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Researching watermill in East Leake

Author: Paul Cooper

I am working on a project with my ten-year-old adopted granddaughter to discover the origins of a local watermill that isn’t shown on any maps as far back as 1750 but for which we have strong evidence that the ruins that remain were not a bridge but a mill race. The image shows stonework at the mill site.

Poster Image

This all started as an exploration of a former watercourse that we traced when recent flooding revealed it in our local country park and which was the former course of a local brook that was diverted and deepend some centuries ago.

We believe the purpose was to supply at least one local mill with additional water to power it but we have come up against a great many dead-ends. We have one piece of tangible evidence in the form of a millstone that has been incorporated into a local sculpture. We also have maps, one of which shows a different Anglo-Saxon mill – but not our mill.

There is hearsay that a mill wheel was found close to our site but we have no evidence of this. However, the nature of the ruins suggests that it would be of the ‘undershot’ variety and we are starting to wonder if perhaps we are looking at something much older than we first thought – Norman, perhaps?

As inexperienced mill researchers we would appreciate any advice or comment that might help us get a bit further with this. We are in East Leake near Loughborough, and if anyone is interested we have photos and maps to view on a local website.

Any comments welcome either here or to me at