History of Shelsley Watermill

It would be nice to start this history of Shelsley Watermill from Domesday, wouldn't it? Shelsley Walsh is in Domesday, although not then known for the Walsh family name, but there is no mention of a mill.

The first mention of a watermill at Shelsley Walsh is in 1308 at the time of the death of Henry Walsh.

In 1535 there is a record of tithes from a mill being received by the rector of the parish and the same mill is mentioned again in 1631.

In 1654 there are records of two more mills in the parish, one at what is now known as Forgemill Farm and one called New Mill, presumably near to New Mill Bridge. This implies that the mill that still exists is on or near the site of the 1308 mill.

It was in 1654 that the manor of Shelsley Walsh was acquired by the Foley family, who kept ownership until the middle of the 19th Century.

Since then the manor has been owned by Lord Ward, Earl of Dudley, by Montagu C.H. Taylor and by the Winnington Estate.

All of this information can be found in the Victoria County History , together with many footnotes and references. What follows is largely conjecture, based on expert opinion and findings during the restoration.

The timber frame and workings inside Shelsley water mill date from around 1700. It should be possible to confirm this by reference to estate records if they still exist.

The brick built shell of the building appears to date from around 1800 and again we should be able to confirm this from estate records.

The waterwheel and the power take-off to the farm buildings were made by Turtons of Kidderminster. Old company records held in the Records Office in Worcester reveal that Lord Ward placed an order for the iron-work in 1851. This is somewhat earlier than our original estimate.

Montague C.H. Taylor bought the estate including the mill from Lord Ward in 1890. This purchase led to the use of the hill at Shelsley Walsh as a motor sport venue and some 115 years later to the formation of the Shelsley Water Mill Society and the preservation of the mill.

Enough about the history of Shelsley Watermill? Return Home here.