It would be pleasant to think that this mill was named after the pleasing disposition of a past lessee. The truth is that it gained its name from the jolly family who were associated with it throughout the eighteenth century and possibly for many years earlier.
The establishment of the mill can be fairly accurately dated in a 1347/1348 deed which grants “John de Standish and his heirs liberty to make a mill or mills on the bank of the Dogles, and the pools and attachments, and to draw the course of the water at their will to the said mills, wheresoever they may be situated on the bank of the said water, namely from the water mill at Worthington as far as the mill of Haigh…”
The first building was probably stone built and one storey high with an outside wheel.
The 1776 register of all Leasehold Estate of Ralph Standish states that in 1690 a “mess mill and kiln” was leased by William Standish to Seth Jolley. (“Mess” is probably a shortened form of “messuage” which means a dwelling house with the associated appurtenances.) The total holding was 15 acres 2 roods (Lord’s measure). The three “lives” listed in association with the lease are “the lessee, John his son, Ellen his daughter.” The rent payable was £1 12s. There is also a list of customary “boons” which, by this time, were probably commuted to extra rent payments.
Kellys Directory of 1918 gives the name of the miller as William Bentley, who lived in a nearby house called “The Woodlands”. He was the last miller at Jolley Mill. The mill was sold, with the rest of the Standish Estate, in 1921. It was described as “Mill, Mill Race and land situate at Chorley Lane and known as Jolly Mill containing 7 acres 0 roods 31 perches. All that disused.”