Russell Mill

Numerous streams rise from the chalk hills of Salisbury Plain in the Lavington Area. There’s the Northbrook, the stream from Broadwell and the West Lavington Stream. The three all meet up around Market Lavington Manor and then flow on to Russell Mill. Russell Mill was once a part of Market Lavington parish but was transferred to West Lavington in the 1880s. Its only road access is from the Littleton Panell area of West Lavington.

Russell Mill used the power of the water in the combined streams to operate the grinding mechanism, which converted wheat into flour. To ensure plenty of power, a dam was constructed so that a lake full of water was always available to drive the machinery.

Our photo shows the lake and mill in about 1912.

Russell Mill in about 1912 - a photo at Market Lavington Museum

Russell Mill was the home and workplace of Amram Saunders in the early nineteenth century. He was a big mover of events in the parish and beyond. His exploits and those of his children could fill a book – actually, more than one book for at least two of his children wrote detailed accounts of their lives and ways of thinking and a third became a newspaper magnate. The Saunders family are sure to crop up sometime in this blog.

There are numerous watermills in the Lavington area – Cornbury and Littleton to name but two. At the museum we’d love to know more about the windmill which must have been sited somewhere on the sands, near the present Windmill Lane, Windmill Cottage and Windmill House. If you have any knowledge of this mill then do, please, get in touch.

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