Mount Bures Community Web Site


The story of Windmill at Wellhouse and the surrounding area

Wellhouse is situated at the end of Peartree Lane.
The Bridleway/Old Lane leads onto Wormingford Airfield


The earliest apparent reference to what became Doe's mill dates from 1811, when a mill in Mount Bures 'in full trade', with house and 3l/2 acres, was to be let on lease by application to James Josselyn. The same mill, freehold, was further advertised six months later as a substantial post mill with good roundhouse, having two pairs of French stones, but was then for private sale, with the option of the mill's removal at the purchaser' expense. It has been asserted that the mill was moved to its known site, but no documentary substantiation of this has been found.


In 1840, a freehold post mill in the occupation of Charles Dawling, under notice to quit was advertised for sale, having two pairs of French stones, a flour mill and a jumper; the dwelling house was copyhold of Wormingford Hall.
A rental of the Hall refers to a 'messuage in two dwellings in occupation of Thomas Doe, 1854, late Josselyn, 1813, Clover 1813-54; this property, which stood opposite the windmill, may still be seen.


<<< Suffolk Chronicle, April 25th 1840

Greenwood (1825) places the mill at its ultimate site, as do the surveyors for the tithe apportionment (1840), which record lists Isaac Clover as owner and Charles Dowlin as occupier of House and Mill.

Thomas Doe was miller and shopkeeper in 1848, and was further recorded in White's directory for 1863. A Frederick Doe is returned from at least 1874 to 1937, but there were three in direct descent, one of whom fell dead in 1897 when in conversation with his son, thereby leaving eight orphans.

Auxiliary steam drive was used from 1882 or before, eventually to be replaced by an oil engine housed in a dug-out below roundhouse level, which drove a pair of 4ft. 4 in. French burrs and an oat crusher inside the base. Thus continued Doe Brothers well on into the 1930s, their business cushioned from competition by its relative remoteness. A photo taken by Dr Turner, date 21st June 1920, shows a damaged spring sail, and wind had not been used after c 1917.
In view of its late survival until 1953, photographs of the mill abound, showing a plain exterior over a single storied roundhouse of brick with a tarred and roof. There was no fantail. There were a pair each of common and spring sails, the latter tensioned by rack and pinion at the centre, and both pairs had strong clamps Centre. The vanes were of canvas on wooden frames

The windshaft was wooden and circular, like the centre post and had an iron poll end and wooden clasp-arm head and tail wheels, which drove respectively 4ft. 6in. and 4ft. French burrs Both stone nuts were of wood, planked solid. A flour dresser was lodged in the tail, and in general the mill was of unexceptional design.

One fine old photograph places it grandly centre-stage to take its final bow, flanked by a sack-laden cart on either side, each with horse and carter.


Courtesy of K Farries whos book gives an extensive coverage of the Essex Windmills
"Essex Windmills, Millers and Millwrights: A Historical Review" by Kenneth G. Farries

Available from Amazon
updated 25/02/2017 with 1840 Press Cutting