Chesapeake Mill

Chesapeake Mill
Bridge Street, Wickham, Hampshire

The Chesapeake Mill is a watermill in Wickham, Hampshire, England. The flour mill was constructed in 1820 using the timbers of HMS Chesapeake, which had previously been the United States Navy frigate USS Chesapeake. The Chesapeake had been captured on 1 July 1813 by the Royal Navy frigate HMS Shannon during the War of 1812.

In July 1819 the Commissioners of the Royal Navy put her up for sale at Plymouth.[1] Joshua Holmes, a ship breaker in Portsmouth, purchased her for £500; he dismantled the ship and sold her timbers for £3,450.[2][3] Eventually her timbers became part of the mill.[4][5] Timbers from the Chesapeake were bought by John Prior who was preparing to build a new mill at Wickham. The five main spine beams to each floor, the floor joists, the roof timbers and most of the window lintels are of American longleaf pine from the ship.[6]

The mill remained in operation until 1976 and now serves as a retail centre for antique and gift sellers. It is a Grade II* listed building.[6] Coordinates: 50°54′1.1″N 1°11′5.6″W / 50.900306°N 1.184889°W / 50.900306; -1.184889

In 1996 a timber fragment from the Chesapeake Mill was returned to the United States; it is on display at the Hampton Roads Naval Museum in Norfolk, Virginia.[7]


  1. ^ "No. 17494". The London Gazette. 13 July 1819. p. 1228.
  2. ^ Caiella, J. M (August 2007). "Connecting with the Ships". Naval History. 21 (4).
  3. ^ Winfield (2007), p. 176.
  4. ^ "The Chesapeake Mill — history" (PDF). The Chesapeake Mill. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 October 2008. Retrieved 22 April 2011.
  5. ^ Beach (1986), p. 113.
  6. ^ a b Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1157675)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 12 June 2011.
  7. ^ Clancy, Paul (17 June 2007). "The Little Warship That Never Quite Could". The Virginian Pilot. p. B3.

External links

Chesapeake Mill website