Building record SUY 169 - The Mill Hotel, Walnut Tree Lane

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19th century converted watermill


Grid reference Centred TL 8692 4132 (36m by 82m)
Map sheet TL84SE


Type and Period (3)

Full Description

A grade-II listed converted watermill. The mill recorded in the town at Domesday may have occupied the same site, and a timber-framed structure is depicted here on Brewer’s map of 1714, but the earliest part of the present building is a four-storied weatherboarded range of circa 1800. The weatherboarded mill is typical of those built on the River Stour in its early-19th century heyday, when barge traffic was able to reach London via Manningtree and grain prices were boosted by the Napoleonic wars. Its fabric consists chiefly of Baltic pine secured by bolted knee-braces and is very similar to that of neighbouring mills such as Bures (which was built as an extension to an 18th century mill). An early-19th century watercolour painting shows the picturesque building soon after construction with a small cross-wing on the corner of Walnut Tree Lane to the right. This wing still survived in 1898, but by 1902 had been replaced by the present four-storied gault-brick structure which housed a series of new steam-powered roller mills. In 1875 a brick and slate building that probably operated as a granary was added to the rear by the mill’s new owner, Isaac Clover, who in 1880 also built Riverside Cottage on the opposite side of the lane. Both buildings retain plaques bearing their dates and Clover’s initials. The hotel conversion saw the mill’s open-plan interior extensively subdivided, with many additional large-paned ‘picture’ windows inserted into its southern facade, and a western lean-to that accommodated the waterwheel was completely rebuilt to create the modern bar area (incorporating Tudor style fireplaces and beams). In the 1980s an additional red-brick range of guest rooms was built in Walnut Tree Lane to the north and linked to the older building by a glazed gallery. The brick roller mill of circa 1900 survives almost unaltered externally, complete with most of its iron-framed windows and Classical ornament, and represents a fine and imposing example of late-Victorian industrial architecture. To a lesser extent this also applies to the granary of 1875, which has seen the insertion of several windows and a new door to its riverside elevation but still preserves a degree of industrial character when viewed from the meadows (S1).

Sources/Archives (1)

  • --- Unpublished document: Alston, L.. 2017. Heritage Asset Assesment: The Mill Hotel, Sudbury.

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

Aug 30 2019 10:12AM

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