Market Lavington Museum

Watermills in the neighbourhood


This was the heading for a short section in Jack Welch’s village history. Looking back a hundred years or so, much of the locally grown cereal was milled locally too. In the northern part of Market Lavington, off the Kings Road, we have Windmill Lane and Windmill House, though we are not sure of the exact location of the former windmill. However, most of the local mills were water powered.

Jack Welch wrote ‘The stream which rises in West Lavington Warren is known as Semington Brook and the mills in the immediate vicinity included West Lavington Mill, Cornbury Mill, Russell Mill (see also Russell Mill and Russell Mill), Farmer’s Mill (now the Fishing Cottage), Woodbridge Mill, (a mill we find hard to read)

Hurst Mill, Worton Mill and Bulkington Mill and many others down the stream.’

Of these, Cornbury Mill and Russell Mill were in Market Lavington parish. Jack, writing in 1954, could remember all the mills listed being used for grinding corn ‘except for Russell Mill which I can only remember as being used for driving the saw bench in the Manor Estate yard.’ But, at the time of writing in 1954, Jack thought that Worton Mill was the only one still working.

The map accompanying the 1916 sale of some of the Manor properties has some of these watermills marked.

Woodbridge Mill can be seen here, situated beyond the railway line and behind the pottery works.

Littleton Mill was also close to the main road leading from Devizes to West Lavington. These two mills were located either side of the railway bridge.

(At the time of the sale Lavington Station was in use and the Station Hotel building was what later residents would have known as the Chocolate Poodle public house.)