The earliest written mention of a mill in Castleford appears in a charter dating from 1093, issued by Robert de Lacy, Lord of Pontefract Castle.   By that time, waterwheels were an established technology and would have driven millstones housed in a timber building.

A document dated 1122 speaks of “the water between the two mills of Castleford” and may refer to a mill on each bank of the Aire or, alternatively, to two mills side-by-side (or more likely within a single building) on the current site.   Milling on the north side of the water ended in the late 19th century, by which time it was mainly the grinding of seeds to produce various types of oil and animal feed.

Throughout the medieval period, mills were owned by the monarchy, with control in the hands of the lord of the manor (in this case the de Lacys to begin with, then the Duchy of Lancaster and subsequently the manor of Houghton-with-Castleford) who, in turn, leased them out to tenants.   Like most mills, that at Castleford was what was known as a soke mill: one where villagers were compelled to bring for grinding the wheat they had grown on their strips of land in the village fields.   It is likely that the weir, in those times usually known as the mill dam, was built in 1155, this being the year a ferry was instituted across the river, presumably because the dam made the water too deep to use the old Roman ford a short distance upstream.

Occasional references in medieval documents testify to the continued operation at Castleford.   In 1241, it was recorded that John de Lacy, of Pontefract Castle, paid for new millstones, which cost seven shillings,.  In 1327 came the first record of a fulling mill, this being the process of beating wet newly-woven cloth with wooden hammers to refine and strengthen it, formerly a manual operation.   Similarly, the 1379 list of Poll Tax payers in Castelford includes a Thomas of Castleford whose occupation is given as a ‘walker’, someone who beat the cloth during fulling and who was therefore, presumably, the operator of the fulling mill.

In 1619, however, there were definitely two mills on the current Queen’s Mill site, – “two mills of Castleford under one roof”