Timber & Sawmills


Limpley Stoke Mill

Limpley Stoke Mill was a sawmill between other uses

Bradford on Avon lay at the northern edge of the great medieval Selwood Forest and woodland belonging to the Abbey of Shaftesbury may have provided the large oak timbers that were used to build the spectacular roofs of the buildings at Barton Farm in Bradford and of the churches and chapels. Woods on manorial lands may have provided the timber of the roofs of the great halls of of Westwood, Chalfield, Wraxall manor houses and of the Hall and Priory in the town, as well as its barn.

Late 19th century maps show the position of saw pits, where men -one on top and one in the pit (showered with sawdust)- cut timber into rafters, joists and floorboards. After oak, the main wood for building purposes was from the elm trees, just a memory now.

Sawmills, powered by horse-gins, steam engines or, as at Limpley Stoke Mill, by water came in during the 19th century as machinery and steel developed. There have been sawmills at Broughton Gifford, Wingfield and at Frome Road and Rowden Lane in Bradford.