In The Beginning…
Nobody is certain of the exact date, but it is likely that a watermill has stood on the site of the current Stotfold Mill beside the River Ivel for over a thousand years and it is certainly one of the oldest recorded buildings in the town.
The first written evidence is the mention of four mills in Stotfold in the Domesday book of 1086. One of those four was the currently-named Stotfold Mill. The combined rents, payable to Hugh de Beauchamp, Baron of Bedford was £4 and four hundred eels.
We don’t know much about the history of the first seven hundred years, but the Lords of Brayes Manor kept records of when the ownership of the property changed hands. These records allowed us to trace the Mill’s history through early owners such as Richard Lorymer, James Sander and several families including the Guilberts, Smiths, Waldocks and more recently Vaughans and Randalls.
Legal and other documents from the last three hundred years shed more light on the mill’s colourful history. Three millers went bankrupt – James Pestell, David Waldock and Ebenezer Randall – and there were two disputes that went to court.