Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: February 06, 2023
Webpage updated: February 15, 2023

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Budshead Mill was a tide-mill on Budshead Creek at the northern extremity of the Ancient Parish of Saint Budeaux.

Budshead Mill, Tamerton Foliot 1912.

Ordnance Survey map of 1914 showing Budshead Mill and
Budshead Mill Farm, Tamerton Foliot.

Their date of construction is uncertain but in 1780 the owner was recorded as Sir Harry Trelawney and the tenant was Mr Robert Nicholls.

The Mill was evidently in a poor state because in March 1791, Mr G Leach, the owner of Budshead House, leased the Poundhead, a creek of six acres, with a acres of orchard and garden, the old mill, millhouse and 12 acres of the field next to it on the east, to Mr John Gouk for forty years.  Also included was the right of way along the paths leading to the Mill.  The lease contained the conditions that Mr Gouk should build a dam across the mouth of the creek and invest 500 in building a grist mill on the dam, fitted with three pairs of stones for grinding wheat, barley or oats.  The money would be lent to him by Mr Leach and others and in return he was to pay a nominal rent for the first three years and 160 a year thereafter, when the Mill was up and running.

Budshead Mill, Saint Budeaux, Devonport.

Budshead Mill, in the Ancient Parish of Saint Budeaux, clearly showing its wooden construction.

Just a few years later, at Michaelmas 1798, Mr Richard Hall Clarke bought the lease and let the same to Mr Alexander Gouk at only 130 per annum.  Both the old mill and the new one were operational in 1802, apparently.   The old mill was driven by an undershot wheel fed by a stream that passed through the field number 276, next to Budshead House.  The water was piped underground and discharged into the wheel-pit in what by 1913 had become a cattle shed.

By 1840 there were apparently two water-wheels (which may refer to the old mill and the new mill, of course), each 14 feet high and 8 feet wide, which worked four pairs of stones.

At the time of the census in 1851 the miller was Walkhampton-born, Mr Richard Pecke, aged 51.  He employed one journeyman miller, Mr James Stephens.  Along with Richard's wife, Catherine, were his unmarried sister, Sarah, and four children, Joseph John, aged 21, Kate Agusta, 10, Mary, 9, and Henry, 7.   There was a 14-years-old house servant by the name of Maria Finnemore.  As Richard was also farming 26 acres of land, on which he employed two labourers, he also had an 11-years-old farm servant by the name of Thomas Mayn living in the household.

Interestingly, the 'old mill' at Budshead was serving as a home for a pauper sexton and a carpenter.

Mr Walter King was the miller here from around 1857 until 1879.  In 1882 Mr William Doney (1846-1925), originally from Lerrin, in the parish of Saint Veep, Cornwall, was the miller, jointly it would seem with Mr John Risdon, farmer and baker, from Plymouth.  The 1891 census shows Mr Doney living at the Mill with Mrs Agnes Doney and their son, William Harold Congdon Doney (1875-1945).  Mr Doney had retired by the 1911 census, leaving his son in charge.

Mr William Harold Congdon Doney married Miss Flossie Emily Teppett, of Egremont, Cheshire, a 28-years-old Scottish lady, at Birkenhead, Cheshire, in 1914, probably at the Ancient Parish Church of Saint John, Egremont. 

The census taken on Sunday June 19th 1921 reveals that Mr William Harold Congdon Doney, aged 46 years, was still working the flour mill but had added farming to his occupations.  In addition to his wife, they had a son, 5-years-old scholar, Master Clifford Harold Doney, and a 2-years-old daughter, Miss Margaret Joy Doney, both born at Saint Budeaux.

But by the 1920s the Mill was either in disrepair or business had fallen off because Mr William Harold Congdon Doney gave up the Mill and the machinery was auction on Tuesday July 12th 1927.

Budshead Mill, Saint Budeaux, Devonport.

Another view of Budshead Mill.

Pictures show the the new Mill was built entirely of wood.  In 1950 it was reported as being 'derelict'.

Mr William Harold Congdon Doney died at Langdon's Cottage, Tamerton Foliot, on Saturday September 1st 1945. The funeral took place at Tamerton Foliot Ancient Parish Church on Tuesday September 4th 1945.  Mrs Flossie Emily Doney, widow, remarried Mr Francis William Congdon, of Elburton, Plymstock, on November 12th 1952 at Tamerton Foliot Ancient Parish Church.  They remained living at Langdon's Cottage, where she died on November 24th 1972.