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Description: Easterford Mill
Date Listed: 21 December 1967
English Heritage Building ID: 116569
OS Grid Reference: TL8669419069
OS Grid Coordinates: 586694, 219069
Latitude/Longitude: 51.8390, 0.7085
Explore more of the area around Kelvedon, Essex at Explore Britain.
KELVEDON SWAN STREET
8/271 Easterford Mill
Water mill. C18, altered in cL9. Timber framed, weatherboarded, roofed with
handmade red plain tiles. Main range facing NW, abutting on Easterford Mill
House (item 8/272, q.v.) at the right. Small single-storey lean-to extension to
left. 3 catslide extensions of various dates and types to rear, the whole
forming a rectangular plan. 2 storeys and loft. Ground floor, one early C19
sash of 16 lights, one C20 casement. First floor, 3 early cL9 sashes of 16
lights with crown and bullseye glass. One C20 door and one plain boarded door.
External stair to another plain boarded door on first floor. Right end of roof
semi-conical where it overlays the roof of Easterford Mill House. Lucam under
repair at time of survey, October 1986. Gabled enclosure for hoist projecting
above ridge behind lucam. One gabled dormer to rear, over catslide roof,
lighting loft. 'Easterford, or Rogers', as it was often called after its last
miller, is an outstanding survivor full of charm and interest. A typical
three-pair country mill, it stands just as it gave up work in the 1930s without
ever, so far as is known, employing auxiliary power. Damsels and shoes still
stand on two of the stones with a simple system of adjusting the damsel's beat
by leading the crook string over one of four notches cut in the horse frame.
The wheel is all iron with flat paddles set on pegged wooden starts, and the
wheel shaft is extended to carry a belt pulley on the side of the wheel opposite
to the pit wheel. It seems surprising that so convenient an arrangement is not
found elsewhere, but what use Kelvedon made of it is not now clear. Stone nuts,
pit wheel and wallower are iron, but the spur is a fine old wooden compass wheel
and the vertical shaft is also wooden. The stone nuts were raised by a simple
screw and spanner device. The bridge trees consist in each case of two heavy
timbers at right angles, with the member carrying the stone spindle set across
the member raised by the tentering screw. The ends of both are tenons sliding
in mortices, with the fixed ends held by iron pins which can be adjusted by a
choice of holes. An advantage of what at first sight seems an awkwardly
complicated arrangement is that the pinion jacks are rendered very accessible.
On the stone floor the wooden sack hoist pinion is geared unbevelled into the
compass arm crown wheel and the sack hoist pulley itself is exceptionally large,
about four feet six inches in diameter. The building itself is curious, with
the weight of the stage floor taken on an inside timber frame and the front wall
of the mill itself supporting only the roof. It appears that originally the
mill was a mansard structure of mid-18th century date but the thrust of the roof
was so great that the feet of the upright posts kicked inwards. Big rough-hewn
knees were fixed with large Colt screws in the angles between the tie beams and
the vertical posts. Later the north wall was raised and a single span roof
erected over it so that the eaves are now higher at the front than the back and
the stage floor is lit by windows in the wall instead of the usual rooflights
and gables.' (H. Benham, Some Essex Water Mills, 1976, 65-7). The inner timber
frame is of hardwood, some of it re-used. Since the above report was written
the corroded flat paddles have been replaced in steel. All the machinery
remains in place. A new steel sluice gate is operated by the original cast iron
gearing. The building is shown distantly in a photograph of c.1865 reproduced
in B.L. Kentish, Kelvedon and its Antiquities, 1974, plate 7.
Listing NGR: TL8669419069
This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.