New Mills, Rotherfield Peppard, Henley on Thames, Oxfordshire

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Location and general description

New Mills papermill was situated at Rotherfield Peppard, Henley on Thames, Oxon. On the Thames opposite Remenham (VCH, 2007). The paper mill was on a small island in the Thames, with a flour mill on the adjacent river bank.


The papermill of around 1861 was the larger of two buildings straddling a single millrace, the other being an adjoining flour mill.

History (from 1585 to 1925)

In 1585 the mill was owned by Francis STONOR (VCH, 2007).

In late 17th C New Mill was managed by Bartholomew QUELCH (VCH, 2007).

In 1679 Bartholomew QUELCH died and amongst his goods were listed 20 meal sacks. The business passed to his son Thomas QUELCH (d. 1716) (VCH, 2007).

In 1705 the STONOR family held five water powered corn mills in this area (VCH, 2007).

After expansion the mill became known as New Mills (VCH, 2007).

None of Thomas QUELCH's sons followed their father's career and the lease passed to Thomas HARRIS (d. 1751) (VCH, 2007).

In 1778 there were four water corn mills (VCH, 2007).

by 1785 the Hon. Henry Seymour CONWAY of Park Place owned the mills and they were occupied by John WESTBROOK and Co. (VCH, 2007)

In 1786 an arson attack destroyed the four corn mills, which were rebuilt shortly afterwards as a flour mill and a paper mill. These new mills were described as timber-built and tiled. (VCH, 2007)

In 1794  which were at that time occupied by James SMITH of Reading (VCH, 2007)

On 7 Feb 1795 William LOVATT of New Mills, Rotherfield, Oxon., papermaker, was declared backrupt (div: 14 Feb 1797) (Maxted, 2008)

In 1798 John ELSEE, a paper manufacturer and miller aquired both mills (VCH, 2007)

In about 1820 Charles ELSEE (d. 1855) took over (VCH, 2007)

In 1841 Charles ELSEE sold the mills to William Thomas KNOLLYS (VCH, 2007)

In 1840 New Mills employed 30–40 people, manufacturing both paper and flour (VCH, 2007)

The 1854 Post Office Directory (pg 715) gives ALLEN J. & Son at New Mill, Rotherfield Peppard, Henley-on-Thames.

In 1861 James ALLEN was paper manufacturer and employed 11 men and 4 boys, serveral of his staff lived in tied cottages nearby.  The mill's output included paper bags.  (VCH, 2007)

In 1903 C.H. SMITH and Sons were still making paper there (VCH, 2007)

In 1915 the buildings were in a ruinous state (VCH, 2007)

Both mills were been demolished before 1925 (VCH, 2007)


The ELSEE family

The 1851 Census lists the ELSEE family at Northfield End, Henly-on-Thames, Oxon., when they comprised


Any transcripts and images on this page are Copyright R I Kirby 2008 unless stated otherwise.