". . . perhaps as near an approach to the Scriptural prophecy that spears and swords shall be beaten into plows and pruning hooks." - Edgar Stanton MacLay

                                                                                                                                         The Chesapeake Mill

The River Meon
has been a driving force of history since before Roman times. It starts as a spring in the South Downs of southern England, enters the top of Wickham Parish, County of Hampshire at 90 feet above sea level, and accelerates down to 25 feet above sea level as it leaves the parish and heads for the Solent near Hill Head. The first wooden bridge across the Meon was probably built south of Wickham by the Romans as part of the transportation routes between Winchester and Chichester. The town of Wickham dates officially to a 1269 charter by King Henry III, and the mill in Wickham is first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086, valued at twenty-two shillings. The watermills of England usually milled grain drawn from the farms of their market areas, and took a percentage of the product as payment. In 1820 the old mill at Bridge Street in Wickham was torn down and a new, modern mill was built in its place. It’s wood was purchased from the breaking up of the USS Chesapeake, and was used without alteration or cutting so that the mill took on the size and form of the original U.S. Navy frigate.

The last of the millstones
used in Chesapeake Mill,
probably quarried in
Hampshire Mills Group

 The transmission
 of power from the
 river comes by
 belt (not present)
 to the large 
 wheel which turns
 the smaller, 
 belted wheel by 
 shaft to drive
 functions on
 higher floors.
 Hampshire Mills Group



 Tony Yoward,
 John Silman and 
 Nigel Smith of HMG
 repair the mill's 
 main drive shaft. 
 Hampshire Mills Group

Join us with The Enduring Journey of the USS Chesapeake, and this website, in discovering the ongoing history of this U.S. Navy frigate, and in the questions the journey of the Chesapeake presents to us about American/Canadian/British history and its preservation.

 This 1930s 
 photograph, most
 known to naval 
 captures the 
 merger of the
 function of a grain
 mill within the
 structure of an old
 sailing frigate.
 Mariners' Museum 

The treads of this stairway
between floors are worn
down with use on both
sides, suggesting that
they may date to the
USS Chesapeake when
worn ship stairways were
recycled by turning them
upside down.
Jeffrey Macechak. 

 Fontley Farm
 dates to the
 16th century
 and was  
 likely a
 provider of
 grain to
 Mill and its
 as well as a
 purchaser of  the feed it produced near the end
 of the 20th century.  Wickham History Society

An interior stairwell
is lined with metal
placards for the
brands of cattle and
pet food sold at the
mill in the 1970s.
The Chesapeake Mill

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