The Doomsday Book in 1086 is the earliest documentation showing this site to have been used for milling.
The site was part of the Manor of Botley and owned by Ralph de Mortimer, an important French nobleman who fought on the side of King William I at the Battle of Hastings (1066).
From the description and historical knowledge of milling it has been deduced that there were probably two waterwheels each driving one pair of stones. Hence the site has always been referred to as Botley Mills and not mill. Also as the Doomsday Book refers to the previous Saxon owner (Cheping) and as some evidence has been found of Botley having a settlement in pre-roman times it is likely that milling has taken place on this site for well over a thousand years.
The mills remained in possession of the Mortimer family until the early part of the Fourteenth Century. However during that time the manor and hence the mills were held on their behalf by a family who had taken on the name of Botley. In 1304 the entire manor including the mills was granted under a trust to the order of St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Winchester. It has been said that monks of the order of St. Elizabeth operated the mill during this time but it is more likely that it was leased to a tenant miller.
Click here to read more...