HeritageGateway - Home
Site Map
Text size: A A A
You are here: Home > > > > West Berkshire HER Result
West Berkshire HERPrintable version | About West Berkshire HER | Visit West Berkshire HER online...

West Berkshire HER logo

The Historic Environment Record is the primary index about the physical remains of past human activity in the unitary authority of West Berkshire. Not all records are published on the Heritage Gateway. Please read the important guidance on the use of the West Berkshire HER data.

HER Number MWB6257
Record Type Monument
Name Site of Sheffield Mill

Grid Reference SU 646 704
Map Sheet SU67SW
Parish Theale, West Berkshire
Map:Show location on Streetmap


Long standing mill site, used as a paper mill in the 19th century but industrial complex largely demolished in 20th century

Associated Legal Designations or Protected Status

  • Conservation Area: Sheffield Bridge

Other Statuses and Cross-References

  • Berkshire SMR No. (pre 2000): 05120.00.000

Monument Type(s):

  • CORN MILL (13th century - 1251 AD to 1300 AD)
  • FULLING MILL (13th century - 1251 AD to 1300 AD)
  • WATERMILL (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • PAPER MILL (19th century to Late 19th century - 1811 AD to 1877 AD (pre))

Full Description

The VCH <1> states that a mill at Sheffield is mentioned in 1086 and in 1197, when it was granted to William Englefield by the lord of the manor. In the second half of the 13th century there was a fulling mill and a corn mill, in the tenure of Margery widow of another William Englefield: she gave them to her son John, who granted them to Reading Abbey. After the dissolution, Sheffield Mills probably passed with the manor to Sir John Williams.

A desk-based assessment <3> examined cartographic and documentary sources and undertook map regression for Sheffield Mill. It is marked on Rocque's map <4>. In 1811 the Sheffield Mills were paper mills, and this carried on until the late 19th century, the paper manufactory being burnt down in 1877 <1><3>.

Personal observation by SMR officer, Feb 2006, was that the shell of a building is still visible in the grounds, viewed from canal towpath. The mill house is the listed building.


The manor of Sheffield was granted by the Count of Evreux in c1086 as an alien Benedictine cell; this came into the possession of Reading Abbey in 1270 <6>. Although known locally as The Priory, it was only a manor with a chapel and mill; possibly its site may therefore have been near the later post-medieval mill.

Sources and further reading

<01>Page and Ditchfield (eds). 1923. Victoria County History (VCH) Berks III 1923. Vol 3. P403. [Monograph / SWB10005]
http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/berks/vol3 (Accessed 24/09/2015)
<02>Berkshire Archaeological Society. 1963-4. Berkshire Archaeological Journal 1963-64 61. 61. In ADS Journals. 10.5284/1000017. p83-91 No 85 in Berkshire Watermills by J Kenneth Major. [Article in serial / SWB12042]
http://archaeologydataservice.ac.uk/archives/view/berks_bas_2007/journal.cfm?volume=61 (Accessed 21/05/2013)
<03>Wessex Archaeology. 1998. River Kennet Fish Passes, Berkshire (Doghead Stakes to Sheffield Mill). WBC Network. [Unpublished document / SWB12770]
<04>Rocque, J. 1761. Rocque's Map of Berkshire. 1:35,000 (approx). Marked 'Shefield Mill (sic)'. [Map / SWB7242]
https://www.rct.uk/collection/search/3/collection/700042/rocques-map-of-berkshire (Accessed 20/07/2020)
<05>Dalby, L J. 1973. The Kennet Navigation. [Unpublished document / SWB14602]
<06>Knowles, D and Hadcock, R N. 1971. Medieval Religious Houses in England and Wales. p92. [Monograph / SWB148570]
<07>Dils, J and Yates, M (ed). 2012. An Historical Atlas of Berkshire (2nd Edition). p92-93, Berkshire Watermills by Brian Boulter and Sheila Viner. [Monograph / SWB148708]

Related Monuments

MWB4041Sheffield (Place)
MWB18098Shenfield Mill (Building)

Associated Excavations and Fieldwork

EWB107R Kennet Fish Passes - Padworth to Tyle Mill (Ref: STP99/33)
EWB223River Kennet Fish Passes- Doghead Stakes to Sheffield (Ref: WA 45268)
EWB862Berkshire Watermills - Survey 1963