The Wandle Mills
The River Wandle has been used by people living along its banks since prehistoric times. First as a source of water and fish and later as a source of power to drive water wheels. It has never been navigable and so would not have been used for transport.
The first kind of mills using water power were mills with the wheel lying horizontally in the river with the mill stradling the river. If this kind of mill was used along the Wandle no evidence of one has been found.
Mills using vertical wheels were recorded by the greeks and romans.
There is no definitive evidence of when the Wandle became used as a power source for corn mills, but there were certainly mills along its banks in Anglo-Saxon times. 13 mills were recorded in the Doomsday Book. Over the years the number of industries using the Wandle increased. In its heyday (18th &19th centuries) there were probably between 49 and 51 working mills on the Wandle.
More detailed information about the mills may be found by following the link below: