swuklink: Place Mill, Town Quay, Christchurch, <a href="BAAAGBYS.php">Dorset</a>  
Town Quay, Christchurch, Dorset, England
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DISCLAIMER: this is an unofficial site prepared independently of the owner/operators of the location described. Anything expressed here is the view of the author and does not represent the official policy of the owner/operators of the described location.

Place Mill stands on the Town Quay near the Priory Church and may have been mentioned in William I's Domesday Book of 1068 before the great priory church was built.

Although the mill was part of the monastic buildings which, save for the Priory Church, passed to the crown at the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1538 and were destroyed, it survived and continued to grind corn into the early 20th century.

It's 900-year working history, brought to an end in 1908 through structural defects and competition from roller milling as at Throope Mill, included not only the grinding of corn but also in the fulling process of the once important woollen industry.

After it ceased work as a mill, the building was used as a boat store but was restored in the 1980s and opened as a museum, an art gallery and a tourist information centre.

For 70 years the mill was used as a boat shed until it was restored by Christchurch Borough Council in 1988.

It is now open throughout the summer months as an information centre as well as housing displays of arts and crafts amongst the working machinery.

Unfortunately, the fabric of this ancient building can no longer withstand the vibration which would be caused by the grinding of the millstones - although the remainder of the mill machinery has been carefully restored, the millwheels have not been fitted just in case they should be accidentaly turned on.

Place Mill is quite remarkable in that it draws its water from one of the rivers of Christchurch, the Avon, and this is carried by the Mill Stream which was hewn from the soil by the mediaeval monks of the Priory, and drains into the Stour having turned the huge water wheel . Both rivers are tidal at either end of the Mill Stream and, under some conditions, a head of only 30-cm (1-ft) is available at the wheel . Such an energy economy must by its very nature be precarious and the mill's 900-year working history is testament to the skill of the millers who worked there. If the Stour has served the mill well, it has also tried to claim it as its own - as the tide marks on the walls of the machinery floor record.

More details:-
Mill Stones
Sack Hoist
Water Wheel

See also...
Andrew Cox, the last miller here
Mills and Milling
Dressing the Millstones
Economic History of Christchurch
Knapp Mill



  -; Phone (01202)

  -; Facsimile

  -; eMail

  -; Postal Address

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Andrew Cox, the last miller at Place Mill
Mills & Milling
Town Quay


See also    Other Buildings of Note in Christchurch
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