Here is just a little info to let you get to know our pub better...
Here is just a little info to let you get to know our pub better...
Here is a little potted history of our pub and the local area... if you have a spare minute or two and maybe a cup of tea (or is that a G&T), we think it's well worth a read.
Gomshall is a picturesque village that lies between Guildford and Dorking. Situated on the river Tillingbourne, the village grew with the development of local industries using the plentiful and constant water supply: many of these industries survived into the twentieth century, including leather tanning, watercress growing and corn milling. The river Tillingbourne is the river that powers Gomshall Mill.
The Manor of Gumesele was a Saxon feudal landholding which originally included the present day Gomshall. Gomshall appears in Domesday Book of 1086 as Gomeselle, and was held by William the Conqueror. Its Domesday assets were: 1 mill worth 3s 4d, 20 ploughs, 3 acres of meadow, woodland worth £30.
In 1154, Henry II of England divided the Manor of Gumesele into three: West Gomshall, East Gomshall and Somersbury. In 1240, West Gomshall was granted to the Cistercian Abbey of Netley in Hampshire and became known as Gomshall Netley. East Gomshall was granted to the Abbey of St Mary Graces, Tower Hill, London in 1376 and became known as Gomshall Towerhill.
For the 1380 Poll Tax, Gomshall had 267 names registered. The occupations written beside the names show land-holders and the usual country crafts but also a high proportion of skills relating to the wool trade; there were spinners and weavers, fullers and pelterers and there were also a number of tanners.
The tannery building itself was first recorded as far back as the 16th century and has only recently ceased to exist. At the western end of the village, the dark red brick-built Tudor King John House was formerly known as Old Tannery House and had its own tanyard.
Although the current Gomshall Mill is not that of the Domesday notification, it is believed the current building may well have been built on the existing Domesday site. Parts of the current mill date bate to c17th century, although it was also extended in the centuries after.
Corn milling was one of the earliest forms of industries allowing farmers to grind their corn into flour, and was most probably introduced to England by the Romans. Historically, most mills were owned by the church or the Lord of the Manor and the law at the time allowed flour to be ground only at your Lord's mill - known as the 'Right of Soke'. Milling was a profitable business with some millers charging up to 10% of the grain, while the landlord often took a further cut.
In the 1300's many peasants revolted in an attempt to overthrow the milling rights law. There was a "peasants' revolt" in 1381 at St.Albans against the Abbot and his use of milling rights, amongst other grievances. In particular the abbot confiscated all the hand querns (hand operated flour grinding stones) and used them to line the floor of the Abbey Chapter House. All the querns were subsequently recovered.
At that time bread made with flour from English wheat was very different to that which we know today; it was very much heavier and barely risen, as the flour, being stone-ground, was much coarser.
By the mid to late nineteenth century, many of the old mills were adding steam, gas or oil engines in an attempt to compete with their modern counterparts, because of course water-driven mills depend on decent water-levels to ensure efficient operation, and wind-powered mills depend on decent wind. No water, or no wind, meant no flour.
After the repeal of the corn laws in 1846, plentiful supplies of American wheat became available. This gave a significant advantage to mills based near the major seaports. At about the same time, a more efficient milling process was invented in Germany; in this the grain is crushed between two steel rollers, rather than between millstones.
The majority of mills struggled to survive against this early form of mass production and by the beginning of the twentieth century many rural mills were driven out of business or were reduced to producing animal feeds for local farmers.
Gomshall Mill is located on the banks of the Tillingbourne. Its function would have been to use the power provided by the water in corn milling, to make flour for bread, but it also would have been involved in malt milling. Guildford was a thriving market town and with easy access to London by the river networks, a good business was to be had out of the buying and selling of corn and malt.
The mill, as it existed at the time of the Domesday book, had an annual rental value of 40 pence (16 new pence). The existing building from the 1600's still contains some of the original milling machinery.
In 1611 the mill was leased by Edward Bray, Lord of the Manor to John Chennel, for £16 p.a, and is recorded as having both a malt mill and a corn mill.
In c.1752 the Mill cam into the ownership of the Harris Millers, who operated the mill until 1806.
The Mill changed hands numerous times over the years, and in 1839 it was converted from an 'undershot wheel' (where the water struck the bottom of the wheel) to the greatly more efficient double 'overshot wheels' (with two cast iron wheels working side-by-side, with the water striking the top of the wheels). This work happened when the mill was in the possession of William Southon, a local man who owned a bakery in Shere. Benjamin Kelsey purchased the mill (and bakery) and on his death in 1877 his son Richard took over.
In 1902 the mill was sold to Sir Reginald Bray and thus came back under Bray ownership after a gap of some 140 years. Gomshall Mill continued to function as a mill until 1953.
The building was subsequently bought privately by Mr and Mrs Hole to be run as a restaurant and antique shop.
After a period of closure, was lately acquired in 2001 by Blubeckers pub restaurants, and became a Home Counties pub in 2010.
Many thanks for Nigel Harris for giving permission to reproduce research from his booklet 'Gomshall Mill, The Harris Millers and their Shere Connection'. Copies of the booklet can be obtained through www.gomshallmill.co.uk. It's well worth it.
Some of you may have already met Rob; our NEW fearless leader. Rob is an experienced pub manager having worked for Fullers for several years running a number of their city and urban pubs. He then set off on an incredible pole to pole expedition for two years. Upon returning to the UK he set up and ran a restaurant with Brian Turner and then went to the Goodwood Estate to help turn their restaurants around. Then he became the Guest Relations Manager for Scott Dunn forced to spend his summers on the beach in Portugal and then dragged to the mountains to spend the winter in places like Zermatt and Val Dâ€™IsÃ¨re. After five years living out of a suitcase Rob decided it was time to come home, having missed pub life he sought out joining the B&P family and weâ€™re so glad he did. Rob is always around so pop in to get to know him (he wouldnâ€™t say no to a cheeky rum!
Lauren joined us straight out of completing a music degree in Chichester where she met her now husband Pete. They've just rescued a little pup from Croatia who they've called Flynn and he is set to be our Pub Dog joining us on our monthly walks before retiring to his bed in the office. They also have three bunnies at home one of which Lauren has affectionately named Vader POD (Prince of Darkness). Lauren has been in hospitality most of her working life, originally joining us when we first opened The Horse and Groom in Twyford as bar staff. Working hard she moved on up to be the Assistant Manager, then married a military man and had to move to London where she took up post at The Duke of York. She left us for a spell to manage a speciality coffee shop in London but soon came back with oodles of coffee knowledge to pass on to the team here at Gomshall. She aspires to take over as Manager one day...somewhere...look out Rob!!
Lizzie is our glamorous Assistant and has been with the company nearly 10 years! (She started when she was clearly only 8 years old). Lizzie is a Gomshall local so when sheâ€™s not helping us run things day to day sheâ€™s on the other side of the bar with everyone in the village savouring a Grapefruit Gin and tonic. Eyes on the prize Lizzie has taken on the events planning for us and sheâ€™s already proven her worth with plenty coming up in the future. Sheâ€™s not always been with us here at the Gomshall Mill as Lizzie loves nothing more than jetting off to sunnier isles, having spent 3 months of last summer touring America and this summer sailing boats around Croatia. We canâ€™t wait to see what you do next Lizzie!
Joe started life with us on the other side of the bar, Hogstar in hand mingling with the locals. We managed to convince him to join us, eventually! He has a great background in hospitality both front and back of house after working as a chef in a local fine dining restaurant for 4 years and studying hospitality at college. Joe has worked his way up to supervisor and has brought such organisation to our cellar we are lucky to have him! When heâ€™s not pulling pints youâ€™ll probably find him in the gym or checking out the other local pubs with his friends.
Jordan has been with us since the summer of 2015 and is a pleasure to work with. She is a hard working and responsible young lady, and is studying Early Childhood Studies and Psychology at Canterbury University. Despite working hard at uni she still fits in play; working at our sister pub The George and Dragon. With a great passion for people, Jordan is definitely one of the nicest people you could meet. Smiles 365 days a year...
Henry is another Gomshall local and is often sharing a pint with his dad at the end of a long weekend shift. Henry is an avid rugby player and even dislocated his shoulder back in the summer. That didnâ€™t faze him though and he was back at it the following week. Currently studying sustainability and environmental management at The University of Leeds before he joins us again for Christmas, heâ€™s our compass when it comes to our impact on the world. Good luck with the exams Henry!
Sergio has been on and off part of the B&P family since 2013, he clearly loves it here as he keeps coming back. Gomshall Mill has been his life since the beginning and heâ€™s seen it through itâ€™s many changes. What you may not know about Serge is heâ€™s a real gym bunny and when heâ€™s not at the gym heâ€™s tending to his allotment. Serge says he doesnâ€™t have to worry about it much though as the English weather does all the work for him.
Ronnie grew up in Cape Town- South Africa, he moved over to the UK in 2008 and loved our English weather so much decided to stick around. Heâ€™s been cheffing for 11 years now and absolutely loves it! When the apron is off youâ€™ll find him sat at a piano or playing his guitar as he is a keen musician! Ronnieâ€™s tipple of choice is a nice cold beer, especially a well-earned one at the end of a long day!
Use the calendar to book a table. If the time you're after is not available, give us a call and we will try our best to fit you in. We keep some tables for phone bookings.
We don't reserve any of our outside tables so if you enjoy a little alfresco dining these are first come first serve.
For tables of 9 and over, please call us at the pub on 01483 203 060 and we will do what we can to help arrange a your booking.
6:30pm, Thursday 28th November 2019