farming and agriculture


working the land

water mills



Cottingham Water Mill

Corn Mill OS.gif (7790 bytes)

Image produced from the service with permission of Landmark Information Group Ltd and Ordnance Survey


Linoleum block picture by

Allston A Kisby



Foundations of Mill building

(North riverbank)



Archway over spillway


back to top

As shown on the 1887 OS map opposite, there used to be a water mill located on the diverted course of the River Welland off Mill Road


The Domesday Book of 1085 recorded a mill in Cottingham. In all probability, this referred to a water mill, but it is unlikely that it was in the same position as the 1887 mill because the original line of the river at this time was further north (along the county boundary).


Around 1539, Cotingeham was recorded as having three mills - one horse drawn, one watermill and one windmill In medieval times, all three mills would have come under the monopoly of the Lord of the Manor. and the villagers would have been liable to heavy fines if they took their corn elsewhere to be ground.


Cottingham water mill dates back to at least 1705 when the miller was John Richardson. Subsequent millers recorded are John Robinson (1773), Samuel Burdett (1779), W Aldwinckle (1856), Bartholomew Aldwinckle (1890) and JH Aldwinckle (1890).


In the late 19th Century, a Mr Shrive took tenancy of the mill and combined farming, corn grinding and eel catching. The mill had an eel trap and the Mr Shrive sent the eels to Billingsgate!


By 1922, the mill was disused. It was seriously damaged by fire in the Summer of 1936 and subsequently demolished. It is rumoured that the mill was set alight by a candle placed on a heap of straw.


The mill itself would have sat astride the river which has been diverted to form a straight mill race, with a 6 foot (3 metre) tall mill wheel attached to the south bank. Little remains of the mill now but the part stone and part timber 'cill' (at the base of the wheel) can still be seen, as can some of the mill's stone and brick foundations.


There was also a spillway (overflow) that carried water around the mill if water levels became too high. The brick arched bridge that crossed this spillway can still be seen.


The linoleum block picture of the mill opposite was created by local school headmaster Allston Kisby and was featured in the Northants County Magazine.




Remains of the cill for the millwheel (South riverbank)


With thanks to Keith Allsop for his help with information on the mill.