Garboldisham smockmill


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Norfolk Windmills


Around 1788 James Turner built Garboldisham smock mill to the southwest of Garboldisham_postmill and in 1802 apparently sold both mills to John Button. In 1820 a towermill was built nearby, to the north of the postmill.
The property was part of an estate owned by the Molyneux-Montgomery family for some 200 years before finally being sold off in 1944.

The postmill and towermill were offered for sale by auction in November 1839 but remained unsold. The smockmill was not mentioned and may well have already have been dismantled. The following year the two remaining mills were offered for sale or let by private contract.

Garboldisham [post] windmill stands on high ground on Garboldisham Common, off the Hopton road, some way outside the village, and only a few hundred yards inside the county boundary. Originally two others stood in adjacent fields on either side, and another at Smallworth in the same parish.
Of the other three windmills, a document of 1811 reveals that two were built by James Turner, a farmer of nearby Blo' Norton: first the present post-mill, and then a smock-mill, the latter in 1788. In 1802 both mills were sold to one John Button for £795, and in 1820, according to a local diary, Garboldisham tower-mill was built close by.
The next decade or so is slightly confusing. All three mills are shown on the First-Edition O.S. Map of 1837. In 1839 the post-mill and tower-mill were put up for auction.
However, the Button family were still running the mills after that date; so, were they tenants, the freehold being sold, or were the mills withdrawn from auction? According to the Suffolk Chronicle of 22 August 1840 there was a fire at the towermill and nothing but the brickwork then remained.
And yet, on the 1842 parish tithe-map, the two remaining mills appear to be the post-mill and tower-mill - perhaps it is the smock-mill which was burnt down as this had gone by about that date. (A smock-mill stands on a brick plinth.)
Phillip Unwin - Brome, Suffolk, 1973


1788: Mill built by James Turner

Faden's map 1797: Smockmill and postmill

1802: Smockmill and postmill sold to John Button for £795

Bryant's map 1826: Smockmill and postmill

O.S. map 1837: Smockmill, postmill and towermill all shown

c.1840: Mill demolished

Tithe map 1840: Postmill and towermill only


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Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2005