Past owners and millers

Throughout the medieval period, from before 1241 until the seventeenth century, Clodock Mill was within the Lordship of Ewyas Lacy.  For information on the Lordship go to the Ewyas Lacy Study Group website This is an excellent account which is unnecessary to repeat here, but it is worth reciting just a few of the names to give a flavour of the Mill’s illustrious ownership.

After the death of Walter de Lacy in 1241 the lordship was divided between his two granddaughters and its three mills were held in moiety (half shares).  One moiety passed from Margery de Lacy via the Despencer line (and briefly, Warwick the Kingmaker) to the Nevills who became Marquises of Abergavenny.  The other moiety passed from Maud de Lacy via Roger Mortimer, First Earl of March, to the Plantagenets.  When Edward Plantagenet became King Edward III in 1461, the Earldom of March, including the moiety of Ewyas Lacy, was merged with the Crown estates and remained so until 1566, when Queen Elizabeth gave it to Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester. He noted its poor condition and sold it on.  His survey is held at Longleat but unfortunately Clodock Mill is not mentioned as it had been derelict for many years at the time of survey. It is doubtful whether any of these grandees were aware of the existence of Clodock Mill, which perhaps accounts for why it remained in ruins for over a century.

 Unfortunately we know nothing whatsoever of the millers and other occupants of the medieval mill.  After the mill was rebuilt during the first half of the seventeenth century we start to learn the names of the millers. In 1667 David Thomas was in possession of the mill. He had acquired it from Robert Parry. In his will David Thomas left the mill firstly to his wife and then John Delahay. It came into the hands of William Delahay and then by 1705 Bennett Delahay. In 1721 Bennet Delahay contracted to sell his properties in Longtown to John Maddox.

However, we are lucky to have in our possession a continuous sequence of title deeds, dating from 1822.  From these we have a complete record of all the owners and many of the occupants from before 1812 up to the present day.  Where indicated, additional information has come from census records, parish registers, trade directories and invoices.

James Powell is the first named occupier in the deeds but his occupancy is undated.

1812 James Ballard, occupier (HRO: Snodhill papers, Section IV b Misc).

1818 James Woodward and Simon Exton (details not known, parties to lease/release).

1818 Henry Williams, millwright of Clodock, bought the Mill with a mortgage of £300 from David Watkins.

1821 Henry Williams contracted to sell to James Parry, mason of Clodock.

1821 James Parry contracted to sell to John Andrews, gardener of Cwmyoy.

1822 John Andrews bought the Mill from Henry Williams for £420, this being the debt of £300 owing to David Watkins and accrued interest of £120.

1824 Ann Gwillim, spinster of Monmouth, bought the Mill from John Andrews for £405.

1836 James Gwillim (m. Sarah) was miller at Clodock Mill (Baptismal Register).

1838 James Gwillim was named as occupier in conveyance.

1838 Joseph Roberts, gentleman of Hereford, bought the Mill from Ann Gwillim for £420 with a mortgage of £400 from Israel Morgan.

1841 J Roberts & Co gave notice of sale of Mill by auction (Hereford Journal).

1842 Thomas Griffiths was miller of Clodock (Baptismal Register).

1843 Thomas Griffiths bought the Mill at auction from Israel Morgan’s executors for £460 (The conveyance is dated 1844).

1851 Walter Harris, miller of Clodock, bought the Mill and other land from Thomas Griffiths for £760 with a mortgage of £600 from William Pritchard.  The conveyance states that Walter Harris and previously Anthony Harris were tenants of the Mill.

1856 Walter Harris increased his mortgage to £760.

1860 Ann Harris, Walter’s widow, paid off the mortgage with a new mortgage of £700 from Henry Lilwall.

1867 W. Jones is named as the miller (Littlebury’s Directory and Gazetteer).

1867 Henry Miles (né Thomas Henry Fidkin), miller of Longtown, purchased the Mill from Ann Harris for £525.

1876/7 Henry Miles of Clodock Mills was Relieving Officer for Clodock (Littlebury’s Directory and Gazetteer).

1882 Edward Ball (m. Catherine), miller, Clodock (Baptismal Register).

1890 William Davies, miller of Pontys Mill, purchased the Mill from Henry Miles for £620 with a mortgage of £500 from Thomas Davies.  Henry Miles moved to Pontynys Mill.

1893 William Davies was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 12 months hard labour (Hereford Times).

1895 William Davies was now miller at Pontynys Mill (Simmons Papers) although Pontynys was still owned by Henry Miles.

1900 William Davies’s name was crossed out on a Clodock Mills (sic) invoice and Sophia written in.

1901 Sophia Davies, widow, was miller at Lower Mill (1901 Census).

1901 Charles Price was miller and farmer, Clodock Mill (1901 Census).

1902 Sophia Davies (Jakeman & Carver’s Directory and Gazeteer)

1909 James Straker, Esq. of Abergavenny bought the Mill for £535 from Anne Davies, widow of Thomas Davies, with a mortgage of £500 from Anne Davies.

1911 William Farr was the miller working on his own account (1911 Census).

1916 Edith and Edgar Straker inherited on the death of James Straker.

1921 Anne Lewis, wife of William Lewis of Clodock, bought the Mill from the Strakers for £675.

1921 and 1922 Abraham Davies was named as yearly tenant in indentures.

1922 Anne Lewis raised a mortgage of £250 from Maude Bull.

1922 William Lewis, Clodock Mills (Invoice).

1934 Anne Lewis died.

1935 William Lewis and his daughter Florence paid off the mortgage.

1937 William Lewis died leaving the Mill to his five daughters, Lillian, Florence, Mabel, Olive and Ethel.  The William Lewis name continued in use until 1939.

1940 Florence Gwillim, née Lewis, wife of Arthur Gwillim, of Clodock Mill, bought the Mill from her four sisters for £485 (£635 including her contribution to paying off the mortgage).

1939-1954 Roy Jones was employed as miller by Florence Gwillim.

1954 The Mill ceases commercial operation (Last grist book entry).

1994 Florence Gwillim died.

1998 Arthur Gwillim died.

2001 Martin and Gillian (Jill) Cook bought the Mill from the estate of Florence Gwillim.

References: -

Census of England and Wales 1901

Census of England and Wales 1911

Clodock Parish Registers

Hereford Journal

Hereford Times 1893

Kelly’s Directory

Littlebury’s Directory and Gazeteer of Herefordshire

Simmons Papers quoted in Coates and Tucker

Snodhill Papers

Steele, R. and Weddell, N., 2007 The Lordship of Ewyas Lacy from

 Norman times to the present day,

Title deeds, grist books and invoices held by Martin and Jill Cook

If you are related to any of the owners or millers of Clodock Mill, or if you have any information or documentation concerning the mill we would be very pleased to hear from you.