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Wonham Mill

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What: Flour mill, later agricultural merchants
Where: Near Betchworth, Surrey
Built: 1740, modernised and extended 1914
Architect: Unknown
Abandoned: c.2006
Listed: Mill House only, Grade II
Visited: 2009
Last Known Condition: Converted to flats, 2013
Page Updated: Jan. 2014

A water-mill called Wonham's was first mentioned at the beginning of the 14th century. In 1328 Edward III granted to the priory of Reigate the 'water-mill at Wonham with pond, watercourses, &c., in East Betchworth, formerly in the tenure of William de London and Roger de London, and of 26s. 8d. yearly rent there granted them by Roger son of Roger de London of Reygate.'

At the dissolution of Reigate Priory, the mill and grounds, which had been demised (granted or leased) to William Hevyr, were valued at 53s. 4d. By 1678 the mill was part of the Wonham estate, and in 1740 the current redbrick building with its elegant Georgian miller's house replaced the earlier buildings.

The blue door Staircase
Blue door and attic stair

Third floor
Third floor

[click images below to expand & enlarge]

Finished conversion, 2013 Roadside frontage, 2009 Site safety Terra-cotta date plaque from 1914 renovation Georgian mill house (© Ian Capper under Creative Commons) The millpond was dry and heavily silted Hole in the wall Fire extinguishers congregate at the bottom of the tower Looking up the tower Whiteboard First Floor First Floor Sign on stairway Second floor Third floor grain elevator Third Floor Scullery Utility room Bathroom. Everything in the cellar was covered in a strange orange dust Window Kitchen Another bathroom The Times from 1976

The mill was extended and refitted in 1914 but by this time larger mills in towns and cities had already begun to take over. Over the ensuing decades, many smaller flour mills were forced to close, but Wonham continued until 1930 when new owners Joseph Rank Ltd dismantled and removed all of the machinery. During the Second World War, the mill was requisitioned as a Ministry of Food store, before being purchased by Wm Lillico & Son, feed and grain merchants who installed a drier and silos adjacent to the main mill. Due to its relative isolation and falling profits, however, the mill was closed in 2006. The premises were subsequently bought by property developers who planned to turn them into luxury flats. Work began in 2007 but was halted under a year later for reasons unknown. By 2009 the buildings stood abandoned and partly demolished, large holes gaping in the side of the mill tower.

The size and style of the mill house, its large, airy rooms and elegant Georgian façade hint at the prosperity that once came with running a mill of this size. After 1945, the mill house was probably occupied by the manager's family or rented to a tenant family. After the last occupiers left, it was emptied and stripped of most fixtures and fittings.


Work resumed on the buildings in 2011. By 2013, the conversion was complete, the mill transformed into an 'exclusive' collection of 'outstanding' properties with prices ranging from £475,000 for the smallest apartment to £1 million for the Mill House.


The Derelict Miscellany: website and all content © D. A. Gregory unless stated to be otherwise.