Stratton St Michael towermill

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Drainage Windpumps
Steam Mills

c.1900
c.1900

Stratton St Michael towermill was built on a site to the east of the A140 Norwich to Ipswich road. Originally built as a three storey red brick mill, two additional stories had been added by 1865, with the batter being reduced. A steam engine was installed c.1914 to provide auxiliary power.


A postmill to the north of the mill house was under the same ownership during at least the 1820s and 1830s.


The mill used 4 double shuttered sails struck by rack and pinion to power 2 pairs of stones and 2 flour mills. Each sail had 8 bays of 3 and 1 bay of 2 shutters. The Norfolk boat shaped cap had a petticoat and held a 6 bladed fan and a chain pole. Rex Wailes reported that on the upright shaft, a footstep in a brass pot was let into a spindle beam.


To be Sold. Two capital Corn Mills, one a Brick Tower Mill, and the other a Post Mill, with Round House, Granaries and other convenient Buildings, in excellent repair, and about two acres of land, late in the occupation of Mr. James Aldred, situate at Long Stratton, Norfolk. Immediate possession.
Norfolk Chronicle - 4th January 1834


LONG STRATTON
To be Sold
Two Capital CORN MILLS, one a Brick Tower Mill, and the other a Post Mill, with Round House, Granaries and other convenient Outbuildings, in excellent repair and about two acres of Land, late in the occupation of Mr. James Aldred; also two Cottages with Gardens in the several occupations of Samuel Lent and others.
The above Premises are situate at Long Stratton within ten miles of Norwich. Immediate Possession may be had.
Apply to Messrs. Mitchell & Clarke, Solrs. Wymondham.
Norfolk Chronicle - 4th & 11th January 1834


Notice is hereby given that James Aldred the Younger, of Stratton St. Michael, in the county of Norfolk, Miller and Farmer, hath conveyed and assigned all his estate for the benefit of his creditors.
Norfolk Chronicle - 25th January 1834


Notice to Debtors and Creditors of
James Aldred the Younger of Stratton St Mary, Miller and Farmer
Deed of Assignment for the benefit of all creditors.
Mitchell & Clarke, Solrs. Wymondham. 21 January 1834
Norfolk Chronicle - 25th January 1834


STRATTON

To be Sold by Auction by Mr. SHARPE at the Swan Inn, Long Stratton on Tuesday 22nd April 1834 at 5 o'clock.
By order of the Trustees for Sale thereof
The following Valuable ESTATES Late the property of Mr. James Aldred the Younger
Lot 1. The LIFE INTEREST of the said James Aldred now in his sixtieth year to
Messuage, Malting Office, Outbuildings, double Cottage and about 120 acres of excellent Land at Stratton St. Mary, Stratton St. Michael and Morningthorpe, late in the occupation of the said James Aldred or his Tenants.
Lot 2. Four Cottages...
Lot 3. A Piece of Freehold Arable Land at Alburgh, 3a. 2r. 18p. now in the occupation of Mr. James Aldred the Elder.
Possession at Michaelmas next.
Apply to Messrs. Mitchell & Clarke, Solrs. Wymondham or the Auctioneer

Norfolk Chronicle - 29th March & 5th April 1834


STRATTON

To be Sold by Auction by Mr. J. B. SHARPE at the Swan Inn, Long Stratton on Tuesday 29th (instead of the 22nd) day of April 1834 at 5 o'clock.
By order of the Trustees for Sale thereof
The following Valuable ESTATE Late the Property of Mr. James Aldred the Younger
Lot 1. All that brick TOWER WINDMILL, three stories high, with patent sails and a Stable and Granaries. Also a capital Post_Windmill with Granary. Also two good Cottages and a Tenement now used as a Dissenting Chapel. Together with a piece of Land containing about two acres situate at Stratton St. Michael and late in the occupation of the said James Aldred.
Immediate Possession may be had.
Lot 2. Life Interest...
Lot 3. Four Cottages...
Lot 4. Piece of Freehold Arable Land at Alburgh, 3a. 2r. 18p. now in the occupation of Mr. James Aldred the Elder.
Apply to Messrs. Mitchell & Clarke, Solicitors, Wymondham or the Auctioneer

Norfolk Chronicle - 12th April 1834


To be Sold by Auction at the Swan Inn, Long Stratton on 29 April, 1834, by order of the Trustee for Sale thereof, late the property of Mr. James Aldred the Younger.
All that brick Tower Windmill, three stories high, with patent sails, and a stable and granaries. Also a capital Post_Windmill with granary. Also two good cottages and a tenement, now used as a Dissenting Chapel, together with a piece of land containing about two acres situate in Stratton St. Michael and late in the occupation of the said James Aldred.
Norfolk Chronicle - 26th April 1834

Sale By Order of the Trustees of Mr. James Aldred of Stratton St. Mary
of Farming Stock, Household Furniture etc.
"on the Premises at Long Stratton, Norfolk"

Norfolk Chronicle - 26th April 1834


To be Sold. A new built Brick Tower Windmill and a good Post_Windmill, also two Cottages, a Dissenting Chapel, and about two acres of land, situate in Stratton St. Michael, late in the occupation of Mr. Aldred. Immediate possession may be had.
Apply to Messrs. Mitchell & Clarke, Solrs. Wymondham.
Norfolk Chronicle - 5th & 12th November 1836


STRATTON & NORWICH
To be Sold
A new built Brick TOWER WINDMILL, three stories high, with Patent Sails and Stable and Granaries, also a capital POST_WINDMILL with Granary, also two good cottages, a Dissenting Chapel and 2 acres of Land situate at Stratton St. Michael, late in the occupation of Mr. Aldred.
Immediate possession may be had.
Also eight Dwelling houses in Norwich ...
Apply to Messrs. Mitchell & Clarke, Solrs. Wymondham.
Norfolk Chronicle - 27th May & 3rd June 1837


STRATTON ST. MICHAEL
To be Sold
A new built Brick Tower WINDMILL, three stories high, with Patent Sails, Stable and Granaries. Also a capital Post_Windmill with Granary. Also two good Cottages and a Tenement now used as a Dissenting Chapel, together with a Piece of Land about 2 acres situate in Stratton St. Michael, late in the occupation of Mr. Aldred.
Immediate possession may be had.
Apply to Messrs. Mitchell & Clarke, Solrs. Wymondham.
Norfolk Chronicle - 16th September 1837


Tithe map 1838
Tithe map 1838 - as redrawn by Harry Apling

The map above shows to postmill to the north of the mill house and the towermill just to the south.


Tithe Award 1839
Map A. T. Clarke, Surveyor, Norwich. 1838
Owner: William Robertson
Occupier: do

No. 268

Mill, Buildings, Chapel & pasture

1a. 2r. 5p.

Part of 8/-

 


James Goodswen miller, of Stratton St. Michael, appoints Mary his wife, and his two sons in law, William Field of Pulham St. Mary Magdalen and Benjamin Coppings of Hardwick in the said County, Millers as executors.

  • Everything to his wife Mary, for her lifetime apart from the 3 WINDMILLS, situated in Pulham St. Mary Magdalen, Hardwick, and the one is own occupation in Stratton St. Michael. Wife to receive an annuity from the mills profits etc, and something provided for the daughter Julia Goodswen.
  • 2. I give devise and bequeath all my messuages, cottages, lands, tenements and hereditaments with the windmill thereupon built and the tackle and going gears thereof complete, situate and lying in the parish of Pulham St. Mary Magdalen aforesaid copyhold of the Manor of Pulham, as the same now in the occupation of my daughter Mary Ann, the wife of William Field. To hold the same etc for Mary Ann and her heirs and assigns.
  • Give and devise and bequeath, [practically identical to the above paragraph] for the windmill built, complete etc in the parish of Hardwick, now in the occupation of Benjamin Copping to my daughter Hannah, wife of Benjamin Copping, to hold the same for Hannah and heirs etc…
  • The windmill in Stratton St. Michael, now in my own occupation I give and bequeath to my daughter Elizabeth Goodswen.

Extract from will of James Goodswen, miller of Stratton St. Michael - written 12th February 1852
Value £450.00


Mr. William Robertson, deceased
All persons having any claim upon Mr. William Robertson, larte of Stratton St. Michael, deceased, are requested to send the particulars therof either to us or to Mrs. Mary Robertson, the Widow, in order that they may be examined and discharged. All persons indebted to the deceased are requested to pay the amount of their respective debts forthwith to Mrs. Robertson, by whom the business will in future be carried on.

MILLER, SON & BUGG,
Solicitors to the Executors.
Norwich, 15 December 1858
Norfolk News - 18th December 1858

William Robertson was the eldest son of William Robertson and Mary Scarffe of Hethersett.
William jnr's brother George took over the running of Hethersett Gt Melton Road postmill in 1829.
Robert Robertson took over at Market Hill mill in Yarmouth before moving to Sporowston.
Abraham Robertson took over the lease of Deopham smockmill on 18th September 1826.
Elizabeth Robertson married John Hastings who was running Starston postmill in 1854.
Susan Robertson married George Willis, a miller & baker from Mendelsham, Suffolk.
John, Simon, David and Samuel Robertson do not appear to have become millers.

I believe William's son William may have continued at Long Stratton
John's son George Wilby Robertson worked one of the mills in Upper Hellesdon and one of the mills at Gayton.
Robert's oldest daughter, Elizabeth, married a Harrison. Her sons worked at Oulton Broad, Gisleham, Wangford, Sprowston mills. Oldest son Robert William helped at one of the Sprowston windmills after his father's being crushed to death and later bought Oulton Broad. Next son, George, continued the family line at Sprowston. Youngest son, William Alfred, was an apprentice at Wymondham, journeyman at Great Bentley, Essex and owned the St Margaret's Church Mill in Lowestoft.
Abraham's son Wiliam Proctor Robertson worked a mill in Eaton.

 


LONG STRATTON
Messrs. Butcher are instructed by the Trustees for Sale to Sell by Auction at the Royal Hotel, Norwich on Saturday 8 July 1865 at 3 for 4 o'c in one lot
An excellent Dwelling House ...
and piece of Pasture Land containing together 1a. 3r. 14p.
Also a capital brick tower WINDMILL with five floors, driving two pairs of Stones and two Flour Mills, Stable, Warehouse, Cart Lodge, Gig, Chaff and Fowl-houses.
Also a POST WINDMILL with spacious Roundhouse, driving 3 pairs of Stones.
The above are in the occupation of the Executors of the late Mr. Wm. Robertson, deceased and possession may be had at Michaelmas next.
Also three Cottages ...
Apply to Messrs. Mitchell & Clarke, Solrs. Wymondham, at the Place of Sale or of the Auctioneers, Norwich.
Norfolk Chronicle & Norfolk News - 17th & 24th June & 1st July 1865


LONG STRATTON
To Millers
To Let on Lease with immediate possession
Two Capital WINDMILLS, Dwelling House, Stables, three Cottages and 4 acres of Land situate at Long Stratton in the occupation of Mrs. Robertson.
Apply to Mr. Fryer, Bracon Ash or Mr. Hall, Ipswich Road, Norwich.
Norfolk News - 29th July & Norfolk Chronicle - 5th August 1865


To Millers
To Let with immediate Possession, two capital WINDMILLS with an excellent Dwelling house, Stable, three Cottages and 2 Acres of Land situate at Long Stratton, in the occupation of Mrs. Robertson.
Apply to Mr. Fryer, Bracon Ash or to Mr. Hall, Ipswich Road, Norwich.
Norfolk News - 25th August 1865


To be Let at Michaelmas next
at STRATTON ST. MICHAEL, LONG STRATTON
An excellent Dwelling House with Garden, Pightle and Paddock
BRICK TOWER WIND-MILL and POST WIND-MILL
The house contains ...
The Tower mill has Five Floors , Patent Sails, two Pairs of Stones with two Flour Mills, 5-stall Stable, Warehouse etc. etc. The Post Mill has a spacious Round House - three pairs of Stones.
Particulars of Mr. Fred Fox, Surrey Street, Norwich.
Norfolk Chronicle - 3rd September & weekly until 12th November 1870
Norfolk News - 24th September, 1st & 8th October 1870


LONG STRATTON
TO BE LET with possession at Michaelmas next, a TOWER WINDMILL with Flour house and Buildings belonging thereto, Dwelling House and Garden, Cottage and other Buildings and 20 acres of LAND.
Also a FARM comprising Farm house and Buildings, all in good repair, excellent Orchards and 177 acres of Land in a good state of cultivation and lying conveniently for the Premises.
Apply to Mr. Andrews, Morningthorpe, Long Stratton.

Norfolk Chronicle - 5th June 1880


Alfred Aldridge, deceased,
All persons having any claim or demand upon the Estate or Effects of Alfred Aldridge late of Stratton St.Michael in Norfolk, Miller ... to send particulars to Mrs. Hannah Aldridge, ... widow ...
Norfolk Chronicle - 11th June 1881


29th August 1972
29th August 1972

By 1972 a leanto building had been built against the tower and the mill had been capped with a conical green roof bearing a weathervane. At this time the mill was still trading as Long Stratton Mills.


O.S. map 1974
O.S. map 1974
Image reproduced under licence from Ordnance Survey

25th February 2006
25th February 2006

Excerpt from The Long Stratton poem written in the 1950s
(see local website on Links page for all 52 verses)


Verse 13
In days gone by up Stratton hill,
Once stood the famous Rayners mill,
The wind got weak so go the tales,
That’s why the miller took off the sails.

Verse 34
On the Wood Green road stood Leeders Mill,
If it isn’t gone, it stands there still.
When Rayners mill sail ceased to turn,
Leeder said "thank God now I can earn".

25th February 2006
25th February 2006

There was a fire at Long Stratton mills in the 1950s my dad was a builder (R. S. Norman) and he rebuilt the  mill for Mr Leeder, to do this he had to take on more men. I think there is a Notice on the back of the building saying that the building was rebuilt after a fire in the fifties.
Jan Jarrett - 26th January 2013


O. S. Map 1883
O. S. Map 1883
Courtesy of NLS map images

Kelly's 1922: Francis Leeder, farmer


Bryant's map 1826: Mill

1834: James Aldred, miller

1834: James Aldred jnr, miller made Deed of Assignment for benefit of his creditors

March 1834: Towermill and postmill advertised for sale by auction at the Swan Inn, Long Stratton

White's 1836: James Baxter, corn miller

November 1836: New built towermill and postmill advertised for sale by auction

May & September 1837: New built towermill and postmill advertised for sale

O.S. map 1838: Windmill

Tithe Award 1839: William Robertson, owner and occupier

Census 1841:

John Peck (40) miller (employee)
Elizabeth Peck (35)
Harriett Peck (13)
Frederick Peck (12)


White's 1845: William Robertson, miller (listed under Stratton St. Mary)

Census 1851:

James Goodswen (58) b.Hardwick, master miller employing 2 men
Mary Goodswen (54) b.Hardwick
Julia Goodswen (14) b.Hardwick
John Leeder (33) b.Shelton, journeyman miller
William Leeder (17) b.Shelton, journeyman carter
Address: Street

1852: James Goodswen, owner and occupier

White's 1854: William Robertson, corn miller

1858: William Robertson died

1858: Mary Robertson (widow) took over the running of the business

White's 1864: Mary Roberts, farmer & corn miller

1865: Mary Robertson, miller

June 1865: Towermill and postmill advertised for sale by auction (owned by Mary Robertson)

July 1865: Towermill and postmill advertised to be let (owned by Mary Robertson)

1868: William Goram, miller

September 1870: Towermill and postmill advertised to be let

1872: George Potter, miller

O.S. map 1884: Windmill

Kelly's 1879: George Potter, miller & farmer

June 1880: Towermill advertised to be let

1881: Alfred Aldridge, miller, died

White's 1883: Archibald Leeder, miller & farmer


White's 1890: Archibald Leader, miller & farmer

Kelly's 1892: Archibald Leader, farmer & miller (wind)

Kelly's 1896: Archibald Leader, farmer & miller (wind)


Kelly's 1900: Archibald Leader, farmer & miller (wind)

Kelly's 1904: Archibald Leader, farmer & miller (wind)

Kelly's 1908: Archibald Leader, farmer & miller (wind)

Kelly's 1912: Archibald Leader, farmer & miller (wind)


Kelly's 1916: Francis Leader, farmer & miller (wind & steam)


Kelly's 1922: Francis Leader, farmer

Ke
lly's 1925: Francis Leader, miller (wind & steam) & farmer

1926: Mill working

Philip Unwin photo 20th June 1929: Mill in working order with 4 sails, boat shaped cap and 6 bladed fan


Kelly's 1929: Mrs. Florence Leeder, miller (wind & steam)

c.1933: Mill ceased to work with wind power

Kelly's 1937: Basil Leonard Leeder, miller (oil), corn, coal & coke merchant T N 260

1939: Karl Wood painting of mill with sails and broken fan

1950s: Mill rebuilt by builder, R.S. Norman, after a serious fire

July 1970: Basil L. Leeder, Mill House

O.S. map 1974: Windmill

3rd January 1978:

Heavy gale caused £3,000 of damage, tiles blown off; sliding doors collapsed and blown 100 yards


c.1980: Mill with roof forming part of Basil L. Leeder's modern mill

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

Nat Grid Ref TM20719209
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Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2005