Skip Navigation

Welcome to Bedford Borough Council

Home > Community Histories > Yelden > Yelden Windmills

Yelden Windmills

Volume XIV published by Bedfordshire Historical Record Society in 1931 included information on windmills in the county by J Steele Elliott. An inquisition into the property of Lord of the Manor John de Trailly of about 1360 stated that he held a windmill in Yelden worth 6/8 per annum. Jeffreys' map of the county of 1765 shows a windmill half a mile south of the church where the current triangle of roads lies. It is also shown on a tithe map of 1842 [MAT54].

The mill was "burned down in October 1877, during a tremendous gale. The sails were forced into action and the uncontrolled friction caused it to fire; the miller being helpless, it was burnt out. The sails continued to revolve in the holocaust until the whole collapsed".

Millers are recorded in the earliest Yelden parish register [P119/1/1] as follows:

  • 1679: John Smith was buried;
  • 1705: the son of John Joyce was buried;
  • 1710: the daughter of John Joice was baptised; 
  • 1719: John Joyce was buried;
  • 1722: the son of Jonathan Foscue or Foscut was baptised;
  • 1737: John Warner was buried;
  • 1737: the daughter of Joseph Marshall was buried;
  • 1738: the daughter of Joseph Marshall was baptised;
  • 1747: the wife of John Abbott was buried;
  • 1760: John Abbott was buried;
  • 1779: Peter Coles was buried;
  • 1790: the daughter of William Marshall was baptised;
  • 1794: the daughter of William Marshall of Ditchford Mill was buried;
  • 1800: Joseph Marshall and his wife were both buried.

Later millers noted in directories include:

  • 1847: John Belton;
  • 1853, 1854: George Smith;
  • 1862, 1864, 1876: John Walker