Serving the communities of Bures St Mary and Bures Hamlet


Ferriers Water Mill:- Part 2



Todays access road to Ferriers Barn

The Mill Pond is behind the trees to the right
Two mills have been recorded on this site, the first in the 16ct and the second in the 19ct
The road we see today was originally built as an embankment, to hold back the pond water.

Both Mills would have been located, to the left where Ferriers Barn now stands


This clearly shows the height of the embankment and the level of the Pond behind the trees.



The foliage has been cleared away to expose a Sluice Gate, on the pond side of the embankment
Blue line indicates possible pipework under the surface.



Sluice Gate mechanism.
This would have been used on the second Mill at this site.
It could not have been installed earlier than 1868 ( see below)

The much earlier 16ct Sluice, would have used wooden planks
to stem the flow of water.
Similar system were used in the Locks along the River Stour

Sluice gate now exposed in the winter months

Barton and Unwin
Sudbury, Suffolk


Mainprice Barton and Alfred Joseph Unwin trading under the name of Barton and Unwin of Sudbury,
Listed as Engineers and Millwrights

Barton and Unwin, occupied a site along Station Road, part of todays Waitrose car park.
The firm was founded by Mainprice Barton in 1868 as the Stour Valley Iron Works.
It was principally engaged in the manufacture of agricultural machinery and as millwrights and general engineers to the corn mills, breweries and other works in and around Sudbury.
In the early 20ct Bartons began to specialise in making propellers and stern gear and became Bruntons in 1911.
When Mainprice Barton retired and Harold Brunton bought the business. c1900.

Bruntons who are still active today manufacturing marine propellers, although now located at Clacton

There is a record of a Thomas Barrell being employed as an apprentice with "Barton and Unwins" on the 17th March 1884

Quote:- This Indenture Witnesseth That Thomas Barrell of the age of eighteen years by and with the consent of his Father Thomas Barrell of Great Cornard in the County of Suffolk Labourer doth put himself Apprentice to Mainprice Barton and Alfred Joseph Unwin trading under the style of Barton and Unwin of Sudbury in the said County of Suffolk Engineers and Millwrights to learn their Art and with them after the Manner of an Apprentice to serve from the Seventeenth day of March One thousand eight hundred and eighty four.

On the Ferriers Barn side of the embankment, look above the shed doors
This would have been the outfall from the Mill Pond, to drive the Water Mill


The vertical supporting wall is clearly man-made
An expert in bricks could no-doubt age this wall

Note the Buttress support on the right side
I would suggest another was on the left, but this may be hidden, because of the new buildings.


Taking into account the height of the water at the output of the sluice, its quite conceivable it would have been a "overshot" Mill Wheel

The pond was most likely fed from Stream A to the North
It is conceivable that water after entering the Mill Wheel,
was discharged into Stream B
This stream eventually passes along the bottom of Lamarsh Hill, then along Water Lane and finally into the River Stour


Mrs Ivy Hicks husband (dec) Rouse, was employed on Ferriers Farm.
Rouse worked initially for his step father, Edward Ewer who owned Ferriers from Circa 1932 -1960

Although Ivy is too young to recall the WaterMill, she can remember her husband "Dipping Sheep" in the area where Ferriers Barn now stands.
The date would have been after the war, between 1945 and the 1960`s
She is certain the water came from the Pond and it was highly likely the flow was controlled by the Sluice gate

The surplus water from the Sheep Dip would have been discharged into Stream B


Reference Barton and Unwin
Acknowledgment to Leigh Alston and relevant
extracts from Parish Magazine
Acknowledgment to Ivy Hicks

Published 29/08/2018
Updated 13/09/2018