The history of Lode Mill

Engage with the fascinating history of the mill in the display area

Engage with the fascinating history of the mill in the display area

A watermill probably stood on the site of Lode Mill at the time of the Domesday survey in 1086, but the structure we see today probably dates from the eighteenth century.

In 1793 the mill was described in a sale notice as 'Anglesea Watermill with dwelling house, yard, garden, barn, stables and outhouse and 3 acres of pasture adjoining'. Old photographs show the house next to the mill. The house was taken down in the renovation of the 1930s.

In about 1900 the mill was converted from corn grinding to cement grinding. The cement was generally made by firing a mixture of clay and lime or natural chalk at about 400°C and grinding the resulting clinker into a powder.

An engine may have been installed at this time, as inside the mill today there are some shafts, gears and a chain drive that are unusual in a watermill.

The mill was owned by the Bottisham Lode Cement and Brick Company. Bottisham Lode is the stretch of water below the mill, one of a number of lodes that were used as a transport link to the River Cam. The water above the mill is called Quy Water.

Unfortunately, the Bottisham Lode Cement and Brick Company was a victim of competition and the business had closed down by about 1920, leaving the mill to become derelict.

In 1926 Anglesey Abbey was bought by Huttleston Broughton, later Lord Fairhaven. In 1934 he acquired the mill and restored it to its corn milling condition. This was completed in 1935-36, after removal of the mining and cement making equipment.

In 1978 the Cambridgeshire Wind and Watermill Society offered to restore the mill to working order and in 1982 it was once again milling corn, for sale to visitors.