The cottages at Bog Mill overlook this local beauty spot so I thought it would be interesting to share a little more about it’s history.
Although the original Water Mill has been long since razed to the ground the area is still very popular for walks and picnics with locals and visitors alike. Peter Eadington appears in records in 1841 as miller. He must have been a popular figure locally as the mill site is even now known as Peter Eadington’s Mill.
The mill was working until about 1920 but the building was demolished in 1925 as it was regarded as dangerous. The weir was removed in 1951 to assist land drainage.
From the evidence available there was a weir across the Aln and a leat taking the water to an undershot wheel. The mill had a square kiln with a perforated fireclay floor. Small pieces can still be seen lying around.
Peter was responsible for the original footbridge over the river beside the ford seen in the photo above. Originally there were also a set of stepping stones running alongside the bridge which were eventually replaced by stout concrete blocks.
For many years this was the route over the river for walkers. I have many memories of crossing those old concrete blocks, the gaps between feeling immense when I was just a small girl and literally having to leap from stone to stone. Many times tree trunks, other debris and the odd unlucky sheep would be washed down the river which we’d either have to climb over or my dad and I would haul these over the stones to keep the walkway clear.
During wetter months the river would be in flood rendering the stepping stones impassable under the fast flowing river. An old flood level post often recorded the river height as 14 foot or higher.
In 2004 the local council decided to replace these stepping stones with the bridge as we see it today. A far more practical solution, but I have got to admit I do miss the fun of those stepping stones and the opportunities now gone to watch unlucky individuals who would take a unplanned plunge into the surrounding chilly waters. Fortunately usually a pretty soft landing but a rather soggy walk home.
From: Griffith, E.P. 1972. A History of Northumberland Water Mills (unpublished)
Photos: Jenifer Friend