Stotfold Mill, Stotfold
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.
|Alternative names||Randall's Mill|
|Mill functions||Corn mill|
|NGR||TL 22293 36754|
Anthony Bryan, Mills Research Group Database