History of the Mill

Snugborough Mill has had a long and colourful history spanning close to 1000years. The site is recorded as one of the 12 water mills in Blockley village at the time of the Domesday survey in 1046. It is located towards the bottom end of the valley where it can capture and harness the energy from the fast flowing spring fed water in Blockley brook. Historical records reveal Snugborough has been home to two mills for much of its life, a Fulling mill (fulling involves beating cloth that has been soaked in clay so as to make the fibres mesh together) and a corn mill with its own bakery.

It has been the Bishop of Worcester’s private mill, and has links with Queen Elizabeth 1 and Shakespeare. In the mid 1850’s the mill was used for silk throwing until the collapse of the silk industry. In the early 1900’s, the site was used to generate electricity until 1935.

A copy of a late 19th century water colour painting of Snugborough Mill

A copy of a late 19th century water colour painting of Snugborough Mill

The current buildings have their origins from around 1500, with some significant alterations carried out in the mid 1850s (when the front of the millhouse was refaced and an additional floor added for silk throwing). Since the mid 1900’s, the mill has been in the private ownership of various families and companies with part of the millhouse being used for residential accommodation. Although significant building alterations (primarily roofing works) were carried out by the last owners in the 1990’s, the property had remained unoccupied for nearly 20 years.


Rupert and Mandy Williams-Ellis purchased and moved into the property in December 2010, since when they have embarked on a major restoration programme of the mill and its grounds. These works culminated in the project being selected from the Cotswold District as Finalist for best domestic extension or alteration in the 2013 West of England Regional Building Excellence awards. The mill was opened for bed and breakfast accommodation in September 2013, with the gardens also opening under the Blockley village National Garden Scheme in 2013.

Snugborough Mill with a flat roof in 1990Snugborough Mill with a flat roof in 1990

Snugborough Mill north view 2010  Snugborough Mill south view 2010

            Snugborough Mill north view 2010                                                Snugborough Mill south view 2010

 The following provides a brief summary of the key dates in the history of Snugborough Mill :

Historical table