Mill - a part history
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The Iron Mills at Wiilsbridge were erected on
the site of the ancient manor house at Oldiand,
on a stream called Mill Clack brook, which runs
through the valley of Southernwood. As early as
1712 John Pearsall set them up for rolling
iron, especially hoop iron, also for making steel.
Mill circa 1900
The works were successfully carried on by the
family for many years. In 1801 Thomas Pearsall took
out a Patent dated 30th December, for his invention
in applying hoop iron for the construction of roofs,
instead of timber, but it was a failure - a roof
set up over the London Docks collapsed, and after
that the works were discontinued.
Relics of the old iron rafters, which were made
at the mills, were found in several old cottages,
only recently demolished. Mr. Pearsall retired to
Bath, where he died in March 1825, The premises
were sold in 1816, and the mill converted into a
Pearsall made a dam across the brook to form
a pond and mill head for his iron works, flooding
the meadow and orchard called "Swans' Flat"
Mr. Robert Lucas Pearsall was the last to leave
the neighbourhood, and he resided at the Upper House
before he retired to Germany, after having sold
his estate to Robert Stratton Esq.
Robert Pearsall was celebrated for his musical
ability. He was born at Clifton, but the family
and his ancestors lived at Willsbridge for many
years prior to his birth.
Mill Pond circa 1900
In 1800 to 1850, there was a stone quarry at
Catscliffe, farther up the valley of Southernwood,
and this was owned by a family named Caines. There
are to this day flagstones which came out of this
quarry, still to be found in some old houses in