The Mills

The mill mentioned in the account of Charles's escape, Pendeford Old Mill, was probably the one which existed at Old Mill Farm at Coven Heath or another watermill on the Penk just east of Old Hattons farm. The former was still working in the last century and was demolished  in the 1970s.

The mill shown as Pendeford Mill on later maps and formerly located near Pendeford Hall was in use from around the 1650s.  It appeared as Pendeford, Barnhurst or New Mill on various maps.  The Rev. Henry Higginson was born at Pendeford Mills in 1805.  Educated at Brewood Grammar School, he became a Primitive Methodist Preacher in 1833 and was known as the "Roving Ranter".  The mill house was converted into two cottages in 1912 and was demolished in 1961.  In the early nineteenth century there was a windmill about a quarter of a mile to the west of the watermill.

Osier beds were planted near the mill and the willow branches used for weaving baskets.

Pendeford Mill Nature Reserve now occupies part of the site of the mill and Hall.  After selling off much of the land it had acquired over the years, Wolverhampton Council decided in 1976 to develop its remaining 68 acre holding as an area for countryside studies.  Much work has been undertaken during the past twenty years, including clearing some of the silted pools and new tree planting.  As well as the woodlands the reserve includes areas of ancient grass meadow.

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