Marsh Mill, Thornton, Lancashire
Its National Mill Weekend ! OK I hadn’t heard of it either, but on the 12th & 13th of May there is a celebration of all the 300 Historic Mills across the UK.
Commercial Milling was a major move forward, milling grain for flour, bones for fertilisers and milling animal foods. Mills were Water powered and Wind powered and many of the later used to power pumps to control water levels over Fen land.
Marsh Mill was constructed in 1794 on ‘Marsh’ land that had been drained on instruction of Roger Hesketh* of Rossall Hall. Hesketh commissioned Millwright Ralph Slater to build the Mill. The mill prospered, milling flour till the late 1800’s and switching to Animal Feeds until it ceased production in 1920’s.
Despite being Listed as a Grade Two Historic Building , it has had numerous uses and mixed fortunes, including loosing the sails in a server storm in 1983… ironically that may well have been the boost that was needed to save Marsh Mill as an important Landmark of importance for the Fylde. Marsh Mill now stands in a Local Community centre and enjoys the support of a dedicated Preservation Society who care for the Mill and organise tours for visitors.
* It was another member of the Hesketh Family, a Peter Hesketh-Fleetwood who also had local ambitions for the Lancashire Fylde. He went onto found the Town and Fishing Port of Fleetwood. He built a rail link and had the dream of creating a Rail and Sea terminal to serve Lancashire. Whilst Salt Mining and Fishing did go on to create what for a long time was a thriving community and making use of that rail link, his dreams of that major transport terminal never really materialised.
(C) David Oakes 2018