Sydney Bridgman Baker
Cornard Mills in 1906.
Note the “gang” (two) of horse-drawn Stour barges. The facade has recently been renovated with Suffolk White bricks.
A brief history of the Mill...
The old Mill Building traces its roots back to The Domesday Book of 1085. The entry for Cornard included the Mill, 4 horses, 18 beasts,
80 pigs and 473 sheep!
The manor of Cornard became the manor of Abbas Hall when it was sold to a convent in Malling in Kent.
In the reign of Henry VIII, at the time of the dissolution of the monasteries, it was taken by the King and sold. In 1647 when the owner of the Manor John Brand, a clothier died, he left instructions that the mill and 34 acres of woodland should be sold.
It seems, therefore, that from then on the mill and its house was divorced from the manor and became ‘freehold’ property. The tenant miller was Frances King at the time of the transaction. The next date available appears cut in plaster on an inside wall when the house was extended to present its existing eastern facade.
It was not until 1770 that an advertisement appeared in the Ipswich Journal of April 7th. “To be sold and entered upon at Michaelmas next a very good accustomed freehold Water Mill, with two water wheels, pleasantly situated upon the River Stour at Great Cornard, in Suffolk.” The purchaser was one Thomas Smyth, since his widow Ann Smyth entered into a lease on his death in 1785, which appears in the Abstract of Title up until 1851 when Edward Baker became the owner. Four generations of the Baker family continued to produce farm feeds on the site until it was sold to Tucks of Burston in 1985.