Mills, Rectory & Tennyson

The Mills, Rectory & Tennyson

“An’ soä they’ve maäde tha a parson, an’ thou’ll git along, niver fear,
Fur I beän chuch-warden mysen i’ the parish fur fifteen year.”

The Mills

Tower (Top) Mill, or Borrill’s Mill. Station Road.

This small 4-sailed corn mill – one of two (or was it?) – in the village, stood close to the lane leading south from the village towards Halton Fenside.

Tower (Top) Mill, or Borrill’s Mill, Station Road


Understood to have been built around 1830, the sails on Tower Mill were reported to have almost touched the ground, and its position was such that it did not get sufficient wind. The mill house was made of mud and stud.

1846 All sail blown off Mr Appleyards mill and the roof greatly injured.”

This storm also caused major damage to other buildings in the locality, including the parish church and the Rectory.

This may be a picture associated with that time.

Mr Appleyard’s Mill 1846

All sail blown off Mr Appleyards mill and the roof greatly injured.” This may be a picture associated with that time.


1882 Mr Borrill bought the mill and equipment for £800 and remained there until 1933.

240 x 41b loaves were produced 4 days a week. In Mr Borrill’s day three horse and carts would deliver the bread around the village until 1943 when the introduction of mechanization meant a vehicle was then used.

When Mr Borrill’s grandson left school, he went to work at the mill earning 6 shillings a week plus his keep.

“All the Borrill family had been brought up in the rather low, warm and only 2 bedroomed mill house, grandfather had his bed in the room”.

 Mr Parker built the new bakehouse when he became the new owner of the mill.

1934 Mr Parker pulled down the old mill house.

“…Mrs Parker came from Boston and she had left behind hot and cold water, inside toilet etc and when she came to Halton she said it was 37 steps to go from the kitchen, round the front of the house to the toilet. “

However, one thing is still going strong after all these years, Mr Parker took the front door out of the old house to Skegness when he retired. In 1985 it was still on his glass house.

The last owner was Mr Hayes after which the mill was pulled down and houses built in the yard.

1970 May 25th

The demolition of Halton Mill was undertaken by a Spilsby contractor (Mr Woods of Ashby Road).

First he set fire to the woodwork in the centre of the mill, then put a wire rope around the remaining brick tower which was pulled down by a heavy tractor.”

1970 Remains of Mill.
The demolition of Halton Mill was undertaken by a Spilsby contractor (Mr Woods of Ashby Road).


River(s)dale Mill. Firsby Road.

In 1911 census information shows the Corn Mill (Riversdale) on Firsby Road was occupied by Mr John Harker, wife Edith and children Doris and John.

This mill was reported to have been in a much better location to catch the wind. It was demolished in 1920.

One mill, two mills ……three mills?

A third mill has been suggested, but many villagers were sceptical about its existence.

In an article in 1978 Albert James Clough – of Beverly House – remembers whilst draining a newly acquired field, 10 years previous, his belief in a third mill – a watermill – was found to have been correct, when a well worn mill wheel was unearthed, buried about 3’6” in the ground. This wheel now stands at the entrance to Beverly House farm on Spilsby Road. 

Beverly House Farm Millstone

 


The Rectory

The Rectory was traditionally the residence of the Rector and his family. The ‘Living’ of the Rector was received via annual payments of tithes, at this time being the yearly produce of the land – which was given by the parishioners to the Rector for the upkeep of the church and his ‘Living’.

Circa 1880. The Rectory with the orangery on the left


Circa 1880. The Rectory with the orangery on the left, and in the foreground the vegetable garden which would have been accessed via the wooden footbridge. The orangery no longer exists but remains of the brick building can still be seen.

 1774 The Church Terrier – inventory of church lands and possessions -lists the building as:

“One parsonage house containing three bays of building the walls made of brick and clay, the roof covered with reed thatch. The House contains three low Rooms two of them floor’d with Pavins, the Parlour with deal boards.”

Another account mentions a ‘picturesque verandah of the 1700s’

1825-1882.The building was greatly added to by the Rawnsley family during the 57 years they resided there.

A wooden bridge, believed to have been built in the 1860s spanned the road (or Hollowgate, the cutting resulting from stone being hewn to build the church) from The Rectory, through what was then the Rectory vegetable garden, to the church.

The bridge circa 1902-1910


1937 The Rector of Halton Holegate, Rev. J.E. Draper, informed the church council of … “a generous gift from the Rawnsley family, who have probably been the greatest benefactors of the magnificent 14th century church.

A piece of land, approximately half an acre, which lies between the churchyard and the Rectory, and which had been used by the Rectors for a number of years as a vegetable garden, has now been added to the benefice, and the necessary documents have been duly sealed and deposited with the other deeds belonging to the living.

This piece of land had been in the hands of the Rawnsley family for centuries and owing to the fact that the only access to it was through the Rectory grounds, or the churchyard, ‘complications ‘might have arisen had the land been sold.”

The parish was the grateful recipient of many gifts from the Rawnsley families, most noteworthy are the turret clock in 1867 and a large piece of land to the east end of the old churchyard which was presented in 1923 and dedicated by the late Bishop Swayne in 1924 as a much needed extension.

1952 Bernard Smith, brother of Rev. Charles Smith stood on the bridge over the hollowgate.


1952 Bernard Smith, brother of Rev. Charles Smith stood on the bridge over the hollowgate.

The bridge was removed in the mid 1950s as it had become too unstable.

Several of the Rawnsley family are buried in Halton churchyardas are two of their gardeners, who served them well.

A headstone to one of these gentlemen, located just behind their family graves, and decorated with a floral pattern reads:

“In memory of Edmund Smalley born December 18th 1819 died May 10th 1909. Gardener at Rectory for 39 years. This stone is placed here in grateful remembrance of faithful service by members of the RAWNSLEY family”.

The Tennysons and the Rawnsleys.

The relationship between the Tennyson and Rawnsley family began when Alfred’s father Rev George Clayton Tennyson heard that Rev Rawnsley at Halton had a very sick child. He and his son Frederick called and offered to help.

They stayed so late that Rev Thomas Hardwick Rawnsley, feeling that it would be unsafe for them to travel home at that hour, insisted they stay the night.

Alfred’s father had suffered with mental illness for many years and Rawnsley became a good friend to the family.

Rev T.H. Rawnsley served as Rector from 1825 – 1861 and his son R. Drummond B. Rawnsley became close friends with Alfred Tennyson as youngsters. Drummond Rawnsley returned to Halton Holegate as his father’s curate and their friendship continued. Talking with Alfred one day he related a conversation he had with the churchwarden. Alfred used this as the basis for one of his poems penned in ‘Lincolnshire dialect’.

The Churchwarden and the Curate’.

An’ soä they’ve maäde tha a parson, an’ thou’ll git along, niver fear,
Fur I beän chuch-warden mysen i’ the parish fur fifteen year.
Well—sin ther beä chuch-wardens, ther mun be parsons an’ all,
An’ if t’öne stick alongside t’uther the chuch weänt happen a fall…..

…..An’ thou’II be ’is Curate ’ere, but, if iver tha meäns to git ’igher,
The mun tackle the sins o’ the Wo’ld, an’ not the faults o’ the Squire.
An’ I reckons tha’ll light of a livin’ some-wheers i’ the Wowd or the Fen,
If tha cottons down to thy betters, an’ keeäps thysen to thysen.
But niver not speäk plaäin out, if tha wants to git forrards a bit,
But creeäp along the hedge-bottoms, an’ thou’ll be a Bishop yit.

Alfred Tennyson

In later years Drummond, having moved to Shiplake, was instrumental in bringing together Tennyson with his wife to be Emily Sellwood. Having applied for a special licence, Tennyson and Emily asked Drummond to perform the wedding ceremony.