A Description of the Five Mills
- Mill of unknown type. Stood away from roads in the east of the parish beyond Dyers End and south of the Yeldham road, probably at about 250 yards north north east of Elms Farm (727381) and mile south east of Stambourne church. Approx. TL 727383.
- Mill of unknown type. Stood a little west of Hill Farm at the junction of the Ridgewell road. TL 716393.
- Mill of unknown type. On the north side of the Yeldham road 450 yards east of the Finchingfield road. TL 727388.
- Post mill. Stood at Chestnut Horse Farm on the south side of the Bumpstead road, here named Mill Road, 350 yards west of Wesley End Road, the turning to Ridgewell (as site 2 above). TL 714391 ( 227).
IN REFERENCE to the first three sites, there is little apart from map symbols to put on record. At (1) a mill is placed by Warburton, Bland and Smyth (c 1724). An abstract of title deeds relating to Greenfields or Greenvills Farm (726387) cites for 1729 the farm and the ‘Mill House … with the Mill and Hill it stood on as it was then inclosed with a Mote’. Robert Chote (sic) being in occupation1. A deed of 1771 gave Edward Choate (sic) in occupation but without reference to a mill. The tithe map (1837-8)2 names Little Mill Croft and Mill Field at site (1), corresponding with fields named in the above mentioned abstract in a conveyance of 1821.
Chapman and André (1777) record a windmill symbol only at site (2) and the drawings (1799-1800) for the first O.S. 1 in. map place a symbol at (3) which is not noted on other maps examined. A dwelling west of Stump’s Cross at 731387 was named Mill Farm on the first and second O.S. 6 in. maps and was presumably connected with mill (3). The Jarvis family were evidently here: Edward in 1804, advertising for a pair of millstones of large diameter, and Robert, listed as potential juror in 18153. Greenwood (1825) has no mills in Stambourne. Mill (4) is seen on the revised first O.S. 1 in. (rev’d 1836-7). The Hill Farm mill (2) may have been included in the former area of Ridgewell parish.4
The last mill (4) is seen in two post-1900 photographs as devoid of roundhouse and standing on tall brick piers. It is of note that the mill was held with Hill Farm in 1834 when in the occupation of Messrs Unwin, and was then for sale by auction5. It had two pairs of French stones, which a note recorded in 1936 described as in the breast6. Daniel Unwin held the mill in 1834 and also in 1866. There followed George Unwin (1870, 74) and Daniel Unwin junior (1878, 82), and so to Mrs E Unwin (1906) and Daniel Herbert Unwin (1908). The last were prepared to lavish money on repairs at this comparatively late date but the mill was dislocated beyond redemption on Friday 3 December 1909. A press report stated7:
Stambourne, Mill Wrecked. During the storm which raged at the end of last week, the Stambourne windmill, one of the few that still exist in motion, which is in the occupation of Mrs Unwin, was practically wrecked. The mill which stands on an eminence, had been in constant work. It was just undergoing repair, and the ladders and scaffolding were in position. The terrific force of the wind early on Friday morning caused the mill to be wrenched over on to one side, and rendered useless for further business operations. Nobody appears to have heard the crash. The machinery was put out of gear, the driving wheel being irreparably damaged. We understand that the amount of damage done was considerable.
- E.R.O. D/DU 751/165
- E.R.O. D/CT 323A. Note also (per R Hawksley): Will of Jn Clave of Stambourne (7.8.1613) includes windmill. Will in form for realty (E.R.O. D/A BW 11 p.58)
- C.C. 10.8.1804: E.R.O. Q/RJ 12
- Per R Hawksley
- E & H M 22.7 & 5.8.1834
- Per D W Muggeridge
- Halstead Gazette 9.12.1909 per A Corder-Birch of Little Yeldham. Kelly (1910) gives Unwin as farmer
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