Houses & Mansions

High Mill Farm, Scalby To Become 148 New Homes


Nestled in the North Yorkshire countryside, 2.5 miles north of the town centre of Scarborough, lays the remains of High Mill Farm. Although it functioned as a farm for the best part of a century, relics of its early 19th century milling past are still evident today. The current building is thought to date around 1810. But its soon to go to make way for 148 new homes, despite it being awarded Grade II listed status in 2009.


The area known as High Mill Farm used to be called Scalby Mill Farm and is on the eastern side of and adjacent to Scalby village. There has been records of a mill in Scalby as far back as 1164, although it cannot be confirmed that High Mill Farm is in fact the site of that particular mill. It can however be confirmed that in 1609 High Mill was in fact one of Scalby’s three mills. They were sold by the crown to Messrs Edmund Ferrer and Francis Philips both of London. They quickly became the largest owner of watermills beside the crown.

The building that stands in ruins today is thought to be early 19th century. Likely to be around the time of the completion of Sir George Carley’s sea cut linking the river Derwent to Scalby Beck. The cut was designed to relieve flooding on the Derwent, but it also improved the water supply to the mills at Scalby.

The mill was advertised for sale in 1833 detailing that it had three pairs of stones, a corn screen, fan and barley mill. In 1854 it was marked as a corn mill in an ordinance survey. It continued working as a mill into the early 20th century with B.S. Wilkinson listed as the miller in 1925. In 1928 it became a farm.

Mill Gearing

Mid century the farm was owned by the Pickering family. The mother and three children lived there. Between 1961 and 1973 the mother, son and daughter had past away, leaving just one son remaining. He married and moved into a bungalow nearby. Even so he still tended the land and stock until he pasted away in 1983. “He farmed the old fashioned way.” A quote from one of our followers who used to work for the Pickerings. In 1978 the house was being rented out to a tenant. After his passing his widow sold the farm to two gentlemen.

High Mill is a good example of a late 18th to mid 19th century watermill, except that its predecessors were single storey buildings. High Mill had its milling equipment on the first floor, well lit with glazed windowed. Most of the gearing were on the ground floor.

The Layout

This is the description of the site in 2009 at the time is gained Grade II listed status. Since, the site fallen into further disrepair and has also suffered an arson attack.

Principle building from north to south with the mill in the center. Miller’s house to the north that’s been modified at least 4 times. The mill race is now infilled approached from the west and presumably the tail race culverted under the yard to the east. Further agricultural buildings lay to the north, east and south-west.

Mill Exterior

East:- Two taking in doors and two four-pane windows. Two ground floor double doors. Two attick windows to the north, one to the south.

West:- First floor doorway with near level access provided by raised ground surface above the culverted mill race. Keystoned window to the north. Below is another that is blocked and one that is open but inserted.

Mill Interior

Ground floor unequally divided into two rooms. The narrow smaller room to the south housed the watermill, which from the scarring from the mill and the position of the mill race was about 3.5 metres in diameter. The wheel pit is infilled.

The larger room housed most of the gearing for the milling equipment that were on the first floor. Although the gearing has long gone, evidence of the arrangement of the mill is retained in the timber floors, beams and posts. The line shaft with belt drive is thought to be of later insertion, probably later 19th century. The floor is flagstone and there’s a blocked doorway into the miller’s house.

First floor is an undivided room open to the rafters. The southern side is lofted. There was a connecting door into the attic of the miller’s house.

The roof has double purlins supported by A frame trusses with double collars, joints and pegged. The tie beams and collars retain evidence of the machinery arrangement including additional beams and attachment points that do not function as part of the roof structure.

Miller’s House

Single storey, single celled cottage with attic. It possibly had a north gable entrance originally and now is an internal door. Extended to the east with unheated outshut. Extended to the north with two bay, two storey house with an east entrance leading to a dogleg staircase in the southern bay. Heated rooms in the north bay on both ground and first floor. The stairs extended to an unheated attic. Further extended to the east with a single 1.5 storey outshut.

Miller’s House

House Exterior

East:- The original cottage hasĀ  later roof dormer. It’s outshut has a single door and window, both modern joinery. The house has wedge lintels to the door and first floor windows, retaining a four pane sliding sash. The outshut has small windows with modern joinery and a later dormer.

West:- The cottage has a large ground floor window with keystone lintel. Above there is a window that extends into a dormer, possibly adapted from an attic loading door. The house has central placed windows at ground and first floor with wedge lintels and modern joinery. To the right is a small stair window with 20th century sliding sash. the roof dormer also 20th century.

North gable:- Raised and coped with shaped kneelers to the west and simpler kneelers to the east (the outshut). Three inserted windows at first floor that retain a four pane Yorkshire sash.

South Gable:- Raised and coped with shaped kneelers

House Interior

Ground floor has six panel doors. Doors on the first floor have four panels. All retaining original narrow architraves. Main first floor still has a cast iron hob grate and flanking cupboards with four panel doors. The roof structure is of sawn timber with pegged purlins.

Other Buildings

Cart shed and stable attached to the south of the mill building with two arched cart openings and two doorways with wedge lintels. The gable end is raised and coped with shaped kneelers. The rear (west) has been extended. The stables have had stone pig feeders installed.

Cart Opening

Building To The South West

Low two building built into raising ground with a south gable, keystone doorway and shaped kneelers. The east wall has two further keystone doorways. The side wall shows evidence of rebuilding. It has a corrugated roof.

Building To The East

Single storey stone built agriculture building. Roof is typical 19th century or later with iron bolted trusses.

Range To The North

A long single storey range, renovated and re-roofed

Future Plans

Property Development company Taylor Wimpey bought the land in February 2012. They were granted planning permission to build 148 homes ranging from two to five bedrooms to meet the varying needs of people ranging from first time buyers to families looking to up-size. 59 of the 148 homes are to be affordable. The house types they will build are as follows:

  • The Dadford – 3 bed
  • The Gosford – 3 bed
  • The Thomford – 4 bed
  • The Kentdal – 4 bed
  • The Langdale – 4 bed
  • The Farrington – 4 bed
  • The Lydford – 4 bed
  • The Wilton – 5 bed
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