushton and Yeanley still remains. The hamlet of Yeanley was lost/abandoned in medieval times. It is part of Rushton parish itself ‘the meeting place of one of the Domesday hundreds of Cheshire. Yeanley was more significant than just part of Rushton as the following suggests ( a personal email from Tony Bostock, Winsford Historical Society):

The Forest Proceedings record it in 1503  and Ormerod  mentions Yanelegh Mill in his history 1819.

 

:Where the mill may have been is a matter of conjecture. Likely it has gone without trace but investigation may find some trace. The field names remain shown on the Rushton Tithe 1937 as Yeanley Meadows 48, 49 and 51. These field are along Wettenhall Brook with the mill suggested as being at the site indicated below

Kingsley Mill

This watermill is recorded on the CHER and Mills Archive sites. Situated on Mill Lane it contrasts with another mill of the same name on the boundary of Kingsley and Delamere parishes. Confusing but the latter site once had both a watermill and, more significantly, a windmill.

Guest’s Slack Mill is the name on various auction sales though Kingsley Mill is also used, mainly on OS maps; only the Mill Lane one is shown on recent OS maps.