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Website Design : Simon Potter WHAT'S IN A NAME ?
[Article by Roy Vass]

I had always thought that Smock Mills were named after the smock, which, in recent dictionaries, is defined as "a loose fitting garment of coarse linen worn by farm labourers - usually reaching the mid-leg or lower".

Then I learned that the earliest recorded use of Smock, when related to men, was in 1800, and that prior to this countrymen and boys wore an outer garment called a slop or slop frock. By the early 1800s this had become a smock or smock frock.

So why were Smock Mills, built before 1800, so named ?

In Chaucer's Canterbury Tales (1386) the "Miller's Tale" tells of a wife's dress ". . .Whit was hir smok" {"her smock was white"} and continues "embroidery repeated".

In the Paston Papers, letters of that great Norfolk family living in the fifteenth century we find references to "Her lady's smok".

more ...

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M J Peat - one of Jill's jolly millers [Photo:Roy Vass]

Michael J Peat
One of Jill's Jolly Millers

Website Design : Simon Potter
Website Design : Simon Potter