Taylor's Mill, Speldhurst

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

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1828 William Standen

1862 G Baker

1874-1885 James Elston, Edward Taylor

1887 John & William Taylor

1899 William Taylor

1940 Bradby, Taylor and Youngman

From Simmons Collection, HRH 1947 :- “Working but talking of putting in electricity. Pond rather silted up and water doesn’t get away quickly. One brick and two white wooden floors and slate roof. Wheel and extension covered with tarred corrugated iron. Overshot wheel about 14ft and 5ft wide. Wooden shaft and iron nave. Arms originally wooden but about 17 or 18 years ago replaced by T-section iron with iron connection across the ends bolted on the sole. Wooden rim. Iron buckets put in about 14 years ago. Water runs away in a barrel 400 yards long and 2 and a half feet in diameter. Iron machinery and bridge trees. One pair of governors for both pairs of stones. Large wallower near the floor. Arched bearing to upright shaft. Crown wheel has cogs on lower side. One pair burrs 4ft diameter, disused. One pair 3ft 10” complete with closed and shoe and iron lined eye, with sacking to narrow with opening in the tun. Bell alarm worked by shoe. Formerly many wooden rimmed pulley wheels. One shaft off main line shaft has large wooden rimmed pulley wheel originally used for drive from an oil engine the other side of the stream, now driving crossed belt to shaft with drives and gears to a mixer in a two floor extension mainly in the ground floor, and to a flour plant consisting of originally silk now iron scalper, now used for maize dusting, with shaker feed and drive off scalper itself to worm below feeding flour machine underneath. This was iron. For barley there is a worm feed, also geared worm for self-raising flour. All machines horizontal. Flour machine beater shaft has belt to worm shaft, with chain to drive outside of flour machine, from end of flour machine to bran duster with three types of gauze. Belt from its leather shaft to double set of gears for turning frame. Outside brushes lifted by projectors on frame. Flour given up because of restrictions in 1917 or 1918. The first shaft off the crown wheel also drives a countershaft with drives to gear to worm for sacks on the ground floor and to shaker leading to worm. Another from first crown wheel sgaft to fan on top floor for cooling composition stones. Second shaft off crown wheel drives shaft with drives to grindstone and by crossed belt to shafting driving combined kibbler and crusher and by belt turning through 90 degrees Eureka scourer disused. Also off second crown wheel shaft a drive to cake crusher. Off first crown wheel shaft drive to a very long shaft for outside chaff cutter. Gears enclosed. Outside door at back and loading door on first. There was also a steam engine.”

Rob Cumming Inspection 12/10/1985: :- “Waterwheel is about 14ft 10” by 4ft wide, with two sets of 12 arms, and is overshot. Penstock is in very bad repair. Iron pit wheel is about 8ft in diameter with 72 cogs, and it drives an iron wallower, 2ft 6” in diameter with 22 cogs. On upright shaft is spur wheel, about 9ft diameter with 128 cogs. Two pairs of burr stones visible, one pair has been displaced and the runner is lying on top of the other pair. There is a single pair of governors for both pairs of stones. Crown wheel is 7 feet in diameter with 90 teeth and drove two layshafts. The sack hoist is belt driven. No flour dressers, but there is a Bamfords Corn Cleaner belt driven from a layshaft. In an extension there is a large elevator with a diameter of about a foot. The mill building itself is a white weatherboarded wooden structure embanked by a small mill pond. It is owned by Bradleys Agricultural Fertilisers, and worked until the late 1970’s, when the penstock collapsed. Millwrights estimate £4000 for its repair. The wheel is deteriorating seriously.”

Between 2009 and 2015, the mill was subjected to a number of planning applications to convert it into a house. Permission was eventually approved.

Full details

Alternative names Bradley's Mill, Speldhurst Mill
Power source Water
Mill type Watermill
River Tributary to Medway
Mill function Corn mill
Archive ID 8462
Location Speldhurst, Tunbridge Wells
Historic county Kent
Country England, United Kingdom
NGR TQ 558 417
Latitude/longitude 51.15335300, 0.22636021



  • Photo by Rob Cumming, 1986.
  • Wheel and penstock. Photo by Rob Cumming, 1984.
  • Wheel. Photo by Rob Cumming, 1986.
  • Photo by Rob Cumming, December 2009.
  • Wheel. Photo by Rob Cumming, December 2009.


  • Alan Stoyel, Mills Archive Foundation Trustee


Rob Cumming


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