This was a traditional tidal mill in St Mary's parish, dating back to medieval times; it was first mentioned in 1220. It was called Chapel Mill because of its proximity to Trinity Chapel, a medieval chapel built about the same time as the mill. It was worked by two tidal mill-ponds whose traces can be seen on 19th century OS maps. The mill was extensively rebuilt in 1740, possibly using stones from the by now disused Trinity Chapel, much of which was incorporated into the mill. The mill itself was disused by the mid 19th century and the building was used as a store/offices until its demolition in 1960.

A separate but much later steam mill was built next to, and north of, the traditional mill on what is now American Wharf in Elm Street. It was built in 1781 by Aaron Moody and Christopher Potter to provide biscuits for the victualling of the Royal Navy during the American War of Independence. The mill was extended in 1800-1811 to increase the victualling of the fleet at the time of the Napoleonic Wars. James Watt described Chapel Steam Mill as having 10 ovens which discharged 16 times each day. This was only the third steam mill to be built in the country and the only survivor of the early generation of steam mills. There are plans (2015) to convert this Grade II* listed building into apartments.

Chapel Mill

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See also:

Further reading:

Southampton Occasional Notes,2nd Series, by ‘Townsman’, p35. (HS/h)
Old Mills of Southampton, by R. A. Pelham, p6-16. (HS/p)


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