The huge fire that ended the working life of a town's mill

Carts outside Watford town mill. Image: Watford Museum
Carts outside Watford town mill. Image: Watford Museum

The Watford Observer is again delighted to team up with its friends at Watford Museum to look at some structures or objects from the town’s past that have either disappeared or been relocated.

Today we remember a building that existed in the town in various forms for hundreds of years.

The museum’s volunteer archivist Christine Orchard said: “Watford Mill was in the Lower High Street, opposite what is now Local Board Road. Its date of establishment is unclear but it is said that a mill-leet was cut c1100 to bring water from the River Colne.

“In this late 1800's photograph (at the top of this page), the mill is the tall building with the roof projections; no doubt it had been rebuilt several times in its long history.

Watford Observer: This Downer postcard of floods in Watford in June 1903 shows the town mill in the background.
Watford Observer: This Downer postcard of floods in Watford in June 1903 shows the town mill in the background.

This Downer postcard of floods in Watford in June 1903 shows the town mill in the background. (Image: Watford Museum)

“Milling came to an end with a huge fire in 1924. The building remained derelict and despite attempts to find a purchaser it was demolished in 1938.

Watford Museum is open Thursday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm.