A hundred yards or so down the track running from the top of Mill Lane past the old corn mill site then onward to Kittington are the circular foundations that are now all that remain of the once thriving Easole pug mill. The mill first appeared in the parish tax register in the 1770’s and by 1819 was described therein as a seed and clover mill. The mill came into the ownership of the Pain family in 1826, and with the malt house and seed store in Easole Street formed the nucleus of a prosperous business.
In the 1850′s Vincent Pain and Son installed a steam engine in the mill which resulted in an increase in its rateable value from £5.0.0 to £10.0.0 p.a. and the mill was mainly used to produce animal feed.
On March 1st., 1875, John Harvey took over the family business from Stephen Pain, his uncle and the owner of the business, and initially renamed it John Harvey & Bros., Seed Merchants, later changing it to John Harvey & Company and then John Harvey (Nonington) Ltd. For more information please follow this link to John Harvey (Nonington) Ltd.
This business was an important employer in Nonington until the 1980′s when it was taken over by Paul’s Agricultural who unfortunately soon closed the Nonington business and the various premises were then sold off. Most of the commercial premises and houses owned by Harvey’s had been bought at the end of the 1930’s when the St. Alban’s estate was sold off.
Tragedy struck the mill in 1905 when the mill cap and sweeps were blown off during a severe storm damaging the mill beyond economic repair and John Harvey & Co. had the mill demolished leaving only the circular foundations and a small mound of rubble to mark the site of the pug mill.
Easole Seed Mill Millers
1780’s to 1791 Robert Rodgers.
1791 Widdow Rodgers.
1798 Edwin Soles.
1800 Jacob Chandler.
1819 Thomas Ashenden.
1826 Vincent Pain.
1829 Vincent Pain and Son., which eventually became John Harvey and Bros., seedsmen and maltsters. Ownership continued until the mill was demolished in 1905.