The Mills at Colton

The first evidence we have of a mill at Colton is in the Domesday Book. It is entered under the holding of Robert of Stafford and is said to be paying 12 pence, quite a lot of money in 1086 when Domesday was compiled.

This mill existed for hundreds of years and provided a good source of income for the Lord of Colton Manor. It was situated close to the present day bridge over the River Trent on the B5013 road to Rugeley and was powered by water from the River Trent.

We hear about this mill again in documents that have survived from 1570. (Staffordshire Archives). One document records a dispute over a right of way next to the mill between the then Lords of Colton Manor-the Gresleys and Lord Paget who owned most of the land on the other side of the Trent in Rugeley. Tenants of the Gresleys chained and guarded the bridge with weapons!


Picture courtesy of J. Anslow. Local History Source Book.

Through most of its history this mill ground corn but in 1834 it is recorded as grinding flint. Rugeley saw the the development of the sanitary ware trade in the 19th. Century and flint was used in the process. The mill was probably supplying this industry. We have census records of the families who were the millers in the latter half of the 19th. Century. Also in the 19th. Century it is recorded as manufacturing plaster and cement. At the end of its life the site was owned by a company producing oxide of iron and other colours for use in paint and some Colton residents worked there.
A second mill at Colton is recorded in old documents as far back as 1383 at Hamley. We know it was a windmill again for the grinding of corn. The only hints to its exact location now are field names such asWilmor, Mill Ditch and Mill Ditch meadow.

There was almost certainly a third corn windmill at one time but we have little idea as to its location.