Halvergate
towermill


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Norfolk Windmills


c.1910
c.1910

Halvergate towermill was a 50ft, 6 storey mill built of pink brick and bears a date stone of 1866. The mill stood close to the road beside the mill house to the south of the village on a site once occupied by Halvergate_postmill. Power to the 4 pairs of stones and 2 flour mills, was provided by 4 double shuttered sails struck by rack & pinion via a chain pole; 1 pair had 8 bays of 3 with innermost 4 on one edge, 5 on the other. The boat shaped cap had a petticoat, gallery and an 8 bladed fan. The tower had two ground floor doors and the windows were offset. A bake office was also run on the premises.


On Monday 30th October 1865, Jacob Crane bought 4 pairs of 4ft 10in stones at the auction of machinery from Bixley towermill and these were almost certainly incorporated in the new mill.


Stone nuts:- Smallest solid iron ones seen. 13 teeth.
Stones:- 4 pairs. 1 pair 58 ins. diam. came from Bixley mill.
Sack hoist:- 2 equal trundle wheels drove some way below the wallower a slack chain up to the sack barrel. The load chain was endless, with a short span of chain & an eye for hitching the sacks & the cord controlling the hoisthad a stirrup at the bottom for foot operation.

Rex Wailes


Situations Vacant
To Millers
Wanted in the Country, at a Wind Tower Mill, an experienced trustworthy MAN; one who has been accustomed to Assist in Agricultural Work preferred.
Address A. B. Lincoln's, Halvergate, Acle.

Norfolk News - 20th May 1871


Preliminary Announcement
Halvergate
Within three Miles of Reedham station
A Recently-erected Powerful Freehold BRICK TOWER WINDMILL driving four pairs of Stones & two Flour Mills, Bake Office, Granaries, Dwelling house & convenient Premises.
Clowes & Nash are favoured with directions from the Proprietor to Sell the above desirable MILLING PROPERTY by Auction during the month of May.
Particulars of the Auctioneers, Bank Chambers, Norwich or of I. B. Coaks & Co., Vendor’s Solicitors, Bank Plain, Norwich.

Norfolk News - 18th April 1885


Halvergate & Freethorpe
First Class Trade Premises, viz. a Substantial Brick Tower Windmill, Bake Office, Dwelling House, Granaries, Stable with other requisite Buildings & excellent Garden. A going Concern doing a capital Trade & in every way worthy the attention of purchasers of a good Freehold Property.
Free Public House, Freethorpe, the ‘Rampant Horse’.
Clowes & Nash are favoured with instructions from Mr. J. Crane & the executors of the late Mr. T. Crane to Sell the above by Auction in two Lots at the Royal Hotel, Norwich on Saturday 13 June 1885. Particulars may shortly be obtained at the Auctioneers’ Office, Bank Chambers, Norwich or of I.B. Coaks & Co. Vendors’ Solicitors, Bank Plain, Norwich.

Norfolk Chronicle - 23rd May 1885

Halvergate & Freethorpe
Lot 1. The well established FREE PUBLIC HOUSE, the RAMPANT HORSE, situate at Freethorpe. Possession 11 October next.
Lot 2. That admirably situate Brick TOWER WIND-MILL, Gardens Bake Office, Stables, Piggeries, Carriage Houses, Stores & requisite other Buildings; also convenient Residence & excellent Garden.
Clowes & Nash are favoured with instructions from Mr. J. Crane & the executors of the late Mr. T. Crane to Sell the above by Auction in two Lots at the Royal Hotel, Norwich on Saturday 13 June 1885. Particulars may shortly be obtained at the Auctioneers’ Office, Bank Chambers, Norwich or of I.B. Coaks & Co. Vendors’ Solicitors, Bank Plain, Norwich.

Norfolk Chronicle - 30th May 1885

Halvergate & Freethorpe
Clowes & Nash are favoured with instructions from Mr. J. Crane to Sell by Auction at the Royal Hotel, Norwich on Saturday 13 June 1885 at 2 for 3 o’c
That admirably situated Brick TOWER WIND-MILL, Granaries, Bake Office, Stable, Piggeries, Carriage Houses, Stores & requisite other Buildings also convenient Residence, excellent Gardens, situate in Halvergate.
Free Public House, Freethorpe, the ‘Rampant Horse’.
Particulars may shortly be obtained at the Auctioneers’ Office, Bank Chambers, Norwich or of I.B. Coaks & Co. Vendors’ Solicitors, Bank Plain, Norwich.

Norfolk Chronicle - 6th June 1885

Halvergate
Instructions of Mr. J. Crane to sell by auction
That admirably situated brick tower WINDMILL, granaries, bake-offices, stables, piggeries, carriage houses, stores & other requisite buildings, also a convenient Residence & excellent gardens situate at Halvergate. A going concern doing a capital trade.

Yarmouth Independent - June 1885

Halvergate Mill
To be SOLD or LET, the capital Brick Tower WIND MILL, Bake office, Granary, Stores & other Buildings wherein a profitable business is now carried on, as can be shown, together with DWELLING HOUSE & Garden.
Apply to Clowes & Nash, Auctioneers, Bank Chambers, Norwich.

Norfolk Chronicle - 20th June 1885

Michalemas Sales by
Clowes & Nash
HALVERGATE MILL
On Monday October 5, the outdoor effects for Mr. Jacob Crane, who has let the above Mill.
Catalogues of the Auctioneers, Norwich.
Norfolk Chronicle - 19th September 1885


HALVERGATE (& Stokesby)
Spelmans on instructions from the Executors of E. E. Trett, decd. will Sell by Auction on 6 June 1917 at the Star Hotel, Great Yarmouth the following valuable properties
At Stokesby
Nine capital cottages & gardens and Stokesby Mill with house & land.
At Halvergate
Well situated Halvergate Mill with bake office, dwelling house etc.
Yarmouth Independent - 19th May 1917


Halvergate tower 1929
1929


Halvergate tower 20th May 1981
20th May 1981


Mr. Claridge, a science teacher in Gt Yarmouth, reputedly tested his science experiments in his workshop within the ground floor of the mill. Apparently a tunnel ran from near the mill into the nearby outhouses.


… Halvergate Windmill …
As regards the fire I have seen Mr. Dick Woodcock who was born in the house next to the mill when his father had the mill.
He informs me that in the spring of 1935 the local people went to Joe Kerry’s barn in Wickhampton, to celebrate King George V Jubilee. It was a cold evening with gale force winds. The wind turned the sails of the windmill backwards what he called tailwinded. The grips (brake) would not stop the sails turning and overheated. Although a worker tried to cool it with buckets of water carried up to the grips it eventually flapped. The sails were soon a fire and over the fields at the concert people could see it burning like a giant Catherine Wheel. The fire engine from Acle arrived, a hand pump pulled by horses, but it could not be controlled. All the people who helped received half a crown.

The following morning the burnt remainder stood for all to see. The top of the mill was removed and a galvanised tin roof placed on top at some later date.
B. S. Grint, Halvergate - letter to Harry Apling - 26th November 1977

My parents Percy and Jessie Claridge and I lived there from 1949 to 1981.
From the childhood recollections of some of the stories that my parents told me, apparently in the late 1800's the owner failed to fully apply the brake at ceasework and during the night the strong wind made the sails go round backwards. The resulting friction caused the cap and sails to catch fire and the whole lot came crashing to the ground.
The five upper storeys of the mill were also destroyed in the blaze.
Until 1976 the First Floor was used for storage, but then strong winds blew the roof off, thus letting in the rain and eventually that became unsafe.
The ground floor was used as a workshop, until the death of my father in 1977.
My mother continued to live at The Mill House until her death in 1981 when the property was sold.
I believe the present owners are intending to fit a new cap onto the Mill.

Martin Claridge - 2nd July 2005


Replacement cap Sept 2005
Replacement cap September 2005

During 2005 it became known that Bob Self, owner of the mill, planned to rebuild the structure as a working mill with the intention of using the machinery from South Ockendon mill in Essex, which had collapsed in 1977. Bob Self, working as assistant to millwright Vincent Pargeter, would be well qualified for such an undertaking.
In 2010 it was observed that scaffolding had been around the mill for at least 7 years and the new cap had been lying in the garden for over 15 years awaiting placement on the mill tower.

1866: Mill built on the site of the earlier postmill

1868: Jacob Crane, miller

Kelly's 1879: Jacob Crane, miller

White's 1883: Jacob Crane, corn miller

April 1885: Mill advertised for sale by auction in June

June 1885: Mill advertised for sale or let

September 1885: Outdoor effects of Jacob Crane advertised for sale by auction

1888: Mrs. Elizabeth Martin

1890: Jacob Thomas Crane

Kelly's 1892: Jacob Thomas Crane, miller (wind)

Kelly's 1896: Charles Jacob Mutten, miller (wind) farmer & coal merch.; & at Reedham

1904: John Woodcock

Kelly's 1908: Benjamin Wright, miller (wind) & baker

Kelly's 1912: Benjamin Wright, miller (wind) & baker

Kelly's 1916: Benjamin Wright, miller (wind) & baker

May 1917: Mill advertised for sale by auction along with Stokesby towermill

Kelly's 1922: Walter Benjamin Wright, miller (wind) & baker

Kelly's 1925: Walter Benjamin Wright, miller (wind)

Kelly's 1929: Walter Benjamin Wright, miller (wind)

Kelly's 1933: Walter Benjamin Wright, miller (wind)

1935: Mill tailwinded and burnt out

Kelly's 1937: Walter Benjamin Wright, corn & flour dealer

1949: Mill derelict

1970: Mill capped with a conical, corrugated iron roof

1977: Percy Claridge died

1979: Restoration feasibility study undertaken and concluded restoration too expensive

1980: Mill capped with rusty corrugated iron and leaking, ground floor being used as a workshop and store

1981: Jessie Claridge died and property subsequently offered for sale

1949-1981:
Percy and Jessie Claridge and son Martin Claridge

2005: Bob Self, owner planned to rebuild the structure as a working mill

2010: Scaffolding still around mill as had been for last 7+ years. Cap in garden awaiting erection for 15+ years


If you have any memories, anecdotes or photos please let us know and we may be able to use them to update the site. By all means telephone 01263 713658 or

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Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2005