My interest in watermills began whilst carrying out
some family history research in 2003. I discovered
that my 4 times great grandfather (David Harris) had
leased Gomshall Watermill in Surrey in 1752. He
obviously did well, as he was able to buy the mill
from the Lord of the Manor of Shere in 1759. The
Harris family operated the mill until 1806.
Further research would indicate that David did not
originate from Surrey but was most likely the David
Harris baptised in Crondall, Hampshire in 1719.
Maybe he obtained his milling experience somewhere
In 2005, I wrote and published a booklet entitled
“Gomshall Mill the Harris Millers and their Shere
Connection” (ISBN 9780955150104) and shortly
afterwards I was asked to give an illustrated talk
to members of the “Shere, Gomshall and Peaslake
Local History Society”. At this meeting, a
gentleman came up to me and introduced himself as a
Robin Egerton, a descendant of the last miller of
Through the courtesy of Robin, I have obtained a
copy of what I believe is the only known photograph
of the stone floor of the mill, which was taken
circa 1930. Robin is happy for me to share this
picture and another one with readers of the ‘HMG
The other photograph shows Gomshall Mill bridge and
ford with the mill in the background. The gentleman
in the cart is William Egerton who was the last
owner of the mill.
According to Derek Stidder (“The Watermills of
Surrey”), this two-story mill worked commercially
until its closure in 1953 and lay derelict until
1964, when it was purchased and converted into a
restaurant and antique shop.
The mill had contained line shaft drives from two
waterwheels. Although the waterwheels remain, very
little of the mill drive machinery is evident.