Campton & Chicksands


Campton Mill
The following is an extract from a book entitled 'Campton - A Study of  Bedfordshire Village' by D.J.Cadman.

'A village mill has existed on our river since Anglo Saxon times and is mentioned in the Doomesday Book.  Its exact position has not been located but a likely sire is upstream and near the Gravenhurst Road.  For many centuries it played an important part in the life of our villagers for they were not permitted to grind their own corn in hand operated querns.  The tolls collected by the miller were important supplements to the manorial income.
Since these earlier references there is no documentary evidence of a mill on the present site or elsewhere until the beginning of the nineteenth century when a 'Survey of Highways' was published.  Here it was recorded that in 1808 "William Squire had erected a mill for the Osbourn family and he had excaavated a cut to divert the river water into the mill pond".  It was an undershot type and the water turned two large wooden wheels.

In 1860 the mill was purchased by the Gudgins - a well known local farming family.  In the latter part of its working life a coal fired steam engine was installed and this enabled the mill to keep working in times of drought.
In 1914 it ceased to make flour for human consumption but continued to mill provinder. It ceased working in 1937.
It was then purchased by Mr. Boston who lived in the Mill house and farmed some adjacent land.  Latterly, it came into the possession of the owners of Woodhall Farm.  In recent years it was without tenants and fell into disrepair.

At a later date it was purchased by a local builder, Mr. M. Spavins, who completely rebuilt the whole structure and turned it into a pleasant country house.'

**Newspaper article in the Biggleswade Chronicle dated Friday 9th July 1982 showing Mr. Spavins restoring the Mill.

*Before Restoration

*During restoration
*The Mill (fully restored)

*Photographs courtesy of Joyce Thompson
** Copy of article
courtesy of Beryl Harris


Shefford, Bedfordshire, UK (map)

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