Serving the communities of Bures St Mary and Bures Hamlet

©The Mill at Bures




The Mill is situated on the Nayland Road opposite the entrance to Claypits Avenue. The "Stour Valley" public footpath runs through the site from the main road towards Wormingford.

mill frontage

Mill (front) now private residence, 2003

Rear View with pond. Footbridge would be to the left of picture
Acknowledgment to Matthew Beales


Dated 1922
Before the Weir below was installed, the white railings probably a foot bridge

Postcard dated April 1939

In 1938 a major flood protection scheme was carried out at Bures with an automatic lock built on the original lock site. This picture taken in 2002 shows it to be of similar size to the old lock.

Brief history of Mill:-
The first recorded mill on or near this site at Bures has been dated at 1190.
The owner of the Bures Mill was recorded in the Domesday Book as a Saxon landowner by the name of Witgar. It is remarkable that the last miller at Bures Mill, Witgar Hitchcock, should have been named after Witgar the Saxon mill owner.

A century after the Conquest in 1066, in the middle of the 12th century, the Norman Sylvester family were responsible for building a new mill at Bures
They began a large scale diversion of the river to the north, leaving the old Anglo Saxon course of the river to the south. The course of the river was shortened and taken more directly to the site of the new Mill.

In 1640 the timber framed Mill House was erected and extended in 1820. Part of this structure can still be seen today.

The river was opened to navigation in 1715 which enabled barges to transport material to the mill for grinding. Foreign wheat was used mainly for grinding into flour which arrived by barge from Mistley.
Water in the early years was the only and obvious source of power to turn the massive 16ft stone grinding wheels.

Suffolk and Essex Free Press May 31st 1866

Essex Herald May 31st 1866

Essex and Suffolk Free Press, June 20th 1867

The Mill was still being advertised "For Sale",
more than 12 months later in June 1867


Cornelius Hitchcock purchased the mill in 1875 and a further mill at Wormingford during 1879. His greatest achievement was in 1893 when he changed over from stones to roller flour milling at Bures. Instead of producing wholemeal flour on stones, the new Hungarian system of roller flour milling produced the white flour so eagerly demanded by the public.
Hitcocks had other mills at Rattlesdon and Fingringhoe.

Essex County Standard, West Suffolk Gazette and Eastern Counties Advertiser, August 5th 1893



A rare photograph of the mill, early 1900`s.
At that time, power was supplied by a steam engine, the chimney clearly seen on the right.
The mill house is to the left. The loading ramp is above the mill outfall


This photo clearly shows the loading bay access.
Side elevation of the colour print above. (courtesy of John Ineson)


The Mill circa 1961
The works to the left of the photo were demolished when the Mill closed down

The Mill circa 1910

The river navigation was closed in 1912 - the last barge to the Mill was during 1911.

Map of the Mill and Floodgates circa 1920

Courtesy of SCC
Damaged Flood Gates which were never replaced circa 1930

updated 25/02/2017
update with Danaged Floodgates 22/01/23