History

Burton Mill - probably taken around 1950

 

2016 View

Burton Mill, West Sussex

 

The present 4 storey, 5 bay mill building dates from 1780 and was built on the foundations of an earlier forge or fulling mill. A mill is mentioned in the Domesday book as part of Burton manor but it is believed that this was located to the south under what is now Burton Mill Pond. By 1893 the present mill included 2 waterwheels (one either side) and 4 pairs of stones. Soon after, the eastern waterwheel was replaced by an early Francis type turbine driving a dynamo to provide power to Burton Park House. A second 27h.p. Gilkes turbine was installed in the western watercourse in 1929 to drive the 4 pairs of stones and additional machinery including a circular saw. It is around this time that the present arrangement of bins were installed in the attic to accommodate a larger variety of grains. This is probably the time that the eastern turbine ceased to be used as there would have been insufficient water available to drive both. The eastern turbine was uncovered during the renovation work and can be seen in the photo above just behind the gate.

By the around 1970 the mill had been abandoned and fell into a very poor state, to the extent that it was used as a 'derelict building' set in an early episode of the BBC series 'Shoestring'. In the late 70s, Burton Mill was acquired by Mrs A Mills who, with volunteer help restored the mill to working order using a pair of stones taken from a mill in Wales coupled to the existing western turbine. The mill was once again producing flour and this continued until the late 1990s

Sources:
Dr A F Hughes, Historic Building Consultant – 2009 report;
Unknown author, 'A short History of Burton Mill';
The West Sussex Gazette, 16th November 1978

View of the eastern wheel

View of the western wheel