Walpole St Peter Highway
towermill


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Drainage Windpumps
Steam Mills

c.1920
c.1920

Walpole St Peter Highway towermill was built in Cambridgeshire as a 3 storey mill and a further 2 floors were added in 1890. The mill had an ogee cap that was vertically boarded thereby forming the petticoat. The cap set on a dead curb, was atopped by a ball finial, held a gallery and a left handed, 8 bladed fan. Power to three pairs of stones was supplied by one pair of double shuttered sails with 7 bays of 3 shutters and one pair of single shuttered sails with 6 bays of 4 shutters. The sails ran anti clockwise and were struck by rocking lever. A bake office was run on the mill site.

When built, the mill worked with one pair of French burr stones and one pair of composite stones. After two more floors were added in 1890, a third set of stones were installed on to the 1st floor. The tower batter was only to the top of the second floor with the top additions being a vertical wall. There was only one window at the back of the mill, which was on the third floor.

Walpole St. Peter was in the county of Norfolk until 1837 when it was transferred to the Isle of Ely, Cambridgeshire until 1938, when the parish was transferred to Freebridge Lynn in Norfolk.

The solid wood wallower was set onto the upright shaft that was a graft of wood and iron. The great spur wheel was made of iron and was hung on the upright shaft by only one key. The single pair of trailing type governors were mounted on a stone spindle and slid out along curved arms.
The bolter was driven by a nut geared into the great spur wheel.

A further 4 pairs of stones were powered by an oil engine.

One French burr runner stone bore a cast iron ring inscribed GEORGE MARIS MAKER HULL 1839

A beam from an older mill forming part on the old ground floor ceiling was inscribed T H 1743

30th June 1933
30th June 1933
To be Sold by Auction
On Saturday 16 October 1790 at 3 'c in the Afternoon
At the house of John Noll known by the sign of the Three Tuns on Wisbech, in the isle of Ely and county of Cambridge.
A Capital and very valuable WINDMILL, with Dwelling house and commodious buildings adjoining, well situated for a miller and baker, standing in Walpole St. Peter's in the county of Norfolk.
The above premises are copyhold of the Manor of Walpole.
The purchaser will have the immediate possession given on payment of the purchase money.
Enquire of Mr. John Hemington, Attorney at Kings Lynn.
Norfolk Chronicle - 9th & 16th October 1790

1947
1947 from a painting by Barbara Jones
The above painting depicts the mill with 4 single shuttered sails. It is not known if this is an authentic depiction.

23rd August 1980
23rd August 1980

To Let
A TOWER WINDMILL driving one pair of Grays and one pair of French Stones and Cylinder, with Dwelling house, Bake office in full trade, with Granary, Stables and Piggeries complete.
For further particulars apply to Mr. Munson , St. Peter's Lodge, Walpole, Lynn.
Norfolk News - 24th & 31st August 1861

Situations Vacant
To Millers and Bakers
WANTED immediately, a stout active Youth about 17 years of age as an APPRENTICE or a Young Man who has served part of his time.
Apply to J. Wilson, Walpole St. Peter, Wisbech.
Norfolk News - 23rd June 1866

Situations Vacant
To Millers and Bakers
WANTED a Young Man in the above Business.
Apply to J. Wilson, Walpole St. Peter, Wisbech.
Norfolk News - 29th September & 27th October 1866

To Millers and Bakers
WANTED immediately, a steady Young Man as MILLER and BAKER and to make himself generally useful. None need apply who is not a miller.
Apply personally to W. Bennington, Walpole St. Peter's Mill.
Lynn Advertiser - 28th October 1871

To Let, a Tower Wind-mill and Baking Office in full trade.
Apply R. Munson, St. Peter's Lodge, Walpole, Wisbech.
Lynn Advertiser - 15th & 22nd May 1875

Wanted, a single young man as Miller to run a tower wind-mill, one with a knowledge of baking preferred. Liberal wages given to a temperate honest person.
Address, J. A. Peele, Walpole St. Peter near Wisbech.
Lynn Advertiser - 20th November 1875

12th August 2005
12th August 2005

Here's some information about Walpole Highway tower mill, and its decline;
Machinery; a 1946 photograph reveals that this mill had a Lag governor. These are very rare today.
In 1951 the mill was Grade 2 listed, as it was in good condition. In 1954, the mill was externally in good condition with stocks and clamps still in place, and the fanstage. In 1956 it was put on the County Council planner's list of 18 Norfolk windmills that were considered worth renovating. This year it looked pretty much the same but with the ball finial on the top of the cap missing. But Peter Dolman had a later photo that shows it with the stocks and cap gallery railing removed, and the fanstage had been sawn off in 1960. In 1969, because the cap had deteriorated a lot, it was considered that the best thing to do was to remove the cap. Although the cap was probably leaking by this time, removing it left the tower completely open to the sky. I do not know if the machinery was removed at this time, or if it had been removed before. There is none now. As far as I know, all that is left in the tower are the beams.
Sue Burden - 22nd February 2017

White's 1836: Michael Brown, corn miller

White's 1845: Samuel Giddens, corn miller & farmer

White's 1854: Samuel Giddens, corn miller & farmer (landowner)

White's 1864: Samuel Giddens, farmer (landowner) Hill House

Kelly's 1879: John Batch, miller & farmer
Kelly's 1879: William Giddens, farmer, Hill House

White's 1883: Thomas White, corn miller & baker

White's 1890: William Giddens, farmer, Hill House

Kelly's 1892: Richard Giddens, farmer, Hill House
Kelly's 1892: William Giddens, farmer

Kelly's 1896: William Giddens, farmer, Hill House

Kelly's 1900: William Giddens, farmer, Hill House

Kelly's 1904: William Giddens, farmer, Hill House

Kelly's 1908: Mrs. Rhoda Giddens, farmer, Hill House


October 1790: Mill advertised for sale by auction

Poll Book 1802: George Baxter, miller

O.S. map 1824: Windmill

Bryant's map 1826: Windmill

White's 1836: John Batch, corn miller

White's 1845: John Batch, corn miller & shopkeeper

1846: John Batch, miller

1853: John Batch, miller

White's 1854: John Batch, corn miller & baker

1856: John Batch, miller

1858: Mrs. Rebecca Batch, miller

August 1861: Mill advertised to be let

1863: Mrs. Rebecca Batch, miller

White's 1864: William Clayton, baker & corn miller

1865: William Clayton, miller

1866: John Wilson, miller

1868: John Wilson, miller & baker

1871: William Bennington, miller

1872: William Bennington, miller & baker

May 1875: Mill advertised to be let

1875: William Loweth, miller & baker

1878: William Loweth, miller & baker

Kelly's 1879: Alfred Robert Loweth, miller, Highway

Kelly's 1883: James Cooper & Son, millers (wind) & bakers, Highway

1888: James Cooper & Son, millers

O.S. map 1889: Windmill

White's 1890: Cooper & Son, corn millers

1890: Two additional floors added to mill tower

Kelly's 1892: James Cooper & Son, millers (wind & steam) Highway

Kelly's 1896: Herbert Cooper, millers (wind & steam) Highway

Sketch 1899: Mill with anticlockwise sails

Kelly's 1900: Herbert Cooper, millers (wind & steam) Highway

Kelly's 1904: Herbert Cooper, millers (wind & steam) Highway

c.1905: Herbert Cooper bought Tilney St. Lawrence towermill

Kelly's 1908: Herbert Cooper, miller (wind & steam) Highway

Sunday 22nd February 1908: Mill damaged in a severe gale

Kelly's 1912: Herbert Cooper, miller (wind & steam) Highway

Kelly's 1916: Herbert Cooper, miller (wind & steam) Highway

Kelly's 1922: Herbert Cooper, miller (wind & steam) Highway

Kelly's 1925: Herbert Cooper & Son, millers (wind & steam) Highway T N Terrington St. John 14

1926: Mill working

Kelly's 1929: Herbert Cooper & Son, millers (wind & steam) Highway T N Terrington St. John 14

Kelly's 1933: Herbert Cooper & Son, millers (wind & steam) Highway T N Terrington St. John 14

Karl Wood painting 1933: Mill in working order

1935: Two new pairs of double shuttered sails installed

Kelly's 1937: Herbert Cooper & Son, millers (wind & steam) Highway T N Terrington St. John 214

Barbara Jones painting 1947: Mill intact with 4 single shuttered sails

1947: Mill ceased working and sails removed

1949: Mill derelict

1951: Mill Grade II listed

O.S. map 1963: Windmill

1969: Cap removed

2011: Mill tower standing

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 TF51551426
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Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2005