THE MILL AND MILL HOUSE
record of a mill in Berwick was in 1257, when Laurence Miller had the lease of
a mill for his life time for 22 shillings each year. Asserton had a mill of its
own in 1309, and in Berwick St James John atte Mille paid 5s tax in 1332.
On Wednesday 20th
May 1478 William Birde delivered a new millstone for the Queens Mill, at
Berwick. At that time Berwick belonged to the Crown (Duchy of Lancaster).
John and Charles Sandell were the millers in
1578 when Wiltshire Quarter Sessions ordered that both Charles Sandell and
Joane Long “whome he begat with childe shalbe whipped …”
In the 1500’s
Anthony Fenton was the miller when there was a long argument between the
representatives of the Queens Mill in Berwick and Sir Walter Hungerford’s new
mill in Winterbourne Stoke because that mill was taking the water from Berwick’s
grinding mill straddled the river by Mill House at the south end of the
village, approximately at the site of the present footbridge.
The mill was
owned by the landowner of the village and leased on long leases to another who
then ran it himself, or employed a miller.
The Gilbert als
Netton family had the lease of the Mill in the 1600’s and the first half of the
1700’s. They were a well to do family who lived at the north end of the village
who leased several properties and land.
In 1776 Thomas
Miles was granted the lease at a rent of £1 5s 6d. He continued to hold it
until his death in August 1812. He also had leases for several other houses and
land. 1796 - “House, Grist Mill and
Garden of 1r 37p
with the Mill Bank in Church Marsh 1r 13p being of annual value £21.0.0 with
various closes of land making a total of 6a 20p for a rent of £1 5s 6d. When
Thomas Miles died in 1812 the tenancy went to Thomas Godwin. (The owner being
Lord Malmesbury.) The House, Mill, Garden and Church Marsh and Bank 3r 37p in
1843 was lived in by one of the employees of Mr E C Pinckney (the tenant of the
village) who lived in Berwick House.
thereafter a new Mill was built in the Farm Yard slightly upstream. It is still
itself was built in 1785 as a two story cottage with 2 rooms downstairs by
Thomas Miles, for the miller. He put a stone over the door carved “T M 1785”. In 1898 it was a
Stone and Thatch cottage with 3 rooms, and in 1921 a small stone, flint and
thatch cottage with 4 rooms.
The miller in
1891 was Jacob Rolfe aged 29. He was
living with his parents in what is now The Old Post Office. In 1901 he was a
widower with two young children, living with his now widowed father in the same
cottage - but he is no longer recorded as the miller.
In 1910 William
Humphries and his family lived in Mill Cottage, and from 1921 Shepherd Lawes
and his family.
Mill Cottage was
converted into a 3 bedroomed house by
Mrs K F Collins, for herself, around 1960. At the same time the yard on
the west of the river was converted into garages, gardens and the entrance to
Mill House, with the footbridge as access.
access was from the road to the south, over the small stream by a little footbridge
which went only a few years ago, the gate is still in the hedge.
The house was
first extended in 1969, and Mertens End added in the 1988.