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Page 9

Newsletter 89, Summer 2010 © Hampshire Mills Group

Lymington Tide Mill - A History by David Plunkett


About a year ago I was invited to give an illustrated talk to the members of the Lymington Historical Society on Eling Tide Mill, as they were booking a visit there.  I asked if  would they like some historical news on their lost Lymington Tide Mill as well and the reply being yes, I contacted Tony Yoward to check on the HMG Archive information on this Mill; it was very meagre, as the mill was believed to have been lost due to the construction of the railway branch line from Brockenhurst.in 1857-58.


After a brief search on the Internet, including satellite imaging and the Victorian County History, vol. IV, I  travelled to the Hampshire Record Office in Winchester about a week later and spent about 4 hours searching for historical news about Lymington and its lost Tide Mill.  The professional staff  were very helpful and efficient but the gem of the day has to be the original large rolled up Tithe Map of 1840 and its companion Apportionment Register which makes sense of the land plot numerals on the map.  I continued with mapping, other minor historical photographic and artistic works on views of Lymington, so making a worthwhile exercise.

Relating my HRO news to Tony Yoward by email he responded with more Lymington archive data, collected back in 1952.  From the 1871, OS. 1:10,560 map of Lymington (No.088), I developed an overlay defining the tide mill boundaries and a second map to the same scale showing details of the mill pond and mill from the Tithe Map   So, coming up is a potted history for mill buffs.

Lymington the place is recorded in 1086 as the Domesday survey records ‘Limtune’ as Lymington

Buckland (or Boclande, xiii C.)  1299 – 1316.  VCH, vol.iv, p.646.  Formerly the Manor immediately north of the riverside settlement of Lymington.  Buckland is now incorporated within the parish of Lymington.  In Buckland were two mills:

1st in Lower Buckland in 1340, belonging to the fee of Buckland, and probably sited near the     Toll Bridge or predates the tide mill site.
2nd at Peisford (Passford) which in 1299 – 1300 was held by tenants paying a yearly rent of  1lb of pepper.

The next parish east of the river was Boldre (with Walhampton) with a watermill at Heywood Farm, elsewhere a windmill in 1601.

1661 – Deed of Lymington Mill – [possibly original deed].  This conveys the site of the mill pond and adjacent salterns on a 2,000 year lease at a rental of one penny per annum containing by estimate 5 acres.  c.1680 – Lymington Map: shows the pond but the mill in not marked at this time. -  Ref:  J.W. Beagley 1952.  1795  The town boundaries defined .  1831  The Boundaries Commission  Report gave poor results for the town  - as it had only 260 ratepayers.

Mid 1800’s -   A drawing or painting of mill:  ‘weather boarded and tiled roof with an outside open float wheel’.   Ref: JW Beagley 1952.


Millers of Lymington Mill:  (As provided by Tony Yoward).

1779  -  BARKER  Edward, miller.  Lymington grist mill. Notice of sale of Estate in Hampshire Chronicle, 18-1-1779.

1851 – DEXTER  Joseph, miller. Lymington Mill.      [In Kellys Directory]

1852 – DEXTER  J,  miller.     Lymington Mill.     [Hunt dir]

1855 – DEXTER  J.  miller.     Lymington, Gosport Street, Hampshire.  [ex-PO dir]

                                    No further record of any miller in trade directories.

Tithe Map – 1840.  -  HRO.  21M65/F7/150/1 – 2.

 Mill pond, mill and store:  See composite overlay maps by DP. See figs: 4 and 5

 Tithe Apportionment Book – shows the following: -

 No. 312.  = 7 acres, 0 roods, 29 perches.  Mill pond and mill, to Thomas Smith.

 No. 313. = 1 r, 18 p. – Arable plot, to Thomas Smith. Thomas Smith also owned the following:

 No. 460.  House and garden.

 No. 716.  House and Garden (all in Lymington).

In 1858 the Railway opened to Lymington as the branch line from Brockenhurst.  The station (Lymington Town) took away the west edge of the mill pond;  the southern mill dam alignment is crossed at the end of the station platform, before the later rail extension across the river to the Ferry Dock.  The mill pond was of the impounded lagoon form (rather like St Helens, Isle of Wight).  A capital intensive construction as the pond containment is largely man-made.  The outline of the pond is largely retained facing the river with the land inside about to be largely given over to new housing in 2010.  See also two artist pictures in St Barbe Museum (Lymington) of Mill obtained by Bob Sharp from  photocopies kindly provided by Hampshire County Museum Service.

On  scrutiny of the OS. 1871 map, the Tithe map, two pictures and a description of the mill; it can be defined as being east of the mill store and granary.  A saw mill is marked on the north edge of the mill pond in the 1871, OS. Map which means that the retained pond may have been used to store logs.  A modern satellite map, (2010) centred on Lymington Town rail station, shows the site clearly, though with extended later land infill, south of the pond.  The 20th century industrial buildings in the area of the pond site, are being removed at this time to allow new redevelopment.

I was told while at Lymington, that the original mill site is due to have an estate of houses built on it soon. What is perhaps more important to pass on to the membership, is the possible loss of archaeological matter in the ground, at the site of the MILL.

The site of the mill should, in my view, be subject to archaeological appraisal as remains are certainly incorporated into and around the mill dam in the SE intersection.

If anyone has corrections or further historical mill information on Lymington, I would be very pleased to receive it.  david@millbowl.co.uk    David Plunkett


View across Lymington River to rail crossing and pond containment

Station platform, east to mill pond

Entrance to rail station from Mill Lane

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