- Apparently two mills so called belonging first to the Priory of Holy Trinity and afterwards to the Abbey of Grace on the Thames' bank, on the boundary of the parishes of St. Botolph Aldgate and St. Mary Whitechapel, near the Swan's Nest, a hermitage in East Smithfield.The earliest mention of them appears to be under the name "mill of Crassenie lane" in a dispute concerning tithes between the Convent of Holy Trinity and the Rector of Stepney in 1233 (H. MSS. Com. 9th Rep. App. p. 49), when it is described as on the borders of the parishes of St. Botolph Aldgate and Stepney.Called "la Cressemilne," 49 H. III. (Cal. L. and M. Ft. of Fines, I. 43).In 49 Ed. III the mills were in the possession of John de Peckebrigg, and were specifically excepted from a grant of land in Eastsmithfield made by him at that time to the abbot and convent of the new abbey de Gracus (Cal. Anc. Deeds, A. 2559).But in 34 H. VIII., 1542, they are described as the Abbey of Graces' mills, called Crasshmylls " near the Swan's Nest (L. and P. H. VIII. Dom. S. XV. II. pp. 39-400).The Swan's Nest was a hermitage in 49 Ed. III. (Anc. Deeds, A. 2559), and may well have been The Hermitage, from which the Bridge derived its name. This would correspond with the position of the mills as set out in the documents quoted above.Mention is also made of "Crasshemyll Meadowe" abutting on Nightingale Lane east, 35 II. VIII. 1543, which also belonged to St. Mary Graces (L. and P. H. VIII. Dom. S. XVIII. p. 363).In the Middlesex Sessions' Rolls they are described as divers mills called "crash milles" belonging to the Lord King in the two parishes of St. Botolph without Aldgate, and Whitechapel through which water ran from the Thames, 5 and 6 Jas. I. (II. 32 and 40).
A Dictionary of London. Henry A Harben. 1918.