The History of Fullers Mill
Enjoy a brief look through the history of Fullers Mill.
Fullers Mill Cottage
Fullers Mill Cottage was built in about 1650 and was owned by the Cadagon Estate until it was sold in 1936. Bernard Tickner (22/05/1924 – 07/11/2017) moved to Fullers Mill in 1958 and created the garden you see today from rough scrub and woodland. In 2004, he and late wife Bess formed The Fullers Mill Trust, established to manage the garden and ensure its future. At the beginning of 2013 Fullers Mill Garden was gifted to Perennial.
The Fulling Mill
The Fulling Mill stood on the south bank of the river between it and the Mill Pond. The earliest record of a Fulling Mill on this site is dated 1458. Since then there have been many mills built and destroyed. The process of fulling was to make cloth thicker. This was done by passing the cloth through a series of wooden mallets, driven by a water wheel; causing the cloth to become felted. The cloth was then put out to dry on a flat tentering ground secured by tenter hooks, to prevent shrinkage. (Etching by Alfred Blundell from an orginal sketch he made of the old lock gates in about 1935).
The River Lark
River Lark Navigation Act 1699 –The lock was one of many on the River Lark between Bury St Edmunds and the River Ouse near Ely. Enabling barges to bring coal from the sea via Kings Lynn. This trade peaked up to the middle of the 19th century when competition from the railways began to take over. In 1900 the Navigation company was wound up.
A Scratch in the Soil
Visitors to Fullers Mill will enjoy the central chapters, which chart the development of the garden over half a century. Containing stories of the people and the plants that have made it what it is. Bernard also played a significant part in the creation of the local Lackford Lakes Nature Reserve. However, professionally he was an influential Head Brewer and Production Director of Greene King. Of these endeavours, too, he has tales to tell.
The young naturalist growing up in Hadleigh, the young man at war in East Africa, the innovator at the Brewery, the determined campaigning conservationist, the gardener among his plants or walking after supper with his wife Bess to hear the nightingales – all are remembered and brought vividly to life in a most engaging read.
To find out more about Bernard’s life in brewing and at Fullers Mill, you can purchase his book ‘A Scratch in the Soil’ from our online shop or at Fullers Mill, priced at £8.50.