Author Archives: BHASecretary

Wind, Water and Steam: the story of Hertfordshire’s Mills by High Hawes

Cover of Wind, Water and Steam: the story of Hertfordshire’s MillsHugh Hawes
Wind, Water and Steam: the story of Hertfordshire’s Mills
Hertfordshire Publications, University of Hertfordshire Press, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-909291-73-7




Wind, Water and Steam is a survey of the industrial milling heritage of Hertfordshire, covering primarily the 19th and 20th centuries. It is a well-written and easy, with no compromise to scholarship, read and thus is an essential text for people studying the history of this industry.

The author covers in depth, and with extensive footnotes, these areas:
National and international developments
Expanding markets

The national and international developments include the government measures to regulate the trade in milling products such as the Corn Laws and the repeal of these laws plus commercial treaties with France.
He looks at the siting of mills on sources of power – water, wind and the adaptation of steam power and the conversion from mill stones to roller mills.
He also looks in depth at the changes in transport from rivers and canals to roads and rails for the transport of milled products and the reception of imported grain.
Finally, he brings us up to date with discussions on survival in a challenging environment and the shift of users of English corn to speciality products.

Corn mills form the bulk of the study but other milling industries are discussed, such as paper and silk mills. There is also a chapter on preservation and restoration of the milling heritage.

The book is greatly enhanced with appendices with contemporary accounts, primarily from the trade journal ‘The Miller’, of the changes in the industrial age of the 19th and 20th centuries. These accounts give us a clear understanding of the issues faced by mills in light of new technology, Parliamentary changes in international taxation policies and competition from imported corn.

Additionally, there is a comprehensive glossary explaining the different types of milling equipment and forms of mills. A gazetteer gives a very handy list of mills for the local historian.

This book does not cover the longer history of milling in the county, from the Middle Ages, but there are references to mills dating back to the late 15th century.

This is a fascinating book and an essential tool for anyone studying the technology of working mills in Hertfordshire. It also illuminates how those mills worked in other counties of the county.

I highly recommend this book.

Terry Bloxham
Hon Secretary
Bucks Historical Association

Saving a Century – A photographic exhibition

A photographic exhibition celebrating the work of The Victorian Society. 3-30 April 2013, Luton Central Library, St George’s Square, Luton, LU1 2NG Admission Free. Open daily. This exhibition of photos from around the country shows examples of the best Victorian and Edwardian buildings and structures that the Society has campaigned to save, and some that… Continue Reading

The History of Buckinghamshire Place Names

  Our February guest speaker was Anthony Poulton-Smith who talked about Buckinghamshire place names. Anthony started the talk by telling us how he became interested in the origins of place names through his father and how he is slowly researching the place names of England, county by county. His research covers not only street and… Continue Reading

Change of Speaker for 20 February 2013

Our 20 February speaker, Dr. Alana Harris, has had to cancel due to health reasons. However, we are very fortunate in having another speaker booked for that evening. Anthony Poulton-Smith will be speaking about his latest publication – Buckinghamshire Place Names. This is very exciting as we now have the opportunity to hear about recent… Continue Reading

website maintained by HVA