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Shelsley Walsh Water Mill

A Grade II Listed Building in Worcester, Worcestershire

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Latitude: 52.2646 / 52°15'52"N

Longitude: -2.41 / 2°24'35"W

OS Eastings: 372115

OS Northings: 263013

OS Grid: SO721630

Mapcode National: GBR BZ.ZHDH

Mapcode Global: VH92B.5BST

Plus Code: 9C4V7H7R+R2

Entry Name: Shelsley Walsh Water Mill

Listing Date: 3 April 2008

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1392675

English Heritage Legacy ID: 504692

Location: Shelsley Walsh, Malvern Hills, Worcestershire, WR6

County: Worcestershire

District: Malvern Hills

Civil Parish: Shelsley Walsh

Traditional County: Worcestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Worcestershire

Church of England Parish: The Shelsleys

Church of England Diocese: Worcester

Find accommodation in
Clifton upon Teme

Listing Text


266/0/10005 Shelsley Walsh Water Mill

Brick watermill of c.1800 housing machinery of c.1700. Some C19 modification, notably a new cast-iron waterwheel.

EXTERIOR: The mill stands at the west end of the home farm of Court House, which overlooks it from a slight bluff to the south-west. The mill is a rectangular bricked-cased, slate-roofed, structure of c.1800 which houses milling machinery of c.1700. The mill, of bright red brick with a dentil eaves course, has two storeys over the basement meal floor. The entrance to the stone floor is on the west side, where a central door with a mill stone set into the threshold is flanked by a pair of two-light casement windows. Similar windows light the east side of the mill where the ground falls to expose the meal floor which is entered via a door on the north side. A small hatch over one of the first-floor windows was inserted early in the C20 to allow the mill machinery to be worked via a drive taken off a tractor, while a late C19 iron drive shaft runs beneath the track between the mill and the barn to its east. Three-light windows (casements replaced c.2006) in either gable light the first-floor bin floor/loft, which is ventilated by gaps in the brickwork beneath the eaves course. The late C19 overshot iron mill wheel, by Turtons of Kidderminster (reset, and zinc buckets renewed c. 2006), is on the south side of the building in a stone-walled wheel pit which exhibits evidence of earlier wheel arrangements. The brick steps up the side of the wheel pit were rebuilt in 2007 and are not of special interest. Water is delivered to the top of the wheel via an iron pipe, which almost immediately passes under ground, beneath the roadway past the mill.

The water supply was originally from a mill pond, now infilled, which curved around the Court House, which stands west of that road. The tail race is channelled across the west end of the farmyard to the east of the mill.

INTERIOR: The basement meal floor contains a full set of machinery including axle tree, pit wheel and wallower, separated from the rest of the wheel house by a heavy timber-framed screen (with on reverse of one of the uprights a well-carved IW (perhaps JW), with a cruder B carved beneath), boarded on the interior side.

The stone floor, entered from the main west-side door, has wooden steps ascending to a trapdoor in the ceiling to the left of the door, with a pair of stones either side of the main shaft to the right. The shaft is the mill's most remarkable feature, being very finely finished with fluting down its length and elaborate stops beneath the crown wheel and lesser ones nearer its base. The drive machinery for the two stones, and their wooden cases (tuns), survive, although the case around the right-hand wheel had been partly dismantled for repair at the time of inspection. Two heavy spine beans support the floor above with closely-set joists.

The first- floor bin floor/loft is open to the roof, exposing the roof which has heavy trusses with angled inner braces supporting the collar. Zinc-lined grain bins occupy much of the floor space, and there is a wooden sack hoist above. Hop sacking is pinned across the rafters for cleanliness.

HISTORY: A mill is first documented here in 1308, and in 1654 there were three mills in the parish. It seems likely that this is the site of the C14 mill, with the other C17 mills standing near New Mill Bridge and at Forgemill Farm. Modifications, other than the brick casing of the mill c.1800, include a power take-off for the adjoining farm buildings made by Turtons of Kidderminster in the late C19, possibly when Montague CH Taylor acquired the Court and Farm c.1890. The mill remained in use until 1923. It is now owned by the Midlands Automobile Club which leases it to the Shelsley Water Mill Society which is undertaking restoration works. The mill stands just northward of the manor, Court House (listed Grade II), and of St Andrew's church (listed Grade I).

SOURCES: VCH Worcestershire 4 (1924), 335-7

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION DECISION: Shelsley Walsh mill is listed, for the following principal reasons:
* as a good example watermill building of c.1800
* For its well-preserved machinery of c.1700, notably the carved shaft
* For the highly unusual overdrive/underdrive arrangement of the downstream pair of stones
* For group value with the nearby Grade I listed church and Grade II Court House

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

Reasons for Listing

* as a good example watermill building of c.1800
* For its well-preserved machinery of c.1700, notably the carved shaft
* For group value with the nearby Grade I listed church and Grade II Court House

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