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Stotfold Mill, Stotfold

A water-powered corn mill in the historic county of Bedfordshire, England.

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Stotfold watermill has risen like a phoenix from the ashes of a disastrous fire in 1992, in which the building was almost totally destroyed. A 1987 County Court judgment that "the Mill and its machinery are of national importance..." prevented the remains of the building being demolished and the site being used for housing development. A registered charity, the Stotfold Mill Preservation Trust, secured the future of the building and, with the assistance of millwright Neil Medcalf, flour was ground by water power once more in April 2006, for the first time in forty years.

The mill straddles the River Ivel and, despite its newness, is a Grade II listed building. The upper floors of the mill are timber-framed and stand on a brick base. Some of the internal machinery survived the fire and has been restored by a team of volunteers headed by Ray Kilby, who was responsible for the reconstruction of the massive wooden clasp-arm great spur wheel. Notable features of the mill include the 4.4 metre wide cast-iron overshot waterwheel, reputedly the widest in the country, and the elegant cast-iron hurst frame, both manufactured by Whitmore & Binyon, millwrights of Wickham Market in Suffolk. Steam power was also used on the site and the tall square brick chimney was restored as part of the recent repairs.

The adjacent 8.5-acre Mill Meadows have been officially designated a Local Nature Reserve by Natural England and Central Bedfordshire Council with plantings of native trees and hedges and a wildflower meadow. Ponds of varying depths have been dug to benefit birds, insects and amphibians, and living willow hides and a pond-dipping platform have been constructed.

Stotfold watermill is looked after by the Stotfold Mill Preservation Trust and is Grade II Listed.

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Full details

Alternative names Randall's Mill
Power source Water
Mill type Watermill
River Ivel
Mill function Corn mill
Archive ID 7866
Location Stotfold
Historic county Bedfordshire
Country England, United Kingdom
NGR TL 22293 36754
Latitude/longitude 52.01573800, -0.21944400

Location

Gallery

  • An early view of Randall’s Mill from its working days, c1900. (Stotfold Mill Preservation Trust)
  • Removing charred beams to make the site safe in the aftermath of the disastrous fire, 16 December 1992. (Stotfold Mill Preservation Trust)
  • The end wall of the mill was the only substantial part of the building to remain standing after the fire. (Stotfold Mill Preservation Trust)
  • New cast-iron pit wheel awaiting the fitting of its wooden cogs – 3rd November 2005. (Stotfold Mill Preservation Trust)
  • Wooden upright shaft made by millwright Neil Medcalf being craned into position - 9th November 2005. (Stotfold Mill Preservation Trust)
  • Upstream view of the reconstructed mill – 11th May 2003. (Stotfold Mill Preservation Trust)
  • Downstream view of the reconstructed mill – 11th May 2003. (Stotfold Mill Preservation Trust)
  • Photo: Sara and Oscar Jarman
  • Photo: Sara and Oscar Jarman
  • Photo: Sara and Oscar Jarman
  • Photo: Sara and Oscar Jarman
  • Photo: Sara and Oscar Jarman
  • Photo: Sara and Oscar Jarman

References

Contributors

Sara and Oscar Jarman, September 2016, February 2017

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