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In David Popham's book 'The History of Wimborne' there is a reference to a 'mille at Wimburn Town Centre end' which is believed to refer to Walford Mill in the 16th century.

It is thought that at this time the mill was powered by 2 waterwheels of the undershot

type and about 2.4 metres in diameter.

The existing main building most likely dates from 1760/1770;  certainly old maps (1775)

in the county records show buildings sited in the same position so that might be

considered a fair assumption. There is however no evidence left in the building of this period.  

At some time between 1880 and 1905 the wheels were replaced by ‘British Empire Turbines’ supplied by .. Armfield .. of Fordingbridge and at about the same time the main building

was extended to provide additional storage areas on the upper floors as well as a

furnace/boiler room on the ground floor. This boiler addition was intended

to supply an alternative source of power to the mill wheels when river flows were low.

The mill complex had a varied history, particularly after it ceased operation as a working

mill around 1966 .. The freehold interest in the site however remained with Lord Bankes -

and on his death in 1982 the mill together with the remainder of his estate, which included Kingston Lacy House, Badbury Rings &  Corfe Castle,

was bequeathed to the National Trust.

In this map for the late 1880s the much wider River Allen  circles more obviously around

the mill although a short walk around to the adjacent car park will show the sluice that

led down to the pool shown in the old photograph.


Walford Mill

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