History Of Daniels Mill
Daniels Mill was originally part of the Pitchford Estate of the Otteley family, who owned much of the land in Bridgnorth and surrounding parishes.
The earliest reference to the Mill and land surrounding it appears around the late 15th century, when it was known as ‘Donynges’ or ‘Dunnings’ Mill. It remained in the hands of the estate until the 18th century, and in the early centuries was probably worked by a Journeyman Miller, who would visit the mill when there was work for it to do.
When the earliest known resident Millers, the Crowther, arrived at the mill it would have been enlarged and proper living accommodation built, although it is probable that some earlier enlargement had taken place.
It is likely the first enlargement would have taken place around the early 17th century, when land was obtained to construct the upper, or top pool. When this pool was made, a small Mill was built under its dam. All that remains of this mill is the back wall and the watercourse.
It would appear that there was an upsurge in business and the time of the construction of the second mill and the probable enlargement of the main mill building and it is reasonable to suppose that from this time onwards it became a living with a miller in permanent residence.
The newest part of the building, the ‘L’ extension, was the last addition and provided a kitchen, bedroom and attic/bedroom. Even this part has had the roof raised at some stage as can be seen by the arrangement of bricks on the gable end.
The present wheel was installed around the middle of the 19th century and replaced an earlier wheel on the same site, evidence of where the shaft of this wheel entered the building can be seen in the bottom of the mill. Documents have been found which show that as early as 1843 a steam engine had been purchased to work in conjunction with the present wheel. Obviously at the time it was felt that the mill had sufficient work to need a supplement to the water supply. It is known from the old accounts in our possession that the sluice was constructed at this time and the gearing modified, presumably to line up with both the new wheel and the steam engine, which would have been situated at the opposite end of the horizontal gearing shaft to the wheel.
Because of the lack of resources, little modernisation of the house had taken place since Victorian times. This state of affairs continued until 1946 when the current miller and resident Henry Thomason installed electric light in the house. He steadfastly refused to have it in the mill, saying it would be dangerous. However, he considered a guttering candle to be quite safe! With the death of Henry in 1957 at the age of 69 the mill ceased working.
This article has been edited and abridged from “Daniels Mill : It’s History, Millers and Restoration” by Joyce George, available for sale at Daniels Mill.