Middle Mill, Castle Park, Colchester, Essex.
Posted by: greysman
N 51° 53.616 E 000° 54.072
31U E 355582 N 5751285
Quick Description: The remains of Middle Mill which was first recorded in c.1101.
Location: Eastern England, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 11/11/2011 11:42:46 AM
Waymark Code: WMD2WZ
The following is taken from the article 'A History of the County of Essex: Volume 9: The Borough of Colchester' which appeared as part of the 'Victoria County History' published in 1994, reproduced with minimal editing.
"Middle mill on the Colne outside Ryegate, the king's mill belonging to Colchester castle, was recorded c.1101 when Henry I granted one third of it to St. Botolph's priory. The priory retained that third until the Dissolution, when it was granted to Sir Thomas Audley. It presumably escheated to the Crown on his death, and was thus reunited with the remaining two thirds of the mill. The mill descended with the other castle lands to Hope and Martha Gifford, and was conveyed to Francis Powell in 1725. It was bought by Charles Gray in 1757, and passed with the castle lands to the Round family.
The mill, a corn mill, was repaired by the keeper of the castle in 1300 and c. 1335; further repairs were carried out in 1367, but by 1381 the mill was unoccupied and in ruins. Between 1402 and 1405 Thomas Godstone built a new mill, a fulling mill perhaps with a corn mill, on the old site which he leased from the Crown. In 1575 the bailiffs alleged that the mill had been used as a fulling mill for some time, but it contained a corn mill in 1593 and 1632. It was a double corn and fulling mill in 1681, 1689, 1707, and c.1750. John Wheeley, owner of the castle, repaired it c.1690. In the 19th century it was a corn mill worked by members of the Chopping family; it had an auxiliary steam engine by 1886. In 1933 the millers sold out to Marriage's of East mill, who stripped out the machinery. The building was sold to the borough council the following year, and was demolished in the 1950s."
The above mentioned Chopping family milled here for over one hundred years and are remembered in a plaque placed here in 2000AD when the Mill Weir was restored.
There is a painting of the mill by I. Nagle and in the Colchester Collection of the Colchester and Ipswich Museum Service. It was painted in 1892, oil on canvas, and is reproduced in the gallery. It shows the two mill race arches and the chimney for the auxiliary steam engine.
Current Status: Ruin
Current Use: Not listed
Provide a picture of the water mill with either yourself or your GPS visible. Name and brief history would be nice ONLY if not provided already.