Upwell
towermill


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Norfolk Windmills


c.1900

Upwell towermill was built by John Hopkins Sanders in 1829 on the west side of Well Creek in Cambridgeshire, the east side of the creek being in Norfolk. However, in 1990 Upwell and the west side of the Creek became part of Norfolk, so the mill has been included on this website.


A datestone was set in the mill

I.H. S.
1829

The Mill was known by various names throughout its history, including Sander's Mill, Shepherd's Mill or more recently The Olde Mill Restaurant, which closed in 2007.


The mill initially used 5 patent sails to power three pairs of French burr stones on the second floor and two flour mills. By 1894 the mill was using steam as an auxiliary power source and the 5th sail had disappeared leaving one pair of single shuttered and one pair of double shuttered sails. The ogee cap with its petticoat held an 8 bladed fantail and an iron gallery. The mill had an additional storey added, possibly when the mill was changed to a four sail configuration.


c.1905
c.1905

Painting by William Smith depicting the mill in 1900
Painting by William Smith depicting the mill in 1900
James Shepherd, the miller, is on the right with his dog.


c.1830
c.1830

c.1905
c.1905

Towermill and steam mill c.1915
Towermill and steam mill c.1915

1836
1836

18th July 1860
Cambridge Independent Press 18th July 1860

c.1920
c.1920

April 1894
April 1894

c.1920 with Horse & Groom in foreground
c.1920 with Horse & Groom in foreground

c.1925
c.1925

Shepherd's Mill
A tall red brick tower which has been raised one floor. She had an ogee cap with the Wisbech type of iron gallery, an eight-bladed fantail. Two single and two double shuttered patent sails and three pairs of stones on the second floor. She was built in 1829.

Norfolk Windmills - A. A. Oldham


In 1972, Philip Unwin reported:
Red brick tower built 1829
Raised one floor
Sails removed in two stages:-
1.
1940. 2 sails fell off. Mill ceased working by wind.
Last miller, J. Lewis continued grinding by electricity in adjacent building.
2.
1951/2. Other sails removed as dangerous, together with cap.
Roof concreted.


c.1942 - drawing by Michael Andrews
c.1942 - drawing by Michael Andrews

Present buildings were built attached to back of mill as an hotel by David Edgson of Mill Lodge Equestrian Centre, Outwell. Mill and hotel bought from him by Mr. & Mrs. Brown in 1985. Now separated from Centre and restoration of mill with cap and sails by John Lawn is envisaged.
Allison Brown née Felgate - 19th June 1986


My great grandfather Thomas Berry Jr. (1815-1871) initially followed his father Thomas Tombleson Berry into farming in Upwell. Thomas Jr later became a miller and master miller, and moved to Wisbech where he lived on Lynn Road ('miller employing 3 men') from at least 1851. His first wife who died in child birth in 1840 was the daughter of Joseph Smith, a miller living on Lynn road Wisbech, so perhaps that is related in some way to his later career change.
Although it is tempting to link him to that wonderful 8 sail mill in Lynn road, Wisbech, I came across the attached advertisement in the Cambridge Independent Press (28th July 1860). This clearly attaches him to a mill in Upwell marked on old maps in the location described in the advertisement. Perhaps he worked at both mills.
Thomas eventually died of a pre-existing heart condition in 1871. This was almost certainly chronic rheumatic heart disease. Perhaps he gave up farming, and then milling as his health deteriorated.

Jem Berry - 7th April 2013


Unallocated Upwell millers

White's 1836: Robert Southwell, corn miller, - Isle of Ely

White's 1845: J. Chenery, corn miller
White's 1845: James Clark, corn miller
White's 1845: William Richard, corn miller
White's 1845: Henry Roper, corn miller
White's 1845: Frederick Smith, corn miller

Kelly's Cambs. 1854: Thomas Tombleson Berry, miller
Kelly's Cambs. 1854: John Boyfield, miller
Kelly's Cambs. 1854: John Drake, miller
Kelly's Cambs. 1854: John Roper, miller
Kelly's Cambs. 1854: Mrs. Ann Southwell, miller
Kelly's Cambs. 1854: John Southwell, miller
Kelly's Cambs. 1854: James Webber, millwright & carpenter


White's 1854: John Bayfield, corn miller - Isle of Ely
White's 1854: John Drake, corn miller - Isle of Ely
White's 1854: Ann Southwell, corn miller
White's 1854: John Southwell, corn miller - Isle of Ely
White's 1854: Edward Wanby, corn miller - Isle of Ely

White's 1864: John Drake, corn miller - Isle of Ely
White's 1864: Walter Goddard, corn miller
White's 1864: John Southwell, corn miller - Isle of Ely

Kelly's 1879: John Southwell, farmer
Kelly's 1879: Frederick Shepherd, shopkeeper

White's 1890: Thomas Shepherd jun. saddler; and at Outwell

Kelly's 1892: Samuel Shepherd, farmer
Kelly's 1892: Thomas Shepherd, saddler
Kelly's 1892: Joseph Webber, miller (wind)

Kelly's 1896: Samuel Shepherd, farmer
Kelly's 1896: Thomas Shepherd, saddler & harness maker; & at Outwell
Kelly's 1896: Joseph Webb, miller (wind)

1829: Mill built with 5 patent sails by John Hopkins Sanders

c.1830: Mill advertised for sale for £1,000 by private contract

White's 1836: J. H. Sanders, corn miller, Isle of Ely, Cambs.

1836: John Hopkins Sanders died

1836: Mill advertised for sale by auction

Index of Wills 1837: John Hopkins Sanders, (Saunders) miller

White's 1854: Edward Berry, corn miller - Isle of Ely

1860: Thomas Berry jnr., miller

July 1860: Mill and steam mill advertised for sale

1872: Thomas Shepherd took over running the mill. The Shepherd family also milled at Emneth, Cambs.

1878: Thomas Shepherd, miller

White's 1883: Thomas Shephard, corn miller, Isle of Ely

White's 1890: Thomas Shepherd, corn miller, Isle of Ely

O.S. map 1891: Windmill

April 1894: Thomas Shepherd, miller, died

1894: William George Shepherd, miller

Kelly's 1896: William George Shepherd, miller (steam & wind)

Kelly's 1900: William George Shepherd, miller (wind)

Kelly's 1904: William George Shepherd, miller (wind)

1904: James Shepherd, miller

1940: J. Lewis, miller

1940: One pair of sails fell off and windmilling ceased although milling continued with electrical power

1951: Second pair of sails removed because of deterioration along with cap and fantail. Tower later capped

O.S. map 1955: Windmill

O.S. map 1974: Windmill

June 1976: Mill site Mill Lodge Equestrian Centre, Outwell. 3 bedstones still in situ

1985: David Edgeson, owner of Mill Lodge Equestrian Centre, Outwell, sold site to Matthew & Alison Brown

1990: Upwell, including the mill site became part of Norfolk

2009: Mill tower being used for domestic accommodation



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 TF50950330
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Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2007