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'Black Mill' or 'Great Mill'

Robert Dawson - Miller and mill proprietor. The erection of the mill begins on 4th June. It has been transported from Southtown, Great Yarmouth.(M)

Peregrine Edwards - purchases the mill outright from Mr Dawson for £745. Peregrine Edwards already has a long lease on the Town or White Mill which he acquired three years earlier for an annual rent of £10. Dawson moves to Great Yarmouth where he buys another mill but goes out of business two years later and becomes a commercial traveller, selling cloth.(M)

Alfred Lillingstone - purchases the mill from Peregrine Edwards for £2,900. (M)

Note: In recording this transaction, James Maggs refers to 'Black Mill' although a 1840 survey by James Walker marks it as 'Red Mill'.

Read Crisp - purchases the mill from Alfred Lillingstone for £1,400. (M). Read Crisp also becomes the tenant miller of Baggott's Mill a year later in 1846.

William Boyden - who used to work for Peregrine Edwards, purchases the mill from Read Crisp for £1,000 and also takes over the unexpired portion of Crisp's tenancy of Baggott's Mill.Read Crisp moves to Beccles (his family home) to take over a book and stationery shop. (M)

John J Goff - takes over as miller (It appears to be still owned by William Boyden). (M)

William Wallace Bardwell -of Sotherton purchases the mill for £750. (John J Goff continues as miller.) (M)

Charles M Marsden - 'Miller, Corn and Coal Merchant', takes over as miller from John Goff. It is still owned by W W Bardwell to whom Marsden pays a rent of £12 pa.. The same year Marsden also takes a lease on the Town Mill which has likewise been previously run by John Goff. (M)

C M Marsden will marry Southwold's postmistress, Emily Bye, three years later and become Postmaster at No 12 Queen Street. However he continues to run Black Mill. See also Baggott's Mill which Marsden was leasing at the time it was burned down in 1876.

At the 1861 census, Charles Marsden, aged 36, describes himself as 'Sub-postmaster, miller and coal merchant, employing 4 men.' He and Emily live at the sub-post office in Queen Street.

Charles M Marsden purchases the mill for £50

Charles M Marsden - The mill is badly damaged in a September gale, losing three of its sails,

The mill is damaged by fire during a storm. (M)

William F Laws purchases the mill. In the 1891 Census, William is described as a Miller, aged 60, married to Jane and living with their two daughters, Jane and Ellen and with a 14-year-old servant, Eliza, in Mill House. (C)

The mill is demolished by William Laws.

St Barnabas - A charity providing residential care for the elderly is established in a new building constructed on the site of Black Mill.

The last miller, William Laws, continues to live at Mill House in his retirement. Now 80 and widowed, he lives with his daughter, Ellen and a 'help', Gertrude Stammers.




Early 1920s
Eversley School, which has occupied adjoining premises since the mid-1890s, takes over Mill House as additional accommodation. It is now a private house.












Do you have any memories or records about this address? Can you correct any of our information or fill in any of our blanks? If so, please email Barry Tolfree
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BSD - Bernard Segrave-Daly
BCS = Bygones & Characters of Southwold by Barrett Jenkins
C = Census
CP = Cinema Programme 1958
CSP = Coronation Souvenir Programme 1953
G = Gales Trade Directory
GRO = General Register Office
K = Kelly's Directory
LM = Local memory
M = James Maggs' Southwold Diary 1818-1876
MCG = Methodist Church Guide 1930
NA = National Archives
PP = Pantomime Programme 1933
PLR = Petrol Licence Records

POD = Post Office Directory
PPP = Pier Pavilion Programme 1924, 1926
RCE = Rotary Club Exhibition 1969
SCM = Southwold Catholic Magazine 1923
SCTG = Southwold Corporation Tourist Guide
SER = Southwold Electoral Register
SFP = Southwold Scouts Fete Programme 1947
SG = Southwold Guide
SGCH = Southwold Golf Club Handbook
SLHR = Southwold Local History Recorder 1980s 1990s (Mrs R. McDermot)
SMHS = Southwold Museum & Historical Society

SN = Southwold & Neighbourhood 1903
SPM = Southwold Parish Magazine 1895 -1954
SR = Southwold Recorder 1927, 1932, 1934, 1935
SRB = Southwold Rate Book
SRT = Southwold Railway Timetable 1915
SSAS = Southwold Sea Angling Society Handbook 1909
SST = Southwold Summer Theatre Programmes
SSW = Southwold Shopping Week Programme, June/July 1922
STG = Southwold Town Guide 1930
SVL = Southwold Visitors List 1907, 1930
SVCP = Southwold Victory Celebration Programme 1946
SWCG = Southwold Wesleyan Church Guide

TTR = 'The Town Revisited' - Portraits of Southwold by Stephen Wolfenden 2000
TTT = ''To The Town' - Portraits of Southwold by Stephen Wolfenden 1988
W = White’s History, Gazetteer and Directory of Suffolk 1874

Note on dates
Unless otherwise stated, dates given do not indicate the years in which the business started or finished but those for which there is firm evidence that it was trading at this address. Sources in brackets; key at bottom of page.

St Barnabas Residential Care Home today stands roughly on the site of Black Mill.

A watercolour of the Black Mill, possibly dating from the early 19th century making it the earliest image we have of the mill. The viewpoint appears to be from the town looking roughly south-east across the common toward the River Blyth, before the development of York, Godyll and Blackmill Roads.

The original painting is the property of Julie Dawson of Canada who believes it to have been acquired by her Great Grandfather, William Dawson, who moved with his family from Howden-on-Tyne to Lowestoft in the early 1830s.. William Dawson is not believed to be related to the original miller, Robert Dawson.

Alfred Lillingston and his wife, Mary Grey. Alfred was a leading pillar of Southwold Society who, in 1861, at the age of 55, was living at 'The Lodge' on Gun Hill with his wife, three young children, two nurses and three servants. He also had an estate in Framlingham. He was a magistrate, Director of the Railway and Southwold Mayor for 13 consecutive years until his early death in March 1866 aged 60. The photo is from the early 1860s

With thanks to Stephen Francis of Hove Books for permission to reproduce this image.

Click the picture to enlarge

Black Mill probably in the 1880s before the building of the two storey houses seen in the later pictures below.
Southwold Museum P 1456

Black Mill towards the end of its life, near the end of the 19th century.
Above: Detail from a post card in the Southwold Museum Collection (P1038)

Below: another view of the mill at approximately the same date, reproduced from a print in the possession of Peter Parke

Click any image to see enlargements and close-up

Mill House, behind the tree on the left, was the home of the miller and later became part of Eversley School. See below.

Mill House in 1924 when it was part of Eversley School.