Town Mill, Guildford

The Town Mill is a Grade II listed 18th Century watermill located in the center of Guildford on the River Wey.

The earliest recorded on the site was made by Walter de la Poyle in 1295. This was a fulling mill as Guildford was an important location in the wool trade. This is probably known as Kings Mill. By the late 17th century milled with four pairs of stones, two for flour and two for animal feed. The whole assembly was driven by three external water wheels. The construction of the wey is a boon for the milling of grain to be delivered to the mill by barge and resulting sacks of flour to be taken, again by barge, to London. By 1768 the buildings had become rather dilapidated and the eastern range was broken down by a three-storey red brick building with dentil molding under the eaves of a tiled roof. The western range was simply repaired and comtinued in use. This section is known as the Hogsmeat Mill. At the same time the old undershot wheels are more efficient breast shot wheels. In 1852 the western section was replaced with an identical brick building styled to match the 1768 building. In 1827 it was reported that an extension to the Hogsmeat Mill was attached to the Guildford foundry, on the site now occupied by the Yvonne Arnaud Theater, but this building was demolished by 1852. From 1770, an additional water wheel was being used to pump water to the town on Pewsey Down. This was replaced by two water turbines in 1896, then a single turbine in 1930, in use until 1952 when it was passed by. In 2003, Guildford Borough Council arranged for the refurbishment and installation of a similar turbine as an example of renewable energy. This turbine drives a generator to supply up to 260,000 kWh of electricity into the National Grid, annually. The turbine turbine came on-line in 2006. The 1930 turbine has been preserved, and is on display at Dapdune Wharf. The Mill is now used by the adjacent Yvonne Arnaud Theater as a scenery workshop and studio theater.