Sneath's Mill 1700's
Construction of the Mill
For a fuller version of the history of the mill (including references) please see the attached PDF of our Archaeological Assessment of Sneath's Mill.
The construction date of the mill is generally considered to be 1779, and a licence dated 1777 grants licence and permission to William Goe to: ‘Erect a windmill on the Bank called Roman Bank in the Little Common within this Manor [of Sutton Holland] on the north side the outbreak on the said bank, out of Daniels Gate into the Little Common aforesaid but not nearer than one hundred and fifty yards of the said outbreak The Ground made us of for this purpose not to exceed fifty yards in diameter. He the said John Crow or his assigns paying therefore yearly and every year at Michaelmas Day so long as he or his assigns shall enjoy the same the rent of 20 shillings to the Lords of the said Manor the first year to commence from Michaelmas past.’
Whether the mill was constructed that year or slightly later, the licence suggests that no previous structure stood at this particular location. Later sources suggest that a mill at the site was constructed by Thomas Ayliffe (or Aycliffe), rather than the individuals mentioned in the licence. A deed of 1782 states that Thomas Ayliffe, of Sutton St Mary, leased the land from Joshua Peart of Lincolns Inn Field (and Lord of the Manor of Sutton Holland), for 99 years at an annual rent of £1. The land is described as 50 yards in length (which accords with the licence of 1777) and 16yards breadth, ‘on part therefore a Wind Corn Mill hath lately been erected by the said Thomas Ayliffe lying in Sutton St Marys Aforesaid on the Roman Bank in the Little Common there on the Northside...in the occupation of the said Thomas Ayliffe...since...29th September 1781. To pay to Joshua Peart and his heirs and assigns rent or sum of 20/- on the 29th September (called Michaelmas day) every year, first payment to be made next Michaelmas Day’.
Thomas Ayliffe’s mark can be found on the fabric of the standing building. A stone above the door (which some have suggested may have been previously used as a sundial) is inscribed with ‘1779. T.D. Ayliff’. Ayliffe’s name can also be seen on the first floor beam facing the entrance ‘Thomas Ay...’, which also bears the inscription ‘IOH...RAM’. The latter letters may form part of the name ‘Hillram’; the lower half of an upright shaft in the floor is carved ‘T.A. 1779' and ‘T.Oliver, W.Hillram. 1783’. Although it would appear that the mill was newly constructed at the site in 1777-1779, it has been suggested that the structure itself has earlier origins, and that the current brick construction represents the encasing of a pre-existing smock mill that was brought to the site and converted to a corn mill. No documentary evidence has yet been identified to support this assertion.
The Mill was built on top of a raised mound on Roman Bank an early embankment built as a sea defence,probably at the time when Lutton was a port.
Lutton Gowts appears today to be a very small remote area of South Holland in Lincolnshire between Long Sutton and Lutton about 105 miles north of London but that has not always been the case.
Lutton also known as Sutton St. Nicholas is considered the original parish of the cluster of "Sutton" parishes in the Holland area. In 1332, the area was one of the most populous in Lincolnshire, with over 5,000 inhabitants.
To avoid the plague, several wealthy London merchants settled here in 1603. Dr. Busby, the celebrated master of Westminster school, was born here in 1606, and buried in Westminster Abbey in 1695.
At the time the Mill was built 1779 George III (below) was king of England.
Many famous people from the area, such as Lord Nelson (below) and Matthew Flinders, were also alive in that period a time of great discoveries and exploration of the world. The main means of travel was by horse and sailing ship. The first iron bridge was also built in 1779.
Lord Nelson Born Burnham Thorpe, Norfolk 1758-1805).
Lord Nelson’s years of service in the Royal Navy were from 1771 to 1805, when his rank was Vice Admiral of the Fleet.
Matthew Flinders RN Born Donnington, Lincolnshire (1774 -1814).
Matthew Flinders (above) was one of the most successful navigators and cartographers of his time. In a career that spanned just over twenty years, he sailed with Captain William Bligh, circumnavigated Australia and encouraged the use of that name for the continent, which had previously been known as New Holland.
TERMS & CONDITIONS
© 2011+ All site content copyright of Sneath's Mill Trust Limited a UK Registered Charity
Registered in England Company No: 06415234
Registered in Charity No: 1123947