Castlethorpe Mill

Artist's impression of an early mill
Hanslope or Castlethorpe Mill is situated in the parish of Castlethorpe.

A mill on Hanslope Manor in 1086 was worth 12s. yearly and was included with it in the grant of Henry I to William Mauduit.
A water-mill has stood on the river at Castlethorpe since at least Domesday (1086) which will have been altered and rebuilt many times over the centuries. There was a tenant called Roger Birchmore of Castlethorpe/Hanslope Mill in 1279.

Castlethorpe Mill

Northampton Mercury 04 September 1925

STONY STRATFORD PETTY SESSIONS.  Mavis Beryl Huckins, overlooker. The Mill, Castlethorpe, who was summoned for riding a bicycle without a light, was 10s.

Northampton Mercury 18 September 1925


STONY STRATFORD PETTY SESSIONS.  Walter Jelley (23), railway labourer; Claud Meakins (16), apprentice painter; Sidney Bushell (21), farm labourer; Frank Johnson (23), railwayman; Herbert Gascoyne (17), apprentice fitter; Ernest Pettifer (23), farm labourer; and Edward Egglesfield (15), railway works labourer, all of Cosgrove, and Frank Huckins (21), apprentice tinsmith, Castlethorpe; were summoned for playing a game of chance (“ pontoon ”), at Cosgrove, on Sunday, August 30th. All except Johnson appeared and pleaded guilty. P.C. Willoughby stated that at 12 (noon) when on a bridle road, he saw nine youths playing cards. Defendants quickly picked up the money, but witness seized the cards. Jelley admitted they had been “caught fair.”— Defendant had nothing to say to the bench. —The Chairman remarked that the elder defendants ought to know better than lead the youngsters astray. The youngest were fined 5s. each, and the others 10s. each.

Northampton Mercury 29 October 1926

A FIRE occurred in Coronation-road, Stony Stratford, on Sunday morning, at the rear of premises occupied Mr. Huckins, who had recently moved there from Castlethorpe. A large wooden shed was discovered in flames and was quickly burnt to the ground. It contained bicycles which were destroyed, a mangle, potatoes, and coal. The damage at estimated at about £50.

The Wolverton Express August 14th 1953

Carrier 2-cwt. Sack of Corn
When He Was 78


Apprenticed as a boy to the trade of miller, Mr. Charles Henry Huckin served in 12 mills before he retired when the mill at Castlethorpe closed down. He had experienced using wind, water, gas and steam engines for power for the mills, and was an expert in dressing mill stones.

After leaving Castlethorpe about 17 years ago (1936), where he was miller for 20 years, Mr. Huckin moved to Stony Stratford. His death took place there on 6th August at 87 Clarence Road, within a week of his 82nd birthday.

Born at Chipping Norton he had worked in mills at Stroud, Slough, Banbury, Twyford, Towcester and Winslow. After his retirement from Castlethorpe, where he worked for Mr. Charles Whiting he often went as a relief miller to Towcester, Newport Pagnell, or where a man was required, making the daily journey by cycle.

Accepted Challenge

After living in a mill house for most of his life, Mr. Huckin retained a great interest in mills, and often cycled out to see those still operating in the district.

Four years ago at Thornborough he was challenged to carry a sack of corn, weighing 2cwts., and successfully carried this up to the second floor of the mil.

He continued to ride a bicycle until he was well over 80, and was also well-known for his love of poetry, Kipling was his favourite, and even during the past three months when he was in fading health he recited a poem of over 2,000 words that he had learned as a boy.

The funeral service took place at Stony Stratford Congregational Church on Saturday, conducted by the Rev. J. H. Eddleston. The interment was in the London Road cemetery. Mourners present were Mr. R. Huckin (son), Mr. and Mrs. Capel and Mr. and Mrs. F. Seabourne (sons-in-law and daughters). Unable to be present were Mr. W. Huckin (brother), who is in Canada. Miss E. Huckin (Brackley) and Mrs. E. Townsend, Chadlington (sister).

Interior view showing the millstones & hopper
Mill interior showing the water wheel
Millstones & hopper
Water wheel

The mill and mill house

The Future of Castlethorpe Mill

Castlethorpe Parish Council Minutes

October 25th 1971
Mrs. Stacey asked if Castlethorpe Mill could be given protection in the proposed Conservation Area. The Mill owned by Lord Carrington, was in a very dilapidated state but, said Mrs. Stacey, should be considered as a precious heritage. There was unanimous agreement on this point and the Clerk was instructed to inquire of the authorities whether or not this mill could be given protection of this nature.

November 29th 1971
Mr. Dunbabin had acknowledged the P.C.s’ request for the Castlethorpe Mill protection. The chairman informed members that the matter had been included on his R.D.C. agenda for the December meeting.

March 20th 1972
Mr. S. Nichols asked for information regarding the possible preservation of Castlethorpe Mill. The Clerk was able to outline possible means for achieving this and also disclosed that the P.C. had officially requested the B.C.C. to include the Mill in the proposed Conservation Area.

March 27th 1972
Newport R.D.C. had informed the Clerk that the County Planning Officer considers that the Mill is of sufficient rarity and importance to warrant inclusion in the Statutory List of buildings of Ancient or Historical interest. Before the matter is progressed, the R.D.C. have asked to know whether the Parish Council have any suggestions as to what use the property could be put if it were to be listed, and the owner does not intend to maintain it. Mr. West moved, Mr. Crompton seconded a proposition that the Clerk to inform the Mill’s owner (Lord Carrington), before seeking suggestions from the P.C. Further that the tenant farmer – Mr. J. Sawbridge Sen., be informed of this action.

May 2nd. 1972
The R.D.C. had now made it known that agents for Lord Carrington (Mill owner) had in fact been asked by the County Planning Officer for his future intentions with the Mill. Before the planning authority progressed the matter further, it could still be necessary to have the view of the Parish Council as to the possible future uses for the building. Mr. Tapp proposed, Mr. West then seconded the proposal that the Parish Council reserve their comments until they can be informed of the views returned by Lord Carrington (or his agent).

June 26th 1972
Lord Carrington’s agent had indicated to the County Planning officer that they had no particular plans currently being considered for the Mill. However they have always thought that the Mill could be converted into a residence for use with the estate. The R.D.C.’s letter claimed that there is no threat of its demolition at present and its preservation can be a subject for the ‘investigator’ when the Newport Rural District is re-surveyed in due course.