The first documentary evidence of a mill at Crabble dates from the Middle Ages. Records show that in 1227, Henry III gave to the Abbot of St Radigund "the site of the mill called Crabbehole". In 1664 it is mentioned again when "Crabbard Mill" was "by accident burnt down" but the mill was rebuilt as it appears on a map of 1751. An insurance policy for the mill dated 1 November 1788 gives the name of the owners as John Pilcher and Sons of Dover. The mill at this time was a two storey timber building with a breastshot waterwheel capable of driving two pairs of mill stones, and was presumably the 17th century one built after the 1664 fire.In the early 19th century, with the treat of invasion by Napoleon's forces, thousands of troops were stationed in and around Dover to counter any French attack. The Army's Victualling Department ordered a series of large commercial flour mills to be built along the Dour and subsidised the building of them by local millers. The new mills included Lower Buckland Mill, Stembrook Mill, Charlton Mill, Dover Town Mill and the present Crabble Corn Mill, which was built in 1812. The new mill was six storeys high, the lower three of brick and the upper three of wood with weather boarding. The breastshot wheel was seven feet across and eighteen feet in diameter, and drove five pairs of grindstones. It was built alongside the old mill, which was kept working for about another 30 years before being demolished. In January 1842 John Webb Pilcher was declared bankrupt, a bitter blow for a man who had been Mayor of Dover in 1823 and a leading member of the Corporation for many years. In 1843 the new owner was Wilsher Mannering, who had bought the Town Mill in 1836 and was to buy Lower Buckland Mill in 1865. He had the foresight to see that London's population explosion would increase the demand for flour, and that the river Dour mills were ideally placed to supply the market, especially when the flour could be sent cheaply by sea.As the business expanded, Wilsher was joined by his brother John, and the business subsequently passed to Wilsher's sons, Edward and Wilsher Jnr. The introduction of new milling technology in the mid 19th century caused problems for traditional millers, who could not compete with the new steam powered mills. As a result of this competition the Mannerings installed steam power in Lower Buckland Mill with a turbine replacing the waterwheel. The increase in production was dramatic and enabled them to fill their orders from the newly equipped mill alone. The Mannerings decided to consolidate their production and the mill closed in 1893. It is thanks to the Mannerings that this example of 19th century technology survived into the late 20th century. When the mill closed the machinery was not sold off for scrap and the family kept the building well maintained until their main milling business closed, in the face of London competition, in 1957. After this the rot set in (quite literally) and the mill became unsafe and in 1972 it was estimated that £50,000 would be needed to restore it. The mill was saved when it was purchased by the Cleary Foundation and restored to working order, opening in 1973. By 1983 though the mill was declared unsafe and closed down, with the cost of essential repairs estimated at £160,000. It lingered, shrouded in scaffolding, its future uncertain for five years. It was saved by the Crabble Corn Mill Trust, who, with funding from English Heritage, the Cleary Foundation and Dover District Council, obtained the freehold in July 1988. After extensive repairs and restoration, the mill re-opened at Easter 1990, and is now a popular attraction.