Goughs Solicitors, one of Wiltshire’s leading law firms, was delighted to donate to the Chippenham Museum and Heritage Centre the foundation stone from a historically important, four storey flour mill built in 1817.
The Domesday Survey of Chippenham records twelve mills along the Avon; many of them were likely to be involved in grinding corn grown on the rich Cornbrash soils of the west. A mill is believed to have stood on a site near Chippenham Town Bridge for centuries.
After a disastrous fire of 1816, a four storey flour mill was rebuilt made of limestone and brick. This remained standing until it was demolished in 1957 and replaced by a row of shops.
The foundation stone from the final mill to be erected on the site, bearing the date 1817, has been kept at Mill House, 1 New Road since before World War II. This property was once the home of the Collen family who operated the flour mill from 1837-1948 and is now home to Goughs Solicitors.
Melissa Barnett, Curator of the Chippenham Museum and Heritage Centre commented, “The museum has a working scale model of this mill in the museum and thanks to Goughs the original mill stone can now be exhibited alongside it as part of a permanent display explaining such an important part of Chippenham’s history”.
Emma Taylor, Partner in charge of Goughs Chippenham office said “When we were contacted by Melissa, we were more than happy to donate the foundation stone. The stone is an integral part of Chippenham’s heritage and should rightly be displayed within the museum”.
Pictured above: Emma Taylor (right), Partner in charge of the Goughs Chippenham office, presents the stone to Melissa Barnett (left), Curator of the Chippenham Museum and Heritage Centre