Calbourne Lower Mill

From Wightpedia
Calbourne Lower Mill and Mill Pond
Calbourne Lower Mill and Mill Pond

The Calbourne Lower Mill is situated on the edge of the Newbridge hamlet on the Caul Bourne stream, it was one of the last working watermills in the Isle of Wight.  

A mill has stood on the site since the time of the Domesday Book, the current natural stone and brick buildings appears to date from the early nineteenth century.

In 1822 the Calbourne Lower Mill was put to auction at the Green Dragon Inn, Newport[1]:

All that over-shot WATER CORN MILL, driving two pair of 3 feet 8 inch stones,
with a 5-feet dressing Machine, and other requisites, capable of grinding
and clearing 9 loads per week, called LOWER CALBOURNE MILL, otherwise
Mill Green Mill, now in full trade, situate, lying, and being in the parish of
Calbourne, in the Isle of Wight, about half a mile from the village of
Calbourne  …. – together with a new-erected MESSUAGE or DWELLING
-HOUSE, stable, piggery, and other suitable and convenient out-buildings,
with a large Garden and other Lands adjoining and belonging thereto, now
in the occupation of Mr. Arthur Edwards: the whole of which are held for
the residue of a term of four-score and nineteen years, determinable on
three good lives. The water wheel and other parts of the gear of the Mill
are new; and the buildings and other parts of the premises have lately been put
into good and complete repair. … 

In 1861, Jeremiah Whittington, miller of Lower Calbourne Mill, holding a licence to sell beer, was fined 10s. and costs at the County Petty Sessions for having his house open at an unlawful time. The local Police Constable reported finding six men in the bakehouse used as a taproom at half-past 3 in the afternoon of Sunday 13 October[2].

There are other references to the mill being the site of a brewery, in 1863 the Crown Brewery[3].

Calbourne Lower Mill - 1896 map
Calbourne Lower Mill - 1896 map

Later the water wheel was replaced by an Armfield turbine and then a Ruston & Hornsby diesel engine[4].

In the 1980’s the mill was owner by Mr. John Pretty who operated the mill and produced ‘Calbourne Crunchy’, a biscuit produced using the flour produced at the diesel powered mill, while the turbine drove the dough mixer and wheat cleaner.

Today the property (2021) is a private residence with the mill pond.

  1. Salisbury and Winchester Journal - 14 January 1822
  2. Isle of Wight Observer – 26 October 1861
  3. 1863 OS map
  4. Water and Wind Mills in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight – SUIAG 1978