Wright’s Flour Mill, Wharf Road, Ponders End

This article by Stephen Gilburt was first published by The Enfield Society in newsletter 180, Autumn 2010.

There has been a mill at Ponders End for 900 years and the present mill, owned by members of the Wright family since 1867, is Enfield’s oldest working industrial building. The old mill, two houses and a barn are listed Grade II for their group value and together with the water meadows form the Ponders End Flour Mills Conservation Area.

The buildings can be reached by buses 191, 313 and 491 and may be seen from the footbridge at Ponders End railway station or from Wharf Road, but close public access is not now permitted.

Illustration 1. A 1910 view of the 18th century, part-weatherboarded old mill. It was powered by water from a mill stream diverted from the River Lea until 1909, when electric power was introduced. In the centre is a projecting sack hoist. [Photo courtesy of Enfield Local Studies & Archive.]
Illustration 2. By 1968, when Geoffrey Gillam photographed the buildings, the mill stream no longer flowed past the old mill. Since then a modern loading bay extension has been constructed.
Illustration 3. The bagged flour was transported by horse-drawn carts until 1906, when steam wagons were purchased. The stables can be seen on the left.
Illustration 4. Some of the disused machinery in the old mill.
Illustration 5. Mill wheels used to grind the wheat.
Illustration 6. The new mill to which wheat was brought by barge along the River Lea.
Illustration 7. A pre-cast concrete silo was added in 1957 and the new mill was extended in 1960.
Illustration 8. The 18th century mill owner’s house has dormer windows in the mansard roof.
Illustration 9. A 2009 view of the early 19th century Lodge Cottage at the entrance to the mills.

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