SK 19886955 Mill. Two storey former corn mill with wheelpit. Limestone with gritstone facings and lintels and ornamental features. (1)
Ashford corn mill is a 1½ storey stone working mill in good condition. The iron water wheel has been replaced by a turbine and rollers, but three sets of stones are still in situ. There are traces of a small wooden watermill on the other side of the building and there is also a drying kiln. (2)
Small L-shaped water-powered corn mill on the River Wye. The mill is now powered by turbine, using rollers, but has three sets of stones still in situ. The building is of limestone, with mullioned windows, stone roof and with a kiln with roof louvre. The mill is basically 18th century and has the remains of wheelpits and sluices still in situ. Machinery inside, still belt-driven. Used for milling animal feeds. (5)
Flewitt's Corn Mill, Ashford in the Water. This very attractive mill stands on the River Wye, which passes either side of the stone building. It was possibly one of the last water mills to operate commercially in the county, into the 1970s. The mill building is L-shaped, running north to south, with a kiln attached at the south-eastern corner. It had two undershot wheels, one wooden and one made of iron, which have both been removed and the southern one has been replaced by a later turbine which is still in place. The horizontal drive from the turbine is taken into the mill via spur gears. Inside the mill, bevel gears allow it to drive a lineshaft which drives four pairs of millstones and an iron upright shaft, about 4 ins in diameter, which would have driven ancillary machinery. Also driven from the turbine is a large belt pulley but it is not clear what this was for. At the other end of the building there is now no sign of any machinery that might have been driven by the northern waterwheel. A Royal Exchange fire insurance policy dated 1806 covered 'the brick and stone built, slated and tiled mill building, the kiln, the waterwheels, millstones, wire machines and dressing mills' for the sum of £150. Millers noted in the Trade directories include Thomas Cooper 1835-50, John Wallwin 1881-1904 and Thomas and J Flewitt, 1912-16. (6)
The north part of the west wing may be part of the structure shown on William Senior's plan of 1616. (7)
Three trial holes were excavated within the former mill in 2017, it had been presumed traces of an earlier structure may be found, but none were within the depth of excavation required. (8)
From the National Heritage List for England:
'SK 19 69 PARISH OF ASHFORD IN THE WATER MILL LANE 11/56 (West Side) The Mill II
Former water-powered cornmill with integral drying kiln. C18 with C19 and C20 alterations. MATERIALS: Coursed rubble limestone with gritstone dressings and quoins. Stone slate roof covering laid to diminishing courses to mill building, and a pantile covering to the kiln, with louvred ridge vent. Gable end stacks. PLAN: L-shaped complex, with wheelpits to the gable ends of the north-south range, that to the south now the location of a water turbine. The drying kiln is located within the east-west range, to the north of the main mill race. EXTERIOR: North elevation of 2 stories, with an advanced wing to the right, and the former wheelpit abutting the gable base, made up of massive ashlar gritstone blocks. A tall gable 2-light mullioned window is set within a gritstone surround. Below, a decayed gritstone band course, and then the blocked aperture for the former water wheel shaft. The east side wall has quoining for a now lost opening and a small 4-pane window. The attached east-west range has a shallow segmental arch to a double doorway with plank doors located at the junction of the 2 ranges. To the left of the doorway is a shallow 2-light mullioned window. Above is a first floor taking-in doorway with plank doors and a fixed light window with glazing bars. This is set within a gablet which rises through the eaves, its upper part framed within squared gritstone masonry. Attached to the east gable is the drying kiln building with its louvred ridge vent, and extending from the north wall, a low single-storey addition with a gable chimney and a plain doorway to the right-hand corner. East elevation: the gable to the drying kiln has a low doorway and 2 windows to the right-hand side, both with punch-dressed surrounds and small-paned glazing, the larger window with diamond-shaped panes. The small extension has an 8 over 8-pane sash window. The kiln has a small shallow arch-headed window to its upper floor. To the left is an narrow 2 storey projection below a gablet and then a wider gable to north-south range with a 2-light mullioned window to its apex. At the base of the gable wall the former wheel shaft aperture now houses the main drive shaft from the turbine located in the former wheelpit. West elevation: this wall has 3 window openings, one a 2-light mullioned window, the others with small paned frames. INTERIOR: the interior of the mill has been much altered, with floor and partitions joinery of mainly late C19 date. One bridging beam has carved decoration of C17 appearance whilst other beams and posts or props are of variable quality. The upper floor has much C19 and C20 replacement timber and plank storage bins have been fitted in the north-south range. The mill complex retains its near-complete drying kiln with the kiln furnace and much of the drying floor made up of perforated tiles. MACHINERY: the mill was originally powered by 2 water wheels, but last operated by means of a Gilkes turbine, installed c.1900 and still in situ. This powered a main horizontal drive shaft linked to secondary gearing and drives to 3 pairs of millstones located on the south side of the east-west range. The secondary gearing, vertical shafts and stone nuts are housed within hurst framing set behind a planked partition with low access doors. The wheeled turbine control mechanism is set in front of this partition on the mill floor. A vertical shaft carries the drive to the upper floor, where it powers belt drives, line shafting and hoists. The stone nuts, and a first floor stone crane used to raise the upper of the 2 millstones are similar to those illustrated in 'A Treatise on Mills and Millwork' of c.1850 by the celebrated engineer William Fairbairn. 2 pairs of stones and their fittings survive at the north end of the north-south range.
REASONS FOR DESIGNATION DECISION
* Ashford Mill is of special architectural interest as a well-preserved example of an C18 and C19 water-powered corn mill.
* It retains evidence of successive phases of water-power technology and an in-situ water turbine, associated transmission and millstone.
*It retains its drying kiln, including the kiln furnace and much of the perforated tile floor to the kiln chamber.
Listing NGR: SK1983469515.'