Our stoneground, strong unbleached, white and wholemeal flour comes directly from this 18th Century Water Mill, which is just down the road in Hampton Lucy, Charlecote Mill. If you get chance, go see it! Its a living and functioning piece of history. The Mill has open days so if you fancy spending a few hours taking in a piece of history in beautiful Warwickshire Countryside thats on your doorstep check out the website www.charlecotemill.co.uk for up and coming open days. The mill is set upon acres of amazing scenery and of course a river.
Karl, the current miller, restores and manages the mill on a daily basis, making the flour for us and delivering it once a week. The wheat comes from local farmers, when possible, and is brought directly to the mill for the production of flour. None of our flour has any enhancers, preservatives, additives or bleaching agents so the flour is not white as you would see it in supermarket shops. This adds to the look, taste and texture of all of our breads, making it a unique loaf.
Below is a little information taken from the Mills website:
A Brief History of the Mill
With acknowledgement to Tim Booth and John Bedington
The mill as you see it was probably built in the eighteenth century, but on the site of earlier mills. A mill at Hampton Lucy is even mentioned in the Doomsday Book (compiled 1086). It was then valued at 6s.8d.
Little is known of the mills and their millers over the years, but a noticeable incident occurred in 1675 when the miller John Dickens and three other men were indicted for 'the felonious stealing and carrying of two perches and two pikes of the value of 11d, of the goods and chattels of Richard Lucy Esq.' Dickens and Robert Nason confessed, and were sentenced to be 'stripped from the waist downwards and openly whipped through the town of Hampton Lucy till their bodies be bloody'.
The present mill building and mill house were evidently built by the Lucy estate, and are still owned by Sir Edmund Fairfax Lucy.The present mill, apparently built in 1806, is a particularly fine building, with walls eighteen inches thick. The names of the millers in the nineteenth and early twentieth century can be ascertained from trade directories, etc.
The name of one, William Witherington, who was miller from 1845 to 1864, can be seen carved in the brickwork on the top floor. The last millers were Newbery and Son, from 1936 to the 1950's; however, they used mostly an engine-driven hammer mill, and from the time of the Second World War, the only equipment driven by waterpower was the sack hoist.
From 1978, John Bedington had a lease over the mill and he and Tom Mitchell, aided by a band of helpers too numerous to mention, have done extensive repairs to the roof, windows, floor, stairs and doors, gears, stones, sack hoist and bins and the East water wheel. The West water wheel was repaired in 1978 by the Birmingham millwright Bob Atkins at the expense of the BBC for their film of 'The Mill on the Floss'.
So there you are a brief history. I felt it the right thing to share, as more and more of us are wanting to know what goes into our food, with supply chains never ending!
I hope you get chance to visit, if you do I'd love to hear what you thought about it! I truly love the place...
Until next week x