Hi All, And a happy new year.
These images are of original pencil sketches of “The Old Water mill Mapledurham” measuring approximately 36 x 25 cm signed by NEG and E C Blair and dated 15 June 1853, and is still a working mill, I bought this and another by the same hand, size being the same and dated 24 May 1855 of “The old bridge house the George & Dragon Lamberhurst” Kent, which I understand is now an Italian Restaurant. Both sketches were bought whilst on holiday in DEVON at Tavistock antiques and Craft market, in 2009, Coincidently I was watching a film on TV, “The Eagle Has Landed” and recognised the water mill as That on my sketch here is the history or has much as I researched of the mill.
The Mill at Mapledurham is the only mill on the Thames still working and producing high-quality stone-ground flour. A mill was here at the time of the Domesday Survey. The core of the present building dates from the 15th century. It was increased in size in the 1670s, when the second waterwheel on the village side was added, and again around 1700.
A new barn was added on the island in 1777. The Mill continued in work until just after the Second World War and was restored and brought back into use in 1980. At its busiest it employed five people, and the miller was prosperous enough to rent the finest house in the village street.
James Webb leased the Mill and the lock in 1690 at £60 per annum. His son Daniel Webb took over from him in 1726 at a rent of £100. He was succeeded at a rent of £150 p.a. in 1747 (raised to £205 in 1776) by Thomas Antrum, who went bankrupt in 1784 over a debt of £100 to Myrtilla Mayhew. The tenure of these three millers covered the most profitable years for the Mill.
So important was the mill to the local community that as late as 1823 plans were drawn up to rebuild the Mill in classical style, by J. Phillips of Reading. This startling plan was considered seriously enough for detailed constructional plans to be drawn.
*The watermill is perhaps best known for its starring role in the 1976 film, The Eagle Has Landed, where the mill leat (an open watercourse conducting water to a mill.) is the scene of the dramatic rescue of a local girl by a German paratrooper that results in the unmasking and ultimate failure of the raid*.
*It is also the backdrop in the image on the cover of Black Sabbath (album), by the band of the same name*.
This information was researched from the Internet, http://www.wikipedia.org, http://www.mapledurham.co.uk, http://www.flickr.com, http://www.wikipedia.org, 21/02/2009
M S Firth. BA (Hons) ARPS.
Images through the ages of Mapledurham Mill.