The Gater family owned Lapford Mill until about 1820 when it was sold to William Croote. We can’t be sure of the reason that the Gater’s left Lapford but it is possible that the mill was no longer needed as a source of family income following the 1822 marriage of Anne Gater, granddaughter of Lapford miller William Gater, into one of Yorkshire’s wealthiest families. Anne inherited the estate on her husband’s death and would later also inherit the estate of her second husband. By the time of her death in 1879 Anne’s estate was worth around £35 million in today’s money. The Gater’s rapid social climb from the mill at Lapford was quite incredible.
Despite her wealth Anne is not buried in the grand family mausoleums of either of her husband’s but in a quiet spot in Lapford churchyard together with relicts of both husbands.