Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Jordans Mill - Bedfordshire

In the one thousand years that a mill has been situated on the banks of the River Ivel there have been some hot times.


We don't know how long the site has been occupied, but we do know there was a mill there at the time of the Domesday Book, back in 1086.


Ownership passed through many hands, even those of royalty because King Henry VIII, who took possession of many properties following the dissolution of the Monasteries and the putting down of a rebellion against him, leased the mill to Henry Lawson in 1557.


The mill was used for several means over the centuries but when the Jordans took over in 1893 it was to grind flour. They immediately installed a paraffin engine to make the mill more efficient. Unfortunately, one year later the mill was totally gutted when the engine caught fire.


For a while it seemed the mill was doomed to fade into obscurity but then Jordan formed a union with Addinton and the mill was rebuilt and restored in 1899, this time using metal mill wheels rather than the traditional stone wheels. This made the mill far more efficient and production continued for another 100 years, despite two more fires, in 1899 and 1986.


Eventually it was decided that the mill should be turned out as a tourist attraction. The gardens were styled to please visitors and a visitor centre was built beside the river. Today it is very popular.


 


 
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