Toton Unearthed - A community archaeological project
Friends of Toton Fields in partnership with local residents and supported by Broxtowe Borough Council would like to undertake an archaeological project based on the ancient Toton Manor House and mill site now part of Toton Manor Farm Recreation park. The project aims to uncover hidden archaeological evidence of a watermill(s) which were recorded in the Domesday Book. Further investigation will look for the Manor House site where manorial rents were collected and legal matters considered in centuries gone by. Research in documents stored in archives or libraries may shed further light on the history of Toton village. We would like to share our discoveries and highlight the Heritage of Toton with Information boards put up on the site of the old watermill.
The Domesday Book 1086 records two water mills. It is possible that the foundations or remains are considerably earlier than other mills in the area. A water mill used to grind corn into flour must have been converted to a steam powered mill in the 19th century as Toton Steam Flour Mill with all machinery was advertised for sale by auction in 1880. Sometime after that it became a Bone Mill and then a Soap works before being demolished sometime at the beginning of the 20th century. It is not known when the mill was demolished. It is not known whether any of the buildings stone (or brick) still lies under the soil in Toton Manor Park, but a local garden has adopted a millstone as a decorative pond feature.
Toton Manor was recorded in the Domesday book, but no upstanding remains of the Manor House survive today. The Manor /farmhouse was demolished circa 1952. However a topographical anomaly (raised platform area not far from Pavilion) within Toton Manor Park corresponds to the site of the Manor House as marked on an 1885 map, and may well represent buried architectural remains. Toton Manor House was an important place during the Middle Ages and up to the 17th century and maybe longer. Local people went there to sign their oath of allegiance to King James l in 1603.
What lies beneath...?
The sites of interest occupy two separate areas of Manor Park. The larger area to the left is suspected of being the site of the watermill(s), while the smaller area represents the manor site. These areas are only approximate and are for illustration only.
For more information, see the Toton Unearthed website at http://totonunearthed.org.uk/