Held at:

Private Collection




Original Photographs


Digital Archive: Photographs of Little Mill, Michaelchurch

Place name:

Michaelchurch Escley




Little Mill at Lower House Farm, Michaelchurch Escley, is shown on a map of Herefordshire by Bryant [1835] but is otherwise not well recorded in surviving local documents and has not been worked in living memory. As a farm mill it was probably only used for milling animal feed, particularly as Michaelchurch Mill is only a mile or so downstream and had the finer quality [and more expensive] millstones needed for bread flour.

Little Mill is the highest upstream mill relying on the Escley Brook that is shown on surviving maps, although there is evidence of a small mill at Pikes Farm even further up the valley with a leet to the brook that was probably augmented by springs and run-off water. There may also have been a farm mill at Upper Lower House Farm, between Little Mill and Pikes, where the tithe map [1844] shows a 'Mill Meadow' adjoining the brook just upstream of the house.

Little Mill's location suggests that sufficient water to drive it would only have been available intermittently, and it is unlikely to have been able to support more than a single pair of millstones. No physical evidence remains of the actual layout of the internal mill machinery or indeed of the precise location, size and characteristics of the waterwheel. However, there is clear evidence of the line of the mill leat and the outrace channel, and of the location of a small weir across the Escley Brook some five hundred yards upstream of the mill. The level of the watercourse when it reaches the mill building suggests that the waterwheel could have been overshot or possibly high breastshot.

Our thanks to Olive Howells of Lower House Farm for permission to explore and photograph Little Mill.



Site of Little Mill weir on the Escley Brook


Line of the leat to Little Mill

Line of the leat to Little Mill


The leat adjacent to Little Mill

The wheel pit at Little Mill, looking down from the mill race


The wheel pit and riverside [East] wall

Little Mill front and East side


Little Mill front and West side

Little Mill West side and rear wall


Little Mill front, with outrace channel

Little Mill outrace channel


Little Mill outrace channel and outlet to Escley Brook







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