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Text by Peter Wellings

Situated on the convergence of two quite vigorous tributaries of the Ouse, the Shortbridge and Batts Streams.

Maresfield is a very old village that made its living from iron and making cannon for the Navy, along with other sites very nearby, most notably Boring Wheel in Nutley.

Powder Mill was originally an iron works (I think) but was converted into a Gunpowder Mill, from what I can tell, sometime before 1800. The Mill did blow up in 1855 with some losses I can see from archives but I do not know if it was rebuilt after this.

 

Powder Mill

Powder Mill

There has been a large lake here for some time and it was known locally as Abbeys Lake . There was another large lake made from a dam of the Batts stream which is now gone.

The Canadian Army were based here during the 2nd WW and they blew up and breached the dam walls practicing for the D Day landings. The dam and sluice gates are still there.

 

Millstones

The Millstone is still here although broken in two and resides as a landscape feature now near the 20 year old rebuilt mill house.

The old millers house burnt down about 35 years ago, again with some loss of life as I am told the place was so overgrown the fire brigade could not get to the house in time to save the old man who lived there. The locals also say there is a ghost of a regal looking lady on a white horse seen quite often on the mill road. I have not seen her yet but hope she is a looker.

The main lake has a large dam with a weir of some 1.7M plus 5 more totalling over 4M and I am installing a small hydro electricity turbine in an area that uses the entire 4M head to make use of the power of the streams again, plus the new feed in tariffs announced in 2010.

 

Two largest weirs

Two largest weirs

I am afraid that there is little to see here historically of the old mill, the millstone looks pretty standard but I may find more as I excavate around the streams as I develop the sea trout breeding areas.

 

Old dam weir

Old dam weir

The Powder Mill lakes were run as a day ticket and private carp fishing syndicate but with the change in ownership (late 2009) this has now closed down completely. It is being redeveloped as a very up market "corporate bookings only" only fly fishing venue and clay shooting ground so is not open to the public apart from those events although there is a public footpath that runs alongside the 7 lakes and the weirs can be seen from this path. (annoyingly part of the planning when the footpath was moved.)

 

Weirs below main weir

Weirs below main weir

Corporate Fly Fishing can be booked by calling Peter Wellings on 07909698691.

   

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