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A local history and genealogy site for Wimpole, a village and parish in South Cambridgeshire.
Curated by Steve Odell.

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Mill Farm and Arrington Windmill
Arrington Mill was a wind-powered corn mill at Mill Farm,
located in the Parish of Arrington, Cambridgeshire.
A local history and genealogy page for the Parish of Wimpole.
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- Images of Arrington Windmill
- WW2 Romance at Mill Farm
- The Corney family at Arrington.
"In 1279 Walter the miller paid 3s. 6d. rent per annum as a cottager. No mill was then specifically mentioned in Arrington, but in 1319 one was included in the land settled on Thomas and Alice Pugeys by Robert Pugeys. In 1322 Robert Sap claimed a mill and one acre in Arrington from Thomas Pugeys." [1]
"On the 17 April 1784, William Peck of Gamlingay gave a mortgage to Abraham Pateman of the Arrington Mill Company." [2]
In 1827, a James Corney of Arrington applied for a loan to 'expand his business' and it is thought the mill pictured below was constructed at this time.
James Corney came from a long line of millers, right back to 1650, all across Essex, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire. His father Daniel, also a miller, was made Bankrupt at Sandford River, Essex in 1783. Daniel's sister Sarah married Thomas Sandford, a gentleman, and in his will he left money to this family and all children until the age of 21. [3]
Arrington Mill, a tower windmill, stood on Arrington Hill and was worked by the Corney family for much of the 19th century. In 1891 the mill was described as a windmill with auxiliary steam power, and it is recorded as still bring operational in 1908. [mostly [1]]
Henry Corney worked the mill until 1915 before retiring to Leytonstone, Essex, dying there in 1924, A member of the Charter family ran the mill for the next eight years. [3]
From the early 20th century windmills everywhere were in decline following the introduction of petrol and diesel engines. There was little or no repairs made to Arrington Mill and over time the mill became neglected. Flour was still ground but for animal feed only [4].
The end of Arrington Mill came in 1923 when the top blew off (called 'tail winded' [5]) during a violent storm. By 1934, the mill had been reduced to the two lowest floors and used for storage.
The stump still remains today, but has been further reduced to just the lowest floor.
[1] - British History Online.
[2] - KL28, L28/3 - Bedford Town Clerk papers - Cambridgeshire Archives.
[3] - Maureen MaGill (2020)
[4] - John Pearce (2020)
[5] "'Tail winded': The sails and internal brake wheel were only kept in place by their own weight. As soon as a strong wind came from behind it could lift the whole assembly up and out. It’s over sixty years since I spoke to Fred Charter who worked at Arrington Mill as a miller's boy. I do remember him saying that the internal gears were either wood to wood or iron to wood, never iron to iron. The reason Arrington Mill got 'tail winded' was that it happened at night when no one was there. If it had happened during the day someone would have used a crowbar to ease the drive cog from the fly sail over the worn section of the kerb ring and kept the sails facing into the wind. I understand the same thing caused the demise of many other tower mills at about this time." - John Pearce (2020)

Mill c1915
Arrington Mill c1915
Photograph contributed by John Pearce.
© John Pearce and the Wimpole Past website. All rights reserved.

Mill, Front View, 1934
Arrington Mill 1934
The front view of the remains of the wind-powered tower mill (corn).
Photographed by Donald William Muggeridge,on the 24th June 1934.
Copyright © Special Collections, University of Kent at Canterbury


Mill, Rear View, 1935
Arrington Mill 1935 (Rear View)
The rear view of the remains of the wind-powered tower mill (corn).
Photographed by Donald William Muggeridge, taken on 1st July 1935.
Copyright © Special Collections, University of Kent at Canterbury


The Mill today

1903 Map Showing the location of the Mill
1903 (2nd Edition) Ordnance Survey Map, showing the location of the Arrington Windmill.
The windmill was situated about 1.5 miles north of Arrington, to the west of the
Great North Road (Ermine Way, A1198).

WW2 Romance at Mill Farm (Part 1)
"In early June 1940 I met [later Sir] John Mills the film actor. He was a Lance Sergeant, a Detachment Commander of the searchlight site positioned up on Arrington Hill. He had his fiancée, Mary Hayley Bell [later the mother of his daughters Juilet and Hayley Mills], staying at the Hardwicke Arms in Arrington. While he was with us, his divorce came through from his first wife.
"Also at the [searchlight] site there was a farmhouse [Mill Farm], where there was a young lady called Lillian Grace Arnold, working on the farm. Johnny (that’s what we used to call him) used to go up there and she’d cook his breakfast. He didn't like the Army food!
"My unit was sent to London from Arrington at the end of June 1940 because of the Blitz. I sat on the equipment and remember seeing st Paul’s Cathedral with the flames behind it, just like on the posters. When the unit returned to the Cambridgeshire area, I met up again with the young lady at Mill Farm and I married her. She has Johnny Mills’ signature in her autograph book."
- Basil Stanley Tokley writing in 2005.

Stan and Grace on their Wedding day (1942)
Stan and Grace on their Wedding day in 1942.

WW2 Romance at Mill Farm (Part 2)
"My Mother and Father would never have met if it hadn't been for the war. My Dad, Stan was a Territorial before the war, serving in "B" Company 2/5th Battalion of the Essex Regiment, enlisting at Halstead, Essex. Basil Stanley Tokley was 17 years old when he was called up on 29th August 1939. The War Office decided that anyone under 18 should be transferred to Royston, Hertfordshire, eventually ending up on a Searchlight Battery at Mill Farm, Arrington.
"This was when he first met my Mother, being Easter 1940. My Mother Lillian Grace Arnold at the time worked on the farm at Arrington. Also on the site at Mill Farm was Sergeant John Mills, the famous film star and he, like most of the soldiers, didn't like the army food, so he used to go to the farmhouse, where Grace would cook his breakfast. My Dad Stan used to talk to her over a hot cup of cocoa, nothing serious at the time, only friendship.
"Stan was then sent away to London for the 'Blitz', where he stayed for 18 months, on sites at Edmonton and Hackney Marshes He returned to Arrington and met Grace again where love blossomed, eventually marrying Grace at Cambridge Register Office in 1942.
"In 1943, Stan was moved down to Kent for the Doodlebugs, then in 1944 he was transferred back to the Infantry and retrained at Aylesbury, before being sent to Belgium, Holland and Germany. He was part of back-up Infantry to keep law and order. Stan was demobbed in 1946 having attained the rank of Sergeant Major. He then returned to Grace at Mill Farm, Arrington, where they both lived for a few years before moving on."
- Anon, writing in 2005.

The Corney Family, the Arrington Millers. [Section in development]
An initial list of known millers at Arrington Mill:
(working dates to follow)

- James Corney (1791-1863)
- Daniel Corney (c1814-1887) Miller 1858-1883.
- James Corney (1848 -1888)
- 'Corney Brothers', (also thought to be trading as 'Arrington Millers').
- Henry Corney ( -1924) Took over from 'Corney Brothers'.
- Frederick Corney (1867-1893)

From the Arrington Parish Registers:
(Alphabetical by Forename) (Chronological by Year)
Annie Corney, 1855 Baptism
Annie Sandford Corney, 1855 Baptism
Annie Sandford Corney, 1881 Banns
Annie Sandford Corney, 1881 Marriage
Arthur Corney, 1864 Baptism
Daniel Corney, 1862 Baptism
Daniel Corney, 1887 Burial
Daniel Corney, 1893 Burial
Eliza Ann Corney, 1862 Burial
Elizabeth Corney, 1864 Burial
Elizabeth Corney, 1899 Burial
Elizabeth Ann Corney, 1853 Marriage
Frederic Corney, 1867 Baptism
Frederick Corney, 1892 Burial
James Corney, 1863 Burial
James Corney, 1888 Burial
John George Corney, 1859 Baptism
Julia Selina Corney, 1857 Baptism
Julia Selina Corney, 1878 Banns
Julia Selina Corney, 1879 Marriage
Elizabeth Ann Corney, 1853 Marriage
Annie Corney, 1855 Baptism
Annie Sandford Corney, 1855 Baptism
Julia Selina Corney, 1857 Baptism
John George Corney, 1859 Baptism
Daniel Corney, 1862 Baptism
Eliza Ann Corney, 1862 Burial
James Corney, 1863 Burial
Arthur Corney, 1864 Baptism
Elizabeth Corney, 1864 Burial
Frederic Corney, 1867 Baptism
Julia Selina Corney, 1878 Banns
Julia Selina Corney, 1879 Marriage
Annie Sandford Corney, 1881 Banns
Annie Sandford Corney, 1881 Marriage
Daniel Corney, 1887 Burial
James Corney, 1888 Burial
Frederick Corney, 1892 Burial
Daniel Corney, 1893 Burial
Elizabeth Corney, 1899 Burial
Timeline:
Marriage between Daniel Corney and Elizabeth Paine, 17 November 1841
Marriage between Daniel Corney, widower, and Elizabeth Paine [Payne], Spinster.
Bassingbourn 17 November 1841.
Contributed by Stephen Payne, March 2020.
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The 1851 Census for the Parish of Arrington:
North Road
Ermine Way, Arrington
Daniel Corney Head M 36 Miller
Journeyman
Royston, Hertfordshire
Elizabeth Corney Wife M 29   Steeple Morden, Cambridgeshire
Eliza Ann Corney Daughter   6 Scholar Kneesworth, Cambridgeshire
James Corney Son   3   Kneesworth, Cambridgeshire
Sarah Corney Sister U 30 Dressmaker Royston, Hertfordshire
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Arrington Parish Records:
- Elizabeth Ann Corney, of full age, spinster of Arrington Mill, daughter of James Corney,
    Miller, married Henry Ingrey, of full age, widower of Bassingbourn, Miller, son of John
    Ingrey, farmer, by licence, at Arrington parish church 22 September 1853. Witnesses:
     Thomas Bell Carmichael and Sarah Sandford Corney.
- Annie Sandford Corney, daughter of Daniel Corney, Miller, and Elizabeth, both of
    Arrington Mill, by private baptism on 22 January 1855.
- Annie Sandford Corney, daughter of Daniel Corney, Miller, and Elizabeth, both of
    Arrington, 'brought to church' on 6 May 1855 (see 22 January)
- Julia Selina Corney, daughter of Daniel Corney, Miller, and Elizabeth, both of Arrington
    Mill, baptised at Arrington parish church on May 17 1857.
- John George Corney, son of Daniel Corney, Miller, and Elizabeth, both of Arrington,
     baptised at Arrington parish church on 4 December 1859.
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The 1861 Census for the Parish of Arrington:
North Road
Ermine Way, Arrington
Daniel Corney Head M 46 Miller (Master) Reed, Hertfordshire
Elizabeth Corney
[née Paine/Payne]
Wife M 39   Steeple Morden, Cambridgeshire
Sarah Elizabeth Corney [1] Daughter   18   Kneesworth, Cambridgeshire
James Corney Son   14 Scholar Kneesworth, Cambridgeshire
Henry Corney Son   9 Scholar Arrington Cambridgeshire
Annie [Sandford] Corney Daughter   6 Scholar Arrington, Cambridgeshire
Julia Selina Corney Daughter   4   Arrington Cambridgeshire
John George Corney Son   1   Arrington Cambridgeshire
James Corney [2] Head M 72 Miller (Retired)  
Elizabeth Corney [2] Wife M 73   Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire
[1] Sarah Elizabeth Corney, born 1843, married John Crawley in 1861. In 1871 they were running the 'White Bear' pub in Royston.
[2] See Parish Records box below.
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Arrington Parish Records:
- Daniel Corney, 1862 Baptism
- Eliza Ann Corney, 1862 Burial
- James Corney, Miller, died aged 74, buried at Arrington on 10 January 1863.
- Elizabeth Corney, of Arrington Mills, died aged 76, buried at Arrington on 30
    September 1864.
- Arthur Corney, 1864 Baptism
- Frederic Corney, 1867 Baptism
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The 1871 Census for the Parish of Arrington:
Farm House
North Road, Arrington
Daniel Corney [1] Head   56 Miller Royston, Hertfordshire
Elizabeth Corney [1]
[née Paine/Payne]
Wife   49 Miller's Wife Morden, Cambridgeshire
James Corney [1] Son   24 Miller Kneesworth, Cambridgeshire
Henry Corney [1] Son   19 Miller Arrington Cambridgeshire
Annie Sandford Corney [1][3] Daughter   16 Scholar Arrington Cambridgeshire
John J Corney [1] Son   16   Arrington Cambridgeshire
Julia Selina Corney [1][2] Daughter   14 Scholar Arrington Cambridgeshire
Daniel Corney [1] Son   9 Scholar Arrington Cambridgeshire
Arthur Corney [1] Son   7 Scholar Arrington Cambridgeshire
Fredrick Corney [1] Son   5 Scholar Arrington Cambridgeshire
[1] The 'Ancestry' transcription has individuals listed as Comey.
[2][3] See Parish Records box below.
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Arrington Parish Records:
- Julia Selina Corney: December 1878, Banns.
- Julia Selina Corney: Married Tom Briggs Jaggard, general store dealer of Sandy,
    Bedfordshire, at Arrington Parish Church on 1 January 1879.
- Annie Sandford Corney: June 1881, Banns.
- Annie Sandford Corney: Married Alfred Samual Copping, baker of Arrington (and son
    of John Copping, Superintendant of Police), at Arrington Parish Church on 28 June 1881.
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The 1881 Census for the Parish of Arrington:
Mill House, Old North Road (Folio 8 Schedule 9)
Mill Lane, off Ermine Way, Arrington
Daniel Corney Head M 66 Miller Royston, Hertfordshire
Elizabeth Corney
[née Paine/Payne]
Wife M 59   Morden, Cambridgeshire
James Corney Son U 34 Miller Kneesworth, Cambridgeshire
Henry Corney Son U 29 Miller Arrington, Cambridgeshire
Annie Corney Daughter U 26   Arrington, Cambridgeshire
Arthur Corney Son   17 Carpenter Arrington, Cambridgeshire
Frederick Corney Son   14 Carpenter Arrington, Cambridgeshire
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Probate Record for Daniel Corney, died 22 January 1887
Probate Record for Daniel Corney, who died 22 January 1887, buried Arrington 29 January 1887.
Contributed by Stephen Payne, March 2020.
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Arrington Parish Records:
- James Corney, Miller, died aged 41 buried at Arrington on 28 May 1888
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The 1891 Census for the Parish of Arrington:
Village (Schedule 53)
Ermine Way, Arrington
Elizabeth Corney
[née Paine/Payne]
Head W 69 Morden, Cambridgeshire
Henry Corney Son S 39 Miller (Master) Arrington, Cambridgeshire
Arthur Corney Son S 27 Carpenter (Master) Arrington, Cambridgeshire
Fredrick Corney Son S 24 Miller (Master) Arrington, Cambridgeshire
Julia Selina Jaffard
[née Corney]
Daughter W 34 Arrington, Cambridgeshire
Minnie [Julia] Jaffard Grand-daughter   10 Scholar Hastings, Sussex
Charles Darlow Lodger S 54 Agricultural Labourer Arrington, Cambridgeshire
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Arrington Parish Registers:
- Frederick Corney, Miller, died aged 25 and buried at Arrington on 13 February 1892.
- Daniel Corney, died aged 31, was buried at Arrington on 23 November 1893.
- Elizabeth Corney, died aged 77, buried at Arrington 29 July 1899.
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The 1911 Census for the Parish of Arrington:
Village (Schedule 5)
Mill House, Arrington Mill, Arrington, Royston.
Henry Corney Head M 59 Miller (own a/c) Arrington, Cambridgeshire
Lois Mary Corney Wife M 59   Kneesworth, Cambridgeshire
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Probate Record for Henry and Lois Mary Corney 1924
Probate Record for Henry Corney, who died 7 April 1924,
and his wife Lois Mary Corney who died four months later on 4 August 1924.

The Hardwicke Arms, c1920
Arrington: Ermine Way and 'The Hardwicke Arms' c1920
(Looking north towards Arrington Hill)
[From an early postcard image in my collection]


This page was last updated on: 30 March 2020.


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