Milling around Newark before 1600


 - Water and Wind


Around 1549 Anthony Fo(r)ster had built a windmill on Beacon Hill. He was the bailiff of the Bishop, who had parted with his Newark estate to the Crown. His son Giles Foster was later in a property dispute with William Earl of Rutland.

In 1576 there was an inquisition before a jury about the state of Newark's water mills. The millers brought a suit against the Sutton family at Averham, claiming that the flow through the Newark mills had been reduced by their Farndon scheme to supplement the small stream running through Averham, Kelham and Muskham.

The court ordered the Suttons to build and maintain a weirto direct a fairer share of the water into the Newark branch of the river.

{try to obtain picture of water mills in period, preferably Newark ones  or map showing their locations}

Of the former nine Newark mills, only seven remained (five for grain and two for fulling) and all were in the tenure of William Earl of Rutland. Of these "The Wheat Mill" was in ruins, and another building containing four mills (two for grain and two for fulling) was very ruinous and in great decay. Seven flood gates (between the mill called "the wheat mill" and the new mill) were in daily use to control flooding in the meadows of the Vale of Belvoir. The mills needed substantial repairs - continual repairs were also needed to the banks and causeway, which diverted the flow from its natural course to the mills. Repairs to the seven mills were estimated to need 116 cartloads of timber and 240 of stone. The floodgates were best repaired with long bundles of brushwood and piles, rather than stones and woodwork as previously done.

"If they were not repaired, fifty pounds would not suffice to bring back the said river to the mills."

A ropemaker of 60 years, Anthony Burke of Balderton, agreed that Newark's six water mills were sufficient for the people of Newark's needs, apart from during times of drought. However he admitted that "the towns of Balderton, Barnbey, Coddington, Girton, North and South Scarle had commonlie used to grind their corn at ye mills".

He also reported that:

About 40 years or more there was a winde mill built by Mr Anthonye fforster which is still standing and continewed within fields of Newarke called the Beacon mill.

About 20 years past (therefore about 1555) there was another mill builded within the feilds of Coddington by Thomas Leonard, alias Pocklington, continued to this day." (It was a Thomas Leonard alias Pocklington who rented the former Coddington chantry lands and heridataments for 67s 4d per year in 1602 (6th June 44 Eliz)).

In 1599 six windmills were built at Balderton, Barnby, Codyngton, Girton and North and South Scarle due to drought and the failure of the Watermills.

{insert suitable pictures of a post mill}



For more information about Coddington in the 16th Century: 


Coddington Timeline 16th Century


Follow these links for more information about milling and millers in Coddington:


Coddington Windmill Introduction

Milling and Millers in Coddington from 1600 - 1830

The Lee family at Coddington mill 1830 onwards


From windmill to house (includes a technical description of the tower windmill)