Ian West recently carried out a survey of the Lower Mill in Kingston Road, Ewell, following a planning application and has sent us the following report:
Three main phases were traced during the recording of this building followed by alterations and additions of the late 19th and 20th centuries. The earliest phase is situated in the south-west corner and consists of a two storey timber framed structure two bays in length, although almost certainly originally longer. Although little wall timbering is visible, the roof construction is easily inspected and indicates a date around 1600.
In front of this is an early 18th century block originally having three windows on the front giving light to two rooms with an entrance on the north side to the hall and stairway. This was built at a slightly higher level than the first phase and had two main floors plus attics and basements, at the rear the roof probably swept down to form a catslide over the hall. A large stack was built to heat some of the new rooms and the old wing; this must have replaced the original heating of the latter. The roof was gabled on the river side, presumably as it abutted the mill, and hipped the other.
At the beginning of the 19th century this block was extended northward, and the entrance moved to the front. Close examination of the east face shows where the windows have been repositioned and the straight joint of the extension shows on this and the west walls. The rear sloping roof was no doubt raised at this time, and most of the internal woodwork can also be attributed to this period. Internally the layout was reorganised but the early 18th century plan can be determined by examination of attic and basement.
Later in the 19th century further extensions were erected on the east side, and 20th century additions have been built against the south and east walls. Plans are at the present being considered to convert and extend the Millhouse for use as offices, and it is hoped that an excavation will take place in the grounds prior to this work, after which a detailed report will be produced.