Kings Lynn
Oyle Mill



Oyle Mills
Oyle Mills

There were several Oyle Mills in Kings Lynn over the years on several different sites. Some were water powered and some wind powered. The next paragraph is taken from the full history that is set out below and probably refers to the picture above.

There was also an Oyle Mill in South Lynn which resembled a warehouse attached to lofty Windmill. This building the framework of which was brought from Holland c.1638 was destroyed by fire 30 July 1737.


1/.VOLll Page768-768
A Mill perhaps attached to the adjacent Monastery once occupied a spot near St Margarets School (now a Club) Probably converted into a Windmill when the supply of water became inadequate. Subsequently it became an Oyle Mill and the Tar office erected on site. (see:4/.)
2/. Vol l Page 22
Subject "MOATED MOUNDS"
The burg on the foreshore of the LIN was near a freshwater stream which was diverted to form not only a moat on the East and North but moreover a Mill Leat on the South which drove the Town Mill until a recent date. The Water Mill appears on RASTRICK'S Plan c.1725 and was in line with the St James Workhouse. Parts of the oak frame (22 in by 20 in by 9 ft and 16 in by 16 in by 5 ft) in which the overshot wheel worked were discovered during the sewage undertaking c.1901
3/. Vol.l Page 71-72
Subject "THE DUALISTIC BURG
At the close of the 12th Century the Town was made up of two parts each being owned by different Religious Factions. THE NEWLAND (NEWLONDE) formed part of the Bishop's personal estate and the original or "OLDLAND" belonged to the Monks of Norwich. Between the Bishop and the Prior there was a rivalry and estrangement, for, as owners, each endeavoured to reap the greatest pecuniary advantage from his possession. For our Mills interest the Water Mill in the Oldland was driven by Sunolf's Fleet subsequently termed the Mayors Mill Fleet to distinguish it from Bishop's Mill Fleet where in the vicinity of Littleport Street, in the Newland, once stood the Bishops Mill. To the owners, the Monks and the Bishop, these mills were valuable "paying concerns". Mills were necessary adjuncts to Manorial Residences, hence they were, as a rule, erected by the Lord of the Manor for his own use and for those living on his estate. To compensate him for his outlay the tenants were bound to bring their corn to his Mill to be ground. They did not however pay in cash for the grinding, but were under an obligation termed Mill Service (seeta debita molendini); in other words they were compelled to leave a portion of their meal with the bailiff or the miller to recoup their patron for services rendered.
4/. Vol.ll Page 738
Subject: MINOR UNDERTAKINGS
The Vicar of ALL SAINTS the Reverend JOHN NORRIS refers in his will to an "Oyle House" outside the EAST GATES c.1503 where sperm oil for lighting purposes was apparently stored. But the "Oyle Mills" of a later date as we learn from old engravings possessed sails but no chimneys; hence they were erected for crushing Linseed. During the 18th Century an Oyle Mill may have been seen in the Tower Field, on its site a tar office where pitch was turned into tar subsequently stood. There was also an Oyle Mill in South Lynn which resembled a warehouse attached to lofty Windmill. This building the framework of which was brought from Holland c.1638 was destroyed by fire 30 July 1737. In 1668 it belobged to a Mr SOUTHERBY of London and was let to Alderman Henry BELL and Mr. Robert BELL at an annual rent of £20 conspicuously the highest in the Parish the next being £12. In more recent times there was another Oyle Mill standing upon the Western bank at no great distance from the Bentinck Dock. It was run by a Mr. FEATHERSTONHAUGH who lived at West Lynn.

Lynn Mills from H.J.Hillens' History of King's Lynn


Map of Kings Lynn in 1240
Map of Kings Lynn in 1240

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Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2002