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Flitwick Mill

A Grade II Listed Building in Flitwick, Central Bedfordshire

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Latitude: 52.0017 / 52°0'5"N

Longitude: -0.4834 / 0°29'0"W

OS Eastings: 504209

OS Northings: 234777

OS Grid: TL042347

Mapcode National: GBR G3P.JM3

Mapcode Global: VHFQT.KYTD

Plus Code: 9C4X2G28+MJ

Entry Name: Flitwick Mill

Listing Date: 23 January 1961

Last Amended: 30 June 2005

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1321733

English Heritage Legacy ID: 38019

ID on this website: 101321733

Location: Flitwick, Central Bedfordshire, MK45

County: Central Bedfordshire

Civil Parish: Flitwick

Built-Up Area: Ampthill

Traditional County: Bedfordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Bedfordshire

Church of England Parish: Flitwick

Church of England Diocese: St.Albans

Tagged with: Mill

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This list entry was subject to a Minor Amendment on 28/01/2013


Flitwick Mill

(Formerly listed as The Water Mill under East End)


Water powered corn mill and attached mill house. Late C18 or early C19, extended twice later C19, probably between 1882 and 1901; it traded until 1987. Restored and repaired later C20.
Materials. Brick ground floor, the southwestern, earlier sections in buff and red brick in Flemish bond, the northeastern section, including first floor of southern elevation, in red/grey brick in Flemish bond. Northeast gable wall and bay of ground floor of southern return in soft red brick, in English bond. Upper floors timber framed and weather boarded, the boarding replaced between 1988 and 1993. Upper floor and roof of one build. Slate roofs.
3 storeys. North elevation. Ground floor of three builds of brickwork, first floor timber framed in two, altered builds, gallery and roof of one build. Vertically boarded divided door into original, southern end of mill. Two 4 x 2 pane timber lights, and one of 5 x 3 lights, in altered opening. Three C20 4 x 2 light fixed lights to first floor. Vertically boarded, divided loading bay door. Weatherboarded luccam, restored, with 4 x 2 light window.
South elevation. The western section has brick lower floor, weatherboarded timber frame above. The eastern half has brick lower and first floor, weatherboarded upper floor. Last bay of ground floor in English bond, as gable wall, altered to house steam engine. Lower windows mostly have fixed small paned lights, with slender moulded glazing bars, some under cambered brick arches. First floor fixed small paned lights, the central window with slender, early to mid C19 glazing bars.
Northeast wall, of soft red brick in English bond, below weatherboarded timber frame, has small first floor fixed light, small paned gable window.
Southwest wall external brick stack to late C19 single storey brick office. Small paned first floor window and gable light.
Curved screen wall in red brick links mill to millhouse, screening the offices.

Western section, ground floor in 2 x 3 bays, altered and extended by a bay, supported on posts on brick pads, that by entrance with heavy braces and chamfered angles. Similar chamfered post at first floor. Eastern wall removed but supported with heavy chamfered braces at first floor. Alterations to ground floor, when later electric engine added to east of wheel pit. Floors of broad elm boards. Ladder stairs at each floor, leading to small lobby below upper floor. Later sections open but with rebuilt northeast angle with internal brick walls, and raised floor level, formerly housing auxiliary steam engine. Floors of narrower boards. Floor hatches throughout. Queen strut roof, with three sets of purlins, braced to the lower purlins. Interior of roof close boarded.

Machinery (See Major, 1988 and 1993)
Cast iron overshot waterwheel. Intact drive mechanism from water wheel to upper level hoists. Stone floor has three sets of stones with stone covers, one removed, the third stone latterly powered by electric motor. Conical timber cage protects vertical drive shaft. Upper floor: bins each side of central walkway. Hoist system with drive shaft running along southern section and into luccam. Timber chutes at ground and first floors.
First floor. Dressing machine. Wooden panelled box, with top hung flap with vertical strap hinges, housing dressing machine. Free standing cast iron Improved Corn Crushing Mill. C20 conical separator at gallery floor level.

The mill is a rare surviving example of a complete milling process. While the building is not architecturally of a piece, since it has been extended and reclad, it demonstrates the continuing process of expansion and development of the C19 mill. It retains its complete water system, with clay- lined pond, waterways, sluices and hatches, the latter repaired as recently as 1982, when the mill was still working. Its archaeological context is intact. Attached is a mid C19 mill house, with adjacent barn, wagon sheds and former stables. Although the latter are considerably altered, they help to illustrate how the site worked. The mill ceased trading in 1987 and was surveyed and recorded by Kenneth Major in 1988 and 1993. It is well documented and recorded, with good surviving paperwork and tools.

Bedfordshire Mills, Hugh Howes, 1983
The Windmills and Watermills of Bedfordshire, Kenneth Major, 1967
Flitwick Mill, Flitwick Bedfordshire, structural survey, Kenneth Major, February 1988
Flitwick Mill, Flitwick, Bedfordshire, structural survey, Kenneth Major, November 1993

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