HISTORY OF THE MILL HOUSE & SURROUNDING AREA
Updated: Sep 27, 2019
The Mill House is a 17th Century Grade II listed property, thought to have been built during the reign of King James I (1603-1625).
Unfortunately, other than that, there is little known fact about The Mill House itself (but give me time, I am working on it!)
The Mill House is part of the Wills Estate, and is located next to the old Rickford Methodist Chapel which itself was until recent times, was used as a Masonic Hall for the Forest of Mendip Lodge Freemasons.
The Mill House is located in the hamlet of Rickford, which falls within the parish of Burrington. Burrington was a historically chapelry and a tithing of the manor of Wrington, until it became a parish of its own (many, many moons ago!) Burrington parish church is dedicated to Holy Trinity.
The history in the local area stretches back to Saxon times, when Wrington (a neighbouring village) was granted to Duke Ethelfrith in 904AD by King Edward, the son of Alfred the Great.
Rickford itself, is situated about half a mile east of Burrington at the foot of Blagdon Combe, and is from which the Rickford Spring flows from the hillside to feed the Mill Pond (next door to The Mill House).
It is an attractive setting, nestling at the northern foot of the Mendip Hills. A Mill Pond has existed here in Rickford for many centuries with a leat to the side of the mill, which was a flourishing flour mill and later a paper mill. The flour mill appears to have been destroyed by a fire.
The paper mill was built in the late 18th Century and is known to have produced good quality paper and later artists’ paper. Paper was still being made by hand at the paper mill until 1895.
The area surrounding the pond was landscaped by W.H Wills in the late 19th Century, and the pond stocked with trout (watch with patience and you’ll see them appear near the surface every now and then).
The Mill House has been operating as a Bed and Breakfast since 2012, following a £100,000 refurbishment of the building. It recently changed tenants and was relaunched under new management in September 2019. Over the next couple of years Natalie hopes to give The Mill House a face lift, restoring its warmth and character, drawing out the period features in the home, making it a welcoming country home to guests from near and afar.
Some further local history can be found following these links: