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Towcester Mill - Introduction
From the North West (2003)Mill from the North West (2003)
Former Mill Owners House (2004)Mill owners house (2004)
From the South EastMill from the South East
Although a mill at Towcester was recorded in the Domesday Book (1086), the oldest existing building is just over two hundred years old. The mill, which was powered by water, was used to grind corn into flour, and to mix animal feed. It is believed to be one of the only (maybe the only) water mill in Northamptonshire with a working turbine (Ref 1).

The water that powered the machinery was drawn from the River Tove via a leat which runs from the north end of Towcester adjacent to the premises of Towcester Tyres (Loughran's Garage), giving a head of 9 feet at the water wheel. The mill leat runs along the South West side of the water meadows which form part of the Easton Neston Estate, and the mill is shielded from the estate by mature trees.

Brian Giggins found a quotation for the water wheel, 1848, 8ft high and 10 foot wide, among the Fermor-Hesketh papers.

The top photograph shows the mill from the North West. The stone building on the left is dated 1794. The brick building to the right with a pitched roof is a rectangular extension built in the early twentieth century, and the taller building to the right of that with a flat roof is an semi-octagonal extension probably built in the 1930s.

The centre photograph shows the mill from the South East. This time the oldest building is on the right, and the water is in front.

The mill was derelict for many years, but the buildings were renovated in 1996 by a Company called Phoenix VLSI Consultants Limited, and a year later the mill machinery was made to rotate once again under water power, with help from the Hampshire Mill Group. After Phoenix VLSI left Towcester mill, the building was used by Infrared Integrated Systems Limited, then as offices by the South Northamptonshire Council. Today, the mill is occupied by Towcester Mill Brewery and Tap Room.

The bottom photograph is of the building adjacent to the mill where the mill owner once lived. In the background can be seen the tower of St. Lawrence's Church, Towcester. The mill owners house was used by Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Trust, and, in 2016, the building is being converted to housing.

The three photographs were taken in winter so that the outlines of the buildings were not obscured by foliage.

The other pages of this web site about Towcester Mill cover the chronology, the machinery, the fire of 1911 and a newspaper article about the restoration of the turbine.
  1. Starmer, Geoffrey (2001) Northamptonshire Industrial Archaeology Group. A report on all the mills in Northamptonshire prepared for the NCC.
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