September 29th, 2016

History of The Old Mill


Most local farmers used the watermill at the seaward end of  Mill Lane to process their grain. While a watermill has probably stood on the site since the Middle Ages, the present building dates from the early years of 19th Century. At this time it was advertised for lease as a newly erected watermill, the machinery was newly constructed with two pairs of grit stones and one pair of French stones, the flour cylinder, also a drying kiln.

The different types of grinding stones  indicate that the mill was capable of producing  oatmeal and wheat flour. By the 1880’s the waterwheel was being assisted by a steam engine for which a tall steam chimney had been erected in the adjacent field.

Richard Ayrton was miller and corn merchant at this time, remaining in charge well into his seventies. The mill continued to be run by members of the Ayrton family until it’s eventual closure in 1967. Today nothing remains of the mill itself.