Watermills harnesses the power of water to drive wheels that would grind flour.

Corn would arrive at the mill either by barge or by horse and cart.

A hoist was used to lift the corn to the upper story once at the top of the mill the corn was emptied into bins and then released into a series of hoppers to the ground floor where it would be fed into the grinding stone.

Once ground it would then go through a series of sieves which separated it into waste and the various grades of flour.

Eastern Essex had two very wide rivers not suitable for a watermill and no fast flowing streams. The creeks were mostly very marshy and during the early 1800's not considered suitable for watermills hence windmills predominate.


Blue Mills at Woodham Walter was the site for a watermill which was built in 1810 using large stones and two pairs of mill stones quarried from very hard quart mined near Paris, France.

The mill harnesses water from a mill pond and stream. A windmill was added later to work in tandem and offer the miller the use of wind or water depending on the best available.

Tidal Mill

One tidal mill survives at Battlesbridge although it is currently in poor condition. The mill is in private ownership and so the best viewpoint is the bridge over the River which gives good views.

The mill harnesses to tide at the point where the Crouch changes from Salt to freshwater .This was the last navigable point for the larger Thames Barges who would have carried corn to the mill and flour to the big London market.

Battlesbridge tide mill was built in the 1830's  and has been listed as a Grade II listed building.

The main building is of three storeys with a loft and a weatherboarded lucam, built of yellow stock brick with a clay tile roof. A single storey red brick and weatherboard range with a pantiled roof extends to the river bank and dam wall. The mill has been converted for business use,

The adjoining dam wall and tide gates are sited alongside the mill.


To the west of the tide mill are the former granary and drying kiln which were constructed in the early 19th century for use with the tide mill .

These buildings are constructed of soft red brick with a central main block that has a hipped slate roof and a single storey range extending west with a clay tiled roof.