H.S. Pledge & Sons Ltd., millers & corn merchants of Ashford, Kent-the Nonington years

The 1871 census records a Henry S. Pledge and family as living in Ratling Street, near to Ratling Court. Henry may have started his apprenticeship at the Easole corn mill but in 1871 he was listed as a miller employing two men and as a farmer employing two labourers and a boy. Henry Sturgess Pledge, miller,  was not a Nonington miller, he was the miller at the ‘Black Mill’ on Barham Downs, some two miles or so from Ratling. By the time of the 1881 census Henry had moved to Kennington, near Ashford, and taken over the running of the Wind, Steam and Water Mills at Kennington, near Ashford, Kent, with the help of his sons, Lawrence and Walter, and they went on to form H.S Pledge and Sons Ltd., the well known flour millers and corn merchants. H S Pledge & Sons Ltd owned the East Hill Mill and Victoria Mill in Ashford. East Hill Mill was a watermill and steam mill built in 1901 and the building is still standing, but no longer in use as a mill.  The Victoria Mills was a steam mill built in 1890 and continued to operate until it was gutted by fire in September of 1984 and subsequently demolished. H S Pledge & Sons Ltd was taken over by the Garnham Family in the 1890’s and finally dissolved in 2014.



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