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Roundtree Mill

Also known as Cuckingstool Mill

Page updated 3rd July 2010

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The Round Tree Mill, just a few metres north of the City Brewery could only be entered from New Bridge Street. It existed in 1688, before New Bridge Street was built, when it was known as Cuckingstool Mills, and assumed the name Round Tree Mill in the middle of the 19th Century, after the Round Tree Inn, a few yards away.

James Horsham was the miller in 1828 at the Round Tree Mill, according to Belsley's Directory; the name of the mill was confirmed in a document of 1840. James Worthy of New Bridge Street was listed as a miller in the 1839 Robson's. The Flying Post carried a notice of let, in 1855, for Cuckingstool or Round Tree Mills, situated on Bridge Street in the occupation of Messrs. G and E Reed. Although on a rather cramped site which could only be entered from New Bridge Street, the mill had three pairs of mill stones driven from the wheel on the Lower Leat. The mill was discussed at a meeting of the City Council in 1863, when it was suggested that if £500 be spent on it, the Council could increase its return on the property.

In June 1872 the Flying Post published a notice of sale "Lot 1 - All those valuable and well-known Grist Mills, known as Cuckingstool Mills situate in Bridge Street... now in the occupation of Messrs Linscott... held under lease from the Town Council.... for ninety-nine years, determinable on the life of a gentleman now aged thirty-seven subject to a conventionary rent of £12"

In January 1885, another notice appeared in the Flying Post that announced:

December 29th 1884
Sir
I beg to inform you that M BASTICK, of the Round Tree Mill, has disposed of his Business to me. I hope to carry the same on in the same satisfactory manner as he has, and solicit a continuance of your esteemed commands, which will have best attention and thanks,
I remain,
Dear Sir
Yours respectfully,
William Pinet.

The building suffered three fires, over a period of 15 months, the last of which destroyed it in 1910. The owner, 50 year old Mr Charles Reynolds, the managing director of the West of England Trading Company was arrested, following the last fire on March 10th. He had been pressed for money and was required to pay £1,600 on a mortgage for the mill, having insured the premises and stock for £3,500. Reynolds had placed candles, oil and cotton waste around the mill and set fire to it. Ten people sleeping overhead were hastily roused to make their escape. The jury could not agree a verdict, and the case was put back to the next assizes. He was found guilty at the second trial and sentenced to five years penal servitude.

Sources are listed on the mills menu page.

Position of Roundtree MillRoundtree Mill was to the left of the leat, marked by the parapet, that ran under New Bridge Street. Photo Dick Passmore.
Position of Roundtree MillThe shop on the left is on the site of Roundtree Mill. Photo Alan H Mazonowicz.

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