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Ashford Mill and Weir

A Grade II Listed Building in Ashford Bowdler, Shropshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.3356 / 52°20'8"N

Longitude: -2.7038 / 2°42'13"W

OS Eastings: 352142

OS Northings: 271066

OS Grid: SO521710

Mapcode National: GBR BL.TWKY

Mapcode Global: VH84B.2KZD

Entry Name: Ashford Mill and Weir

Listing Date: 28 May 2019

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1459843

Location: Ashford Carbonel, Shropshire, SY8

County: Shropshire

Civil Parish: Ashford Bowdler

Traditional County: Shropshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Shropshire

Summary


Early-C19 water-powered corn mill with associated horseshoe weir.

Description

Early-C19 water-powered corn mill with associated horseshoe weir.

MATERIALS: the building is constructed of stone and timber under a tile roof.

PLAN: the building is roughly rectangular on plan and stands on the banks of the River Teme, with the weir across the adjacent river. The first, unfinished mill building stands approximately 80m to the west.

EXTERIOR: the mill is a tall, narrow building built of coursed rubble stone. The northern, entrance side is roughly symmetrical with two low doors at ground floor level and two taking in doors above, all with cambered brick heads. The left hand upper door is partially covered by a piece of attached machinery.

The gable ends have some small openings, and the elevation facing the river has some irregular window openings, including at least one blocked opening, and a door giving access to the platform adjacent to the wheel. This stepped platform projects out and returns to enclose the wheel, and incorporates a fish pass. The wheel is 14ft in diameter and is undershot, fed by the adjacent weir. The weir also feeds water through a leat within the building.

INTERIOR: the mill is arranged over three floors; the ground floor has a stone flagged floor with thick beams, chamfered with runout stops, supporting the upper floors, which are accessed by straight ladder stairs. The building has a queen post roof with openings wide enough to allow working between. The internal walls are plastered and limewashed.

The building retains much historic machinery, some of which is understood to be original and some later replacements, with a hurst frame supporting the gears and millstones. At ground floor level the western end contains the machinery adjacent to the external wheel; at the eastern end is later machinery associated with the installation of the electricity workings. Further machinery and grain bins survive at first floor level and there are numerous openings and meal spouts between the floors enabling the milling processes.

SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: the first mill building, never completed, stands to the west of the main building. This is also of stone, with a slate roof, of two storeys with arched openings on its eastern face.

History

The first mill at Ashford was built towards the end of the C18, north of the present mill, but was never operational due to difficulties in constructing an adequate weir in the river adjacent. That building was abandoned in around 1797, and the present mill and weir built approximately 75 metres downstream. This work is understood to have been completed by around 1805. Part of the external waterwheel is understood to have been made at the Kington Foundry in Herefordshire and dates from around 1815-1820. Both the mill buildings are shown on the tithe map in their present formation; at that time the mill was owned by a local landowner and occupied by a tenant.

In 1907 the new owner of the nearby Ashford Court negotiated a lease of 99 years to take on the mill and adapt it to supply electricity to his property. This involved the removal of the original inner undershot wheel and its replacement with a turbine which powered a circular saw and generator. The mill is understood to have remained in use until the mid-C20.

Reasons for Listing

Ashford Mill and Weir, which date from the early-C19, are listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

* although plain architecturally, the vernacular buildings survive well; they reflect their function and form prominent features alongside the River Teme;
* the mill retains much historic machinery, which demonstrates the processes by which the building functioned.

Historic interest:

* as a good example of an early-C19 mill, with extensive historic machinery.

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