Bourton is the most northerly parish in Dorset, with Wiltshire in the east and Somerset in the West. Beside the lake at the rear of Bourton Mill stands a large slab of greensand known as Egbert's Stone. King Egbert was the first King of Wessex and he raised the Stone to mark the boundaries of Dorset, Somerset and Wiltshire when he divided the land into Shires.

In 878 AD his grandson King Alfred called all the people of Wessex together to fight the marauding Vikings. Four thousand people met in the fields around the mill. The famous army attaked the Vikings on Salisbury Plain. It proved to be one of the most significant victories in British History, and is the reason why these notes are written in English and not Scandinavian!

In 1860 the largest water wheel in Europe was set in the River Stour alongside the mill. It was made in the mill of iron and had a diameter of 60 feet. Another waterwheel built in 1902 by E.S. Hindley of Bourton, which worked on the Duke of Somerset's estate in Maiden Bradley, providing the village and surroundign farms with drinking water can be seen at the Kew Bridge Steam Museum in London. By this time the mill had become a foundry, and later went on to produce some of the first steam driven cars.

There has been much modern development in the village, but scattered about the parish are quite a few late 18th or early 19th century small stone houses, a result of the prosperity brought to the area by the linen weaving industry which flourished here at that time. The industry however has a much longer history here with Longlane Mill recorded in the Domesday Book and producing flax throughout the Middle Ages.

The White Lion Inn is a traditional stone-built village inn dating back to 1723 featuring old beams, flagstones, real fires and fishing mementoes.

Back
Monitor page
for changes
    
   it's private   

by ChangeDetection

2000 The Dorset Page