Cash boost for project to preserve Wellingborough’s last remaining watermill

Chris Berry with Trevor and Pete at the watermill
Chris Berry with Trevor and Pete at the watermill

A group has donated £200 towards a project to preserve Wellingborough’s last remaining watermill.

Trevor Stainwright has been restoring the watermill at Turnell’s Mill, just off the A45 on the River Nene in Wellingborough, for several years.

The watermill in 2013

The watermill in 2013

The mill was one of four in the town but is the last remaining one.

It will never be a working mill again, but Trevor wanted to ensure its preservation as part of the town’s history and his project has just been boosted by a donation of £200 from Wellingborough Lakes.

Trevor said: “My work at the old mill site is continuing and I have now been joined by Pete Kimber of Irchester.

“Pete, an experienced bricklayer, has rebuilt one of the destroyed arches and is currently extending the work to the badly damaged corner piers.”

Trevor Stanwright at the mill in 2004

Trevor Stanwright at the mill in 2004

Trevor has been helping Pete by cladding and protecting much of the exposed timbers.

However, the project almost ceased last year due to a lack of funds until it was rescued at the eleventh hour by a donation from Cllr Graham Lawman.

This latest donation of £200 from the bailiff of Wellingborough Lakes Chris Berry will provide for some badly needed materials and ensure the work by Pete and Trevor will continue for some considerable time.

Chris said: “For the last few years, I have seen Trevor come and go on site as he restores the old Turnell’s Mill with a very limited budget.

“We are pleased to donate £200 to the preservation of part of Wellingborough’s history.

“I hope others reading this may also give to such a worthy cause to something that was here before us and will be here for all to see in future generations.

“Trevor and Pete are doing a fine job.”

The origins of Turnell’s Mill go back almost 1,000 years when it was recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086.

In those days it would have been very small, constructed of wood, possibly with a thatched roof.

As time went on it would have been updated and improved, structurally altered and re-equipped.

In 1874 it was rebuilt as a three-storey mill packed full of iron machinery.

From 1848 to the early 20th century it was run by the Turnell family and for a while was operated by the Whitworth Brothers flour milling company.

All work at the mill ceased in 1966 and over the next few years the neighbouring mill-house and outbuildings were pulled down.

The watermill became derelict, and in 1975 the mill building was demolished but the cast-iron waterwheel and other parts of the mill spared.

To read more about Trevor’s project, click here