Discover The Past of Mill Farm

History

Mill Farm is famed as the birthplace and home of Wiltshire’s notorious 18thCentury highwayman, Thomas Boulter. In 1774, Boulter made a legendary escape on horseback from Staines, on the outskirts of London to Poulshot, riding across two counties in under one day.  He completed the 70 mile journey from London to the Mill in just seven hours on a mare called Black Bess – rumoured to be descended from highwayman Dick Turpin’s horse of the same name.

Thomas Boulter was born at Poulshot Mill in around 1748, to a poor and lawless family. His father was a horse thief who was sent to the Plantations. Meanwhile, Thomas worked at Poulshot as a miller until 1774, when he took to the road as a highwayman. After numerous daring hold-ups and escapes, he was eventually caught and jailed. He broke out of prison, but was finally recaptured, tried on a number of counts and sentenced to death. Hanged at Winchester on 19th August 1778, his execution was attended by large crowds, many of who regarded him as a People’s Hero.

Thomas Boulter on board the legendary Black Bess