Pan Mill, Newport

From Wightpedia
Pan Mill, Newport
Pan Mill, Newport

Pan Mill is located on the River Medina between Lower Shide Mill, and Ford Mill. There seems to have been a watermill on the Pan Mill site, in the parish of Whippingham, to the east of Newport, Isle of Wight since medieval times.

In 1887 Pan Mill was put to auction by the trustees of the will of Edward Way Esq.[1]:

.. FREEHOLD WATER CORN MILL, situated on the
river Medina, in the parish of Whppingham, close
to the market town of Newport, adjoining the
Pan-lane crossing of the Newport and Sandown
Railway, and known as "Pan Mill," substantially
built of brick, containing two floors, granary floor,
and upper stage, and worked by a breast-shot wheel
driving three pairs of stones; the wheat cleaning and
flour dressing machinery is in good order. The buildings
consist of spacious corn stores, four stories high, an
office, fitted with strong room, with two rooms over,
and a retail store, all connected with the mill, and
most substantially built of stone and brick, with slated
and tiled roofs. A cottage containing five rooms, two
open waggon sheds, a stable for four horses, a wagon
shed with loft over, a cart shed, coal store, a kiln, a range
of piggeries, a stable with loft over, a fowl house, also an
enclosure of meadow land, a garden, and a mill pond,
the whole containing an area of 1a.0r. 32p.

James Thomas became involved with the mill in the late 19th century when he joined William Ash in the partnership Ash & Thomas. On the death of William Ash, the business was formed into a limited company, Messrs. James Thomas and Co., Ltd.

Under James Thomas the mill was modernise and the business expanded as other well-known firms both in the Island and on the mainland were absorbed. The mill was probably rebuilt in brick in the early 1900's and the water wheel replaced by a more efficient turbine.

The mill continued to produce flour through the 20th century although it changed from stones to rollers, and from water power to being powered by electricity.

Map of Pan Mill - 1907
Map of Pan Mill - 1907

With the expansion of the business the name was changed to Messrs. Thomas, Gater, Bradfield and Co., Ltd. around 1920 after James Thomas & Co. had amalgamated with John Gater of West End Mill, Southampton and the Longstock mill of James Bradfield.

In 1934 Thomas, Gater, Bradfield & Co. Limited was acquired by Messrs. Joseph Rank, Ltd.

In 1935 Messrs. Leigh Thomas and Co. Ltd. was formed and took over Pan Mill (together with the mills at Emsworth and Wellington as well as the Newport company John Sheath and Co.) from Thomas, Gater, Bradfield & Co. Limited.[2]

The mill closed in the 1970's and the building was converted to form Millcourt Business Centre occupied by a number of businesses.

There are signs of the mill race to Pan Mill still visible in the Pan Mill Meadows, alongside the footpath/cycle path N218 off of St. George's Approach.

Street Directories record the occupants of the mill as:

  • 1859 - Way Edward & Son, Pan Mill
  • 1898 - Ash & Thomas, millers (steam & water), Pan mill
  • 1911 - Thomas James & Co. Limited, millers, Pan mill
  • 1927 - Thomas, Gater, Bradfield & Co. Limited, millers, Pan mills

See more:

  1. Isle of Wight County Press - 30 April 1887
  2. Isle of Wight County Press, 2 February 1935, p8, public notice