Settlements along the Bournes have probably had watermills for a very long time; although the earliest horizontal watermill found in Britain so far was found at Ebbsfleet in Kent and is believed to date from Anglo-Saxon times – about 700 AD 4.
Simple small overshot vertical mill circa 1600. Grain is fed into the hopper at top and feeds down into the central hole in the upper stone
The vertical mill was used from medieval times. They tended to be quite small and it was not uncommon for a stream to support mills just a couple of kilometres apart.
No mill is mentioned in this area in Domesday.
In a charter of 1259 [Chertsey Cartularies (6)] Pope Alexander IV confirmed the possessions the Monastery of Chertsey, including mill sites in the manors of Chertsey, Thorpe, Egham and Chobham.
The 14th C Chertsey Cartulary mentions three mills in this area; but they may all have been references to the same mill roughly on the site of the Town Mill. You can read in more detail the Cartulary entries regarding mills and an analysis of their likely location by clicking on the subject in the top left margin.
Norden’s map of 1607 shows only Hook Mill.
By the 18th C there were three mills. John Senex’s 1729 map and John Rocque’s map of 1760 show 3 mills on the North Bourne between Bagshot and Ottershaw, Windlesheim (sic) Mill, Hook Mill and Emmett’s Mill (no mill shown in the centre of Chobham, no mills called Hurst or Horsted). Windlesheim Mill appears to be on a site on the crossing of Windle Brook just west of the Old House in Windlesham Arboretum.
The 1816 OS map shows two mills; Hook Mill and Emmett’s mill: no town, Hurst or Horsted mill. No mills are shown on the South Bourne although the place name Milford is intriguing. It would appear that sometime after 1348 the mill roughly on the site of the Town Mill appears to have fallen out of use and been replaced by Hook and Emmett’s mills.
You can read about our old watermills by clicking on them in the top left margin.
Does anyone have any information about this mill about a kilometre upstream from Chobham?
1 D Stidder, The Watermills of Surrey, 1990. p 116-117
2 J. Hiller, Old Surrey Water Mills, 1951, p 155-6
3 J Mason, Ceabba’s Ham
4 British Archaeology, August 2002, p6