Standing at the entrance of St Peter’s Valley, this spectacular landmark building provides a rare insight into Jersey’s industrial past. Within its walls lies evidence of a large steam engine, which was used to supplement the power required to run the substantial double-width wheel. As one of few remaining mills in the Island, this magnificent National Trust property demonstrates the importance of preserving Jersey’s heritage for future generations.
Although the first recorded mill dates from 1274, when it was the property of the Pinel family, there has probably been a mill on the site since the 11th century. Since then, the mill has passed alternately from the property of private owners to the property of the Crown and, as a result, the mill has undergone several phases of development. The current building reflects the changes made since 1831. The last private owners, the Gilley family, sold the property in 1934 to the New Jersey Waterworks Company, who diverted water from the stream into a reservoir nearby. The secondary, steam-powered engine had then to be replaced by a more powerful oil-powered engine.
Although used extensively during the Occupation, the mill soon fell into disrepair as the importation of flour became common. Faced with demolition, it was thanks to a donation by Miss Izette Croad that the Trust was able to purchase the mill in 1996 and safeguard it for the future. Due to a lack of available funds the Trust has granted a long lease to a private developer to restore and convert the interior of the mill to residential apartments. However, the Trust has retained and restored the key historical elements such as the mill wheel and steam engine room.
The current building comprises the main mill with a water wheel; steam engine room; grinding room; dry storage area; the miller’s cottage; a walled courtyard; pigsties, and an outer garden.
The majority of Tesson Mill is now residential after being leased out on a 150 year lease, however the Trust still cares for the courtyard, wheel pit and engine room and during the summer it is possible for vistors to access these areas. Within the engine room there is a short film telling the story of the history of Tesson Mill.
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