Watercolour of Durnford Mill by John Hassell, 1824

Watercolour of Durnford Mill by John Hassell, 1824

The first mill in the area was built in 1783 by Sir Thomas Sewell of Ottershaw Park estate. It was situated about ¼ mile upstream from Durnford Bridge (now called Dunford Bridge) on a piece of copyhold land on the south bank of the River Bourne called Ottershott.

The original mill was in 1797, by Edmund Boehm, also of Ottershaw Park. He built the new mill just above Durnford Bridge on the north bank of the river, and dug a mill pond which also acted as a decoy pond. Durnford Mill was a corn mill. It had two pairs of stones driven by an external breast shot wheel, housed in a two storey building.

When Boehm became bankrupt in 1819, the mill came into the hands of Mrs Boehm’s trustees and then was sold to a Sir George Wood. In 1827 it was sold again to Thomas Weeding, a merchant of the City of London, and when he died in 1855 it passed to his heirs, including Thomas Weeding of Kingthorpe in Addlestone. Later it was acquired by L.J. Baker of Ottershaw Park.

By L.J. Baker’s time it had a second water wheel which was used to power a saw, and a third pair of mill stones. A miller’s house, stable dairy and garden had also been added. However, by the time Baker sold Ottershaw Park in 1909, the mill had disappeared and the pond had been filled in. A row of four estate cottages had been built nearby, and these were purchased after the First World War by the bailiff Charles Taylor and converted into one dwelling.

The Millers:

c.1792 – 1818 – John Howe Senior

1818 – c.1828 – John Howe Junior

c.1828 – 1835 – G.E. Kerason

1835 – 1841 – James Mason

1841 – 1860 – Charles Baker Senior

1860 – 1867 – Charles Baker Junior and William Baker

1867 – 1882 – Thomas Taylor

1882 – c.1909 – Edward Hilder

References:

Stratton, H.J.M., ‘Ottershaw through the Ages’, 1990