Mill House

Lynn and Rob Eggar of Mill House have kindly provided the following information about the former Henham Mill.
Ken Newland acquired the Mill in the 1950s, his story here.
Photograph of the Mill

1363 Henham… The manor is held of the king in chief as parcel of the barony of Fitzwauter, service not known. The extent includes a park with deer, a windmill in ruins, and a leet held in Whitsun week. (Calendar of Inquisitions Vol XI Edward III pages 379- 499. An identical position is shown on Chapman and Andre’s map of Essex 1777

1728 – the draft of a letter written on 9 January 1728 at Harlow by Mr R. Harrison to Governor Feake about the value of the Henham estates –

” Harlow, January 9 1728

Sir, Upon ye information I received from you by yours of Saturday that your Henham estate would be sold the 15th of this Instant January I went on Tuesday morning last to get you best information….. the value of it the rents I find to be as follows –

The HaIl Farm rented by Mr. George Guyver 161: 19: 6.
The Lodge Farm rented by Mr. Tho. Playle 168 : 15: 0.
The Parsonage rented by Mr. William Cannon 105: 0: 0.
The Cock Inn with 22 acres of land held therewith by Henry Bacon 28: 0: 0
Thirty eight acres of land rented by Thomas Bush 12: 0: 0
A Windmill : Rented by George Fuller; 8 : 0: 0
483: 14: 6

Brought 0ver

There is also a farm called ye Broom
farm rented by James Hutley at 72 £72: 0: 0
P Ann which is not mentioned in your
particulars you gave me
The 119 acres of Coppice Wood was vallu’d 35: 0: 0
by ye Trustees own? to them at 35 £ per ann
The Great Tythes lett to several psons. 74: 0: 0
Fines upon alienation 30: 0: 0
Quit Rents 27: 0: 0
This is exclusive of ye Broom Farm ye Estate
Ann 649: 14: 6 . —————–
total p Ann 721:14:06

The Farm Houses and Buildings belonging. to them, I find in pretty tolerable good repair. But not in so good Repair of Tennants will also take Leases of them without money. To keep them in good repair would I think perforce laying out 300 £ or thereabouts.

The rents I find are most of them old rents.”

Mr. Harrison then advises a purchase price of around £ 21,188.0.0 and adds a PS –
If ye farme called ye Broome Farm should not be put up for sale ……. I cant get any good account of it.

1729 19 April
Draft Conveyance (Bargain and Sale) for £20,710. Sir John Ey1es, Sir Tho. Crosse, John Rudge, t’ath. taut. Sir Rog. Hudson, John Lade, Gabriel Roberts, and Sir Rich. Hopkins, trustees of the South Sea Co., to Samuel Feake. The document states that property is part of estates late of Sir John Blunt , one of the directors of the South Sea. Co., and is to be sold to Feake by trustees in pursuance of an Act of Parliament 7 Geo. I. This is followed by a grant for life by Samuel Feake sen., of Durringtons in Sheering, to his eldest son and heir Samuel jun. Capital messuage called Henham Hall and land (300a.), a cottage called The Cherry Garden, both now in tenure of Henry and John Headland, in Henham. Grantor reserves manor and lordship of Henham Hall and the right to hold court therein. Reversion to Samuel sen. and his heirs: grantee may lease property for term not exceeding 21 years

1729 13th November – a copy of the letter sent to G. Feake November by R. Harrison about the advertisement and his Henham estate – “Sir Yours of the 11th Current I received and am sorry to hear by yours of the basenesse of the people at Henham I have this day sent the inclosed you sent me for Mr Smith to him and also one of the advertisements hereunder written to be nailed on the Church porch on Sunday next immediately before Divine Service begins (viz).


I have also written over 3 more of them in strong vellum and have sent them to Mr Playle to fix one on the Smith’s Forge one other on the Cock signpost and to let the Church Clerk or Cryer of the parish publish the other all over the town and parish and then fix it up at the mill or some other of the most frequented parts of the town by which measure I hope to find out the offender.

Mr Archer and I could not agree the other day He bid me but 230 li. and I could not move him any further. I hear he hath since agreed with his old landlord again for Wicken Hall for which I am sorry, he being a man of substance, an honest man and like to have made a tenant to yours and my satisfaction. So at present have no one in view either for the Hall or Parsonage farms On Monday night Mr Johnson came down to survey Sheering estate and is now at Sheering Hall, he choosing to be there rather than at Mr Salmon’s Mr Holland hath delivered me in a bill for malt delivered to you before you left Pishobury which comes to £7 3s. which I don’t care to pay till I have orders from you. I had appointed to have been in town last Monday was sennitt [seven nights] but was that day taken with a feaver and fit of the stone which held me for above 30 hours. I have not been out of doors since and am still so weak and faint that I dare not stir out but hope in about 10 days if the weather takes up to be in town, who am Your most humble servant R.H.”

1756 12 Aug. an attested copy of same date. Conveyance (Lease and Release) for £100. Samuel Feake sen. to Jas. Starkins, of Elsenham, miller – a parcel of ground, formerly part of waste of manor of Henham Hall, and a windmill lately erected thereon, with millstones, running gears, utensils and implements, in tenure of Jas. S., in Henham

1768 George Storkings, windmiller

1831 10th June baptism of Augustus, the son of Jonathan Nicholls the miller and his wife & Martha

1932 The roundhouse of the former post-mill at Henham on the Hill is now thatched. It may or may not be so always, but it is the only one in Essex now with that old roof-covering (from English Windmills, vol 11.86 D. Smith 1932)

The Royal Commission on Ancient Monuments suggests that the mill is late 16th century and had been completely rebuilt except for the lower course of brick wall.

From untitled source –


Post mill that stood south of Mill House and south of the village centre, where the thatched roundhouse, brick-built, still marked the site in 1973, but has been reduced to a circle of brickwork about two feet high. A mill at ‘Henham on the Mount’ appears on maps of Essex from Ogilvy and Morgan (1678) to 1896 at the site above. It was the subject of a will in 1773, and of insurance policies secured by William Prime of Elsingham (sic), miller and yeoman, in 1801, and by Thomas Nottage, of Henham, shopkeeper, miller and farmer, in 1805. The last specifies the property in detail and the sum insured amounted to £ 2,400; this included windmill and roundhouse £ 300, standing and going gears £ 100, and stock and moveable utensils £ 200. The capacious roundhouse, large French stones, superbly winded position, excellent roads and respectable neighbourhood were extolled in a succession of sale notices dated 1815, 1829,1834, and 1840 advertising the sale of the freehold or of a lease. In 1842 the owner was Charles Rider, Robert Seabrook being miller, and in 1857, when lightning struck off a sail, one Rider was still proprietor, Burls being miller. The mill was manned by a succession of millers, many with names familiar to the trade in this corner of the county: Burls (1863); Mynott (1871); Surry (1878); Henry Ruse (1886). In 1871 the mill, rented for £ 40 annually, was employed in grist production, using patent sails, which in an undated oil painting are represented as four anti-clockwise single-shuttered sails with their striking gear external to the mill. These details are confirmed in the single known photograph, which givers a rear view and shows a ‘blister’ in the weatherboarding on the roof to accommodate either the brake wheel or part of the sack-raising gear. As the photograph was in the possession of A R Surry (1969), a descendant of the Henham miller, it may date from c.1880 when the family was in residence. The mill was probably last worked by Robert Wright (1894), and a press notice in January 1903, referred to its dismantling. Dr Turner, when inspecting the derelict mill at Wicken Bonhunt in 1921, met the presumed last miller of Henham mill, whom he did not name. His landlord had, he said, started to use an engine to produce his own meal, taking away half of the wind-miller’s living, and had permitted a fellow-tenant to do likewise, taking away the other half. These actions, coupled with a refusal to reduce the rent, put the final brake on the mill sails.

Trade Directories

Joseph Burls 1855, 1859, 1863 miller and baker
Ezra Mynott 1870 miller
Joseph Houghton junior 1874 miller
Henry Ruse 1886 miller (wind)
Samuel Roe & Robert Wright 1890 (also hay & straw dealer)
Robert Wright; Samuel Rose, 1895 mill manager
Arthur Simons 1902 farmer

Photos of Arthur Simmons and family