The last two waterwheels were installed in about 1870 and were pitch back suspension wheels. This design represented the height of waterwheel technology. The inclined gates controlling these wheels are still in place. Sometime between 1900 and 1910 these wheels were replaced by a turbine built by Armfield of Ringwood. This turbine drove two pairs of French burr stones which remained in full commercial operation until 1985. Turbine and stones are all still in place.
In 1921 the Botley Flour Milling Company Limited was formed and by 1928 control of it was sold to the Appleby family and remains in their ownership today. As a family the Appleby’s have been involved in milling for about three hundred years, owning mills in the North of England before moving to the South at the time of the purchase of Botley Mills.
In the latter half of this century, the business of manufacture and supply of animal feeds has grown and following a serious fire in 1980 a new feed mill was built on another site close to the M27 motorway.
Commercial white flour production continued at Botley until 1990 and stoneground flour until 1993, when for economic reasons production ceased. Normally when a mill closes in the United Kingdom the owners are able to sell the milling capacity and the machinery is destroyed. In the case of Botley the decision was made not to do this but to preserve the machinery.