Historic Throop Mill
Perhaps we should go through a time warp back to 1086 - Throop Mill at this time was valued at 14s 6d. The mill being erected on the waters edge, not a river but a swamp filled with fish, eels and an abundance of wild ducks. Pigs graze in the fields around the Mill, pannage time will be 6 weeks in September when the animals will be turned out to fatten on acorns and beech mast. The Villeins and Surfs are living in mud and wattle huts which they share with the animals as the weather becomes colder. Hugh de Port is the present owner and most of the surrounding counryside.
Henry I has decided to grant the Mill to the De Redvers Family who regularly pass the Mill on their way the Priory town of Christchurch; this is the 1100 AD period. Hugh however has decided to grant all the rights to the River and Mill to the lands to Abbot of Savigny, who then passes the whole package onto Isabel de Fortibus, a Princess of France.
The monks from Quarr Abbey are working the Mill which they have rented, they are not only millers but a source of education and most importantly provide healing for the poor villagers.
1272 and the monks have had a bad harvest, the rent will be low and Isabel has given all rights of the Mill to the Monks. The Crown has assessed the taxes at 1 guinea per annum.
1282 and the Monks have had enough, time for Christchurch Priory to take on the lease. A further 39 years have passed and in 1321 the value of the Mill has dropped to 4s. per annum and Quarr Abbey has now decided to grant away all rights, this was to take a further 2 years. 1323 Edward I has approved by Crown Licence to the Mill to the Priory.
During the passing centuries the Millers of Throop have been tenants only working for the Manor of Christchurch. The river is no longer a swamp, but food is still plentiful from the waters that run alongside the Mill. The villagers have spread their wings, moving across the seas to the New World. The tythlings are becoming villages with a steady increase in comings and goings.
The Mill is rebuilt during the past times and during the late 1890`s the changes that are current take place. First the left hand side of the old Cob Mill is removed and the red brick feature built up, 1900 and the right hand side of the present mill becomes complete, the garages and barns a later addition.
Armfield Engineering were commissioned to install the 50" turbine at a cost of £165. Augers and bucket elevators transfer the grain to the top of the building via an extensive belt and pulley system powered by water.
The machinery installed at this time can still be seen today, many dressers, shakers and cleaners plus of course the rolling system which ground the flour.
Through all this time, the Mill has ground flour and animal feed, it has been a source of sustanance, teaching and healing from the Monks and yet even today there is a feeling of a building that is loved. The past Millers and their laborours worked hard for many a long hour, suffering backache, lung problems from the dust, yet leaving behind a warmth that radiates through to the many visitors that visit each year.
We can honestly say that 1000 years of Milling at Throop is something we should be and are proud of. Our heritage left to us by past generations should be preserved for the future.