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Wednesden Hill Windmill Husborne Crawley

Wednesden Mill
Wednesden Mill in 1745 [X1/30]

The mill at Wednesden is shown plainly on a pre-inclosure map of Aspley Guise of 1745 [X1/30], where the slight rise in the ground forming Wednesden Hill appears about the size of Glastonbury Tor! This 18th century drawing is roughly contemporaneous with the two pieces of documentary evidence held at Bedfordshire & Luton Archives & Records Service. In his will of 1710 [M1/1/14] Samuel Browne of Aspley Guise, baker devised his mill in Husborne Crawley and bakehouse and cottage in Aspley Guise in trust for his wife Elizabeth, and, after her death, to his brother Matthew Browne.

Fifteen years later the mill in Husborne Crawley and the bakehouse in Aspley Guise was leased [M1/1/30] by Lord of the Manor Edmond Williamson to Thomas Monk of Southwark [Surrey]. The bakehouse was occupied by Richard Bumpstead and the mill is described as being on Wednesden Hill. An inventory accompanies the will and notes as follows:

  • Dwelling: one deal dresser; one baron rack; six shelves;
  • In Bakehouse: one oven; long moulding board; two large dough troughs; three wooden pails; one beam and dough scales; one copper and ladle; two shelves; one dough grate and knife;
  • In Outhouses: five shelves and one dresser;
  • In Yard: two hovels; one leaden pump and horse trough; a small stone trough;
  • Belonging to the Mill: four mill stones; a great gable; eight sails of cloth thereunto belonging; an iron crow;
  • In Shop: two flour bins; one beam and tin flour scale; a peck weight; a half peck weight; a pottle weight; a two pound weight; a half pottle weight; a one pound weight; a box of small weights; one shelf and dresser;
  • Meal Chamber: one flour mill; three flour and two wheat bins; one shovel and brush

In the early twentieth century a bakehouse was built in Bedford Road very near the site of the former windmill. It is tempting to think that the bakehouse mentioned in the will and lease were somewhere nearby too, though there is no evidence for it.

The site of windmill at Husborne Crawley March 2007
The site of windmill at Husborne Crawley March 2007