Mount Bures Community Web Site



Wind and Water Mills at Mount Bures
Map indicating the location of the four mill sites.
None are still evident, long since demolished.
Cambridge Brook Mill (Map No1)

Newmans Mill near Abrams Farm (Map No2)
(now demolished)


Built c1819 and demolished 1917

Census and Trade Directory entries :-

1816 - Thomas Newman (Miller from Boxted) and his wife Sarah built the windmill,

1846 -Joseph Newman born in Mount Bures but listed as Miller living in Wakes Colne

1851- John Newman son of Thomas took over the Mill.

Essex and Suffolk Herald 1871

John Newman deceased.

Presumably this is when Edgar Newman took over
the running of the Mill

John Newman deceased
1880 -Edgar son of Abraham, operated the bakehouse.
Edgar was also a grocer in Bures St Mary.

1882 -Kellys Directory lists Joseph Newman Miller

1886 - -Kellys Directory lists Joseph Newman Miller(steam and wind)

1890 - John Newman followed by son Frank milled until 1917 when the Mill was demolished

Essex Chronicle April 4th 1890 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

1890 -Kellys Directory lists Joseph Newman Miller(steam and wind)
This contradicts the 1890 entry by Ida McMaster

1891:- Mill House
Joseph Newman 45 miller
Eleanor Newman 37
Frank 16
Joseph 14
Edward 11
William 9
Nelle 7

1895 -Kellys Directory lists Joseph Newman Miller(steam and wind)

1899 -Kellys Directory lists Joseph Newman Miller (steam and wind)

1902 -Kellys Directory lists Joseph Newman Miller (steam and wind)

1906 -Kellys Directory lists Frank Newman Miller (steam and wind)

1908 -Kellys Directory lists Frank Newman Miller (steam and wind)

1912 -Kellys Directory lists Frank Newman Miller (steam and wind)

1917 -Kellys Directory lists Frank Newman Miller(steam and wind)

1917 - Mill demolished. According to Ida McMasters Book

1921 - Mill House Nr Abrams (still listed Frank Newman with 2 males and 6 females)
(As he is not listed as a Miller, he may be living in the Mill House)

1922- Kellys Directory continues to list Frank Newman Miller (steam and wind)

Newman's Mill was worked by members of the same family, who still live locally, throughout its known history, which opened tragically in 1822, when Charles Newman, described as a fine youth of about 16 years, stepped out of the roundhouse into the path of the revolving sails and was killed instantly. He was the son of Thomas Newman, miller and farmer, and had been about to learn the trade of miller. Greenwood includes the mill on his map, published 1825.

A Thomas Newman was in possession in 1840. In 1871 the wind and steam mills were sold by auction by the executors of the 'late Mr Newman' to Joseph Newman for £300. The same was miller in 1899, but by 1906 had been succeeded by his son Frank Newman, who died in 1959 at the age of 85.
The mill and single-storied roundhouse were painted white, and were built for one of the family line. The structure was in very sound condition to the last, well constructed and neatly finished, with sash windows to light the interior. There had been two common and two spring sails, but these were replaced by four single-shuttered anti-clockwise springs, and for the last two years before demolition c 1917, two only were used after a mishap to the others. They were carried by an iron windshaft fitted with a wooden brake wheel. There were two pairs of 4ft. French burrs in the mill breast and a further pair in the detached steam mill. The post mill also contained a bolter and an oat crusher. Winding was by tail pole, under which was placed a winch to raise the ladder. A happy memory of the last miller's children was of the occasions when grease was applied to the top of the centre post and a horse brought to pull the mill round to lubricate the bearing; the children - of whom there were seven - were then permitted a ride at the top of the steps. A new tail pole was put in for £40 in the latter days. One of the miller's ledgers, with entries meticulously penned, has been preserved.
It records for local farmers, and includes the supply of linseed, split beans, crushed oats, barley meal and chaff.

Taken from the book:-
Essex Windmills, Millers and Millwrights: A Historical Review by Kenneth G. Farries

When the Mill was demolished the materials were obtained by John Shead (local entrepreneur) to build a property called "The Castle", a bungalow, which was located near the railway bridge adjacent to Fordhams Timber yard.
This was subsequently the home of Tom Springett and his family.
Ref: Ida McMasters book

The Mill had attached two bakehouses, now todays property "Catchlands" the home of John and Sheila Cowlin.

Crudmill (Map No3)

As the population expanded and grain production increased, there may have been a need for an additional mill to that at Cambridge Brook.
Detailed investigation into old manuscripts do actually reveal the presence of a second water mill in the parish. Where was this located ?

The only source of constant running water is that of the River Stour and a case can be made for such a siting near to the present day Staunch Farm.
Documentation dated 1318 refers to a mill and a mill pond called Crudmelne. It may have even existed as far back as 1200.
Evidence from several sources, indicate Crudmelne was located close to the present day loop in the river near to the Farm. The loop contains five acres of land called East Holmes.

The present day county boundary can be seen on the right map marked in red.

A later name for Holme Island (East Holmes) is Curdmill Meadow which suggests a cheese mill. With the arrival of the (more efficient) Windmill during the 12th century, other uses had to be found for the Stour Mill.
It was highly probable it may have been converted from grain milling to cheese making.
The word `Crud or Curd` means cheese and presumably it was produced in vast quantities, if a mill was required. However `Crud` may have come from a surname of someone living in the vicinity.

Google aerial view, clearly shows the artificial bend in the river

The red line indicates the course of the old ditch and the present day county boundary

The English Dictionary defines `holme` as an `islet` especially in a river.
Holme being a Danish name for a grassy meadow. Because meadow land was in great demand it is very unlikely that this island would have been left unused.

The red line on the map indicates Wyttisham ditch, perhaps the original course of the river, which was the county boundary many years ago, possibly dating back to 950. This clearly leaves the island in Essex and belonging to the parish of Mount Bures.

mill mill

East Holmes to the right of river

East Holmes, 2003 - the possible route of Wyttisham Ditch marked in red.
Long Gardens can be seen centre left, which may have been the direction of the access road.

Why is the Manor (now County) boundary running along this ditch and not along the river course ?


Theory No1.
Could it be because the river course has changed. Perhaps in the past, the main river used to cut along the Wyttisham Ditch and the present bed used to be a narrow offshoot. Old manuscripts describe the River Stour as " the fastest flowing river in Southern England"
The Celtic word, "Stour" means fierce and violent". This description is not compatible with its present day, slow meander.
So, perhaps the straight Wyttisham Ditch was the true path of the river, over a period of time the route has moved to its present day location, leaving the ditch high and dry and eventually drying out.

Theory No2
Was the present day loop in the river then man made, to provide water for the mill ?. This would have required a massive hand digging operation to open up this new diverted route.

Theory No3.
On the other hand, was the river as we see it today, in its original location and Wyttisham ditch dug out for the mill ?

Conclusion:- Nobody knows
This presents, archaeologists with a dilemma. Which came first - the ditch or the river ?

What about access?
The monks at Stoke Clare Priory held most of the land around Bures in the mid 13th century. Their records suggest the road leading past the Pumping Station to Long Gardens was the track leading to the mill. At Long Gardens the road would have veered right (Crudmelne Lane) towards the mill.

No evidence can be seen today of the mill or its remains. Even Wyttisham ditch has been filled in and cannot be seen. However if you stand today and look at East Holmes, it does look out of character with the rest of the river geographically.
It is very marshy and full of reeds, bullrushes etc, the remnants of the island it once was.

Because it is north of the river it should be located in Suffolk. However this is not the case, it resides in the parish of Mount Bures. Essex.

These meadows are private property and have no public access.
This article gives no right of access to the area described.

UPDATE July 2011
Extract of document taken from the National Archives where
"Crudmellane" is mentioned.

Release by Robert Kendale of Brythylynggyshey, to Robert Podeney and others, of his right to lands lying in the field called 'Netysfeld', part abutting on Crudmellane, part on the high road from Bures to Colchester, also land in the field called 'Tannerys', in the meadow called 'Tunmanholme', part upon Godardyspool, land in Tunmanmedwe called 'Martyneshook', land called 'le Calvespasture' at Kenborne, and land in 'Kenbornemwedwe', all in Bures, with a yearly rent there: [Essex.] Suffolk.
Covering dates 27 March, 2 Edward IV.
Note Fragment of seal
The National Archives, Kew
Date: 1462 - 1463

UPDATE February 2013
Crudmill once stood on the site where the Pumping Station is located at Staunch Farm for the River Stour Water Transfer Scheme
See the Bures Web site for details

Doe`s Mill North of Wellhouse Farm 1811 - 1953 (Map No4)
(now demolished)


Built 1811 and survived until 1953.
Steam powered in 1886 and oil by 1929

Ref to:-
"Mount Bures, its Lands and People" by Ida McMaster & Kathleen Evans.

Additional info on Crudmill - The Watermill in the Manor of Mount Bures at 1086 by S Walker (1991)

Note:- Millfield, later Takeleys, may have been the site of a small fulling mill

CLICK HERE for more extensive information on this Mill