By Levi Clancy for Student Reader on
Winchester City Mill start milling flour again in March 2004 after a hiatus of over 90 years. A mill has stood on this site atop the Itcehn River in the city center for a thousand years. Today the Winchester City Mill is thriving with activity and tourists.
Queen Elfrida founds Whenwell Abbey near Andover. She gives a mill at Eastgate and other property in Winchester to the Benedictine nuns.
The Domesday Survey records a mill outside Eastgate owned by Whenwell Abbey and paying a rent of 48 shillings per annum to the Abbess.
At the end of a prosperous period in milling, a new tenant William the Miller pays four pounds in silver as rent per annum on a seven year lease, 'any great timbers needed' the Abbess will supply.
The mill at Eastgate was derelict and did not work again until 1744.
Ownership of the mill passed from the nuns of Wherwell to the Crown.
Leases which continued until 1820 showed tenants had to pay "10 shillings per annum to the City and two chickens for the Mayor". Leases required tenants to rebuilt but the mill remained derelict.
James Cooker, a tanner of the Soke, Winchester rebuilds the mill at last, reusing the medieval roof timbers. A new period of prosperity begins for the City Mill.
John Benham buys the mill from the City Corporation and his family own it for over 100 years.
New roller mills, mostly located in ports, take away the trade of traditional mills. There is an unsuccessful attempt to sell the mill.
The mill is threatened with demolition, prompting local benefactors to raise a subscription to buy the mill and give it to The National Trust for safekeeping.
A twelve-year restoration project was completed and flour was made again in the City Mill for the first time in perhaps 90 years.
1 The National Trust
2 Dolat, Erkin. September 5th 2002. Washington betrays China's Uighurs. Asia Times. link