on the button Issue 58 - Page 12

Stotfold Water Mill – a look inside The Water Mill in Stotfold is one of the oldest buildings in the town. It stands on the River Ivel in Mill Lane, on the eastern side of the town. The Doomsday Book mentions four mills in Stotfold one of which is on the site that we see today. The 1086 record of English history gives the combined rents as £4.00 and four hundred Eels, payable to Hugh de Beauchamp, Baron of Bedford. After this time there have been many owners and millers culminating in the Randall family taking it over in 1873. John Randall originally purchased the mill from the Vaughan family after initially renting it from Charles Vaughan. Listed as ‘a very valuable dwelling house with cellars, outbuildings, stables and granary. Outside was a garden with orchards’. John Randall instigated many developments under his ownership increasing the efficiency of the milling process by installing a steam engine. John Lampit of Hemel Hempstead designed a new 14ft wide overshot wheel and installed in 1897 it is the widest corn-mill waterwheel in the UK. The next year a cast-iron hursting frame was installed by the Rolls-Royce makers of mill equipment – Whitmore and Binyon of Wickham Market in Suffolk. The roller mill was installed by Ebenezer Randall (John’s son) in 1902 in an effort to increase productivity. However this had little effect and Stotfold Mill could not compete with other larger mills being built in the area. In another attempt to stay profitable 1954 saw a diesel engine fitted to replace the steam engine but this proved fruitless and by the time the mill closed in 1966 only animal feed was being produced. Owners and Millers Peter Thorp and Richard Page Richard Lorymer James Sanders The Guilbert Family Henry Dawson The Smith Family James Pestell Hogg and Lindsell The Waldock Family The Vaughan Family The Randall Family 12 on the button issue 58 June 2017 | 01462 834265 | onthebutton.online@gmail.com | First named millers ? – 1516 ? – 1694 1694 – 1757 1757 – 1767 1767 – 1824 1824 – 1831 1831 – 1841 1841 – 1863 1863 – 1873 1873 – 1966 www.on-the-button.co.uk