Shalford Mill

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Shalford Mill is an 18th-century watermill located on the River Tillingbourne in Shalford, near Guildford, Surrey, England. In 1932, the mill was endowed to the National Trust by a group of eccentric young female philanthropists called Ferguson's Gang.[1]

The Domesday Book records a mill being present on the site in 1086 - one of the five mills recorded as part of the great manor of Bramley. In the 15th century, the mill was owned by 'John atte Lee'. In the 16th by Sir Edmund Walsingham and in 1599 it was sold to George Austen.

The present timber-framed building, built around 1750, originally housed two separate mills. The eastern half of the mill ceased operation in the 19th century and has been converted to residential use. The western half remained in operation until 1914 and is now open to the public.

In danger of being demolished with its timbers sold off and the land marketed as building plots, Peggy Pollard AKA Bill Stickers and Brynhild Catherine Jervis -Read AKA Sister Agatha of Ferguson’s Gang persuaded the Godwin-Austen trust to donate the watermill to the National Trust on the understanding that the Gang would raise the money for its repair and future running costs. The repair was supervised by the conservation architect John Eric Miers Macgregor OBE who went on to become an important member of Ferguson’s Gang and was given the pseudonym 'The Artichoke'. He and his family used Shalford Mill as a weekend retreat and his daughter Joanna Bagnall is the current tenant. The titular head of the Godwin Austen Estate, Major Arthur Godwin-Austen was admitted to the Gang and given the pseudonym of 'The Pious Yudhishthira'. From 1932 until 1966 Ferguson’s Gang had its headquarters at Shalford Mill.[2]

The Gang’s Headquarters are opened to the public by the present tenant of Shalford Mill on request.

The mill opens to the public on Wednesdays and Sundays during the summer months.


Coordinates: 51°13′09″N 0°34′05″W / 51.2191°N 0.5680°W / 51.2191; -0.5680

  1. ^ Bagnall, Polly (2012). Ferguson: Exhibition Catalogue. 
  2. ^ Bagnall, Polly; Beck, Sally (2015). Ferguson's Gang: The Remarkable Story of the National Trust Gangsters. Pavilion Books. ISBN 978-1-909-88171-6. 

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