Carrow Hill
smockmill


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Norfolk Windmills


Carrow Hill smockmill was erected on Black Tower, which was one of the towers on Norwich city walls and was there by 1778


To be SOLD or LETT, all that Piece of Pasture and Garden Ground, planted with a Variety of Forest and other Trees, commonly called the WILDERNESS, with the Tower and other Buildings thereon erected, delightfully situated within the City Walls near to Bear Street Gate, and commanding a very beautiful and extensive Prospect, Leasehold of the Corporation of Norwich for a Term of 100 Years granted in the Year 1748.
For particulars enquire of Mr. Alderman Gay, or of Mr. Wright, Appraiser, St. Martin's at Palace, in Norwich.

Norfolk Chronicle - 9th May 1778

The reference to other Buildings thereon erected would have only referred to the windmill. The Wilderness was for auction again in August 1779.


THE WILDERNESS
To be SOLD by AUCTION,
by Mr. WILLIAM CHASE,
At his Auction Room, the Back of the Inns, on Saturday August 7,
between the hours of Four and Six in the Afternoon.
ALL that Piece of Pasture and Garden Ground, planted with a Variety of Forest and other Trees, commonly called the Wilderness, with the Tower and other Buildings thereon erected, delightfully situated within the City Walls near to Bear Street Gate, and commanding a very beautiful and extensive Prospect, Leasehold of the Corporation of Norwich for a Term of 100 Years granted in the Year 1748.
Norfolk Chronicle - 31st July 1779

Carrow Hill mill was a snuff mill and in 1783 the tenant was Walter Livingstone, who was described in Chase's Norwich directory as a Snuffmaker and Tobbaconist at 52, Market Place, with a Snuff Mill at the Wilderness. He appears to have retired from business by 1790. The mill was then used for driving cotton spinning machinery but the owner, William White, was bankrupt in 1800.


TO BE SOLD BY AUCTION
by Mr. BURT,

On Thursday, the 17th day of April, 1800, at Three o'clock in the afternoon, at the Angel Inn, in the Market-place, Norwich, in One or more Lots, by order of the Assignees of Mr. WILLIAM WHITE, a Bankrupt.
AN ESTATE called the WILDERNESS, most delightfully situated without Ber-street Gates, in the City of Norwich and commanding a most beautiful and highly picturesque prospect; consisting of a very good Dwellinghouse and about four acres of Land and Garden Ground, in the occupation of the Rev. Stephen Webster - also of a new erected Tenement and Garden, in the occupation of Charles Bevis - And an excellent Tower Wind Mill, with Work-rooms, Spinning-shops, and Buildings belonging, late in the possession of Mr. William White, and wherein his cotton Manufactory was carried on.
Also a Dwelling-house situate next the road leading to Bracondale, with the Buildings and Ground thereto belonging, now in the occupation of Abraham Watson, Cow-keeper.
The Premises are leasehold of the Corporation of Norwich,
For further Particulars apply to Mr. Ganning, or Mr. Grand, Attorney, St. Gile's-street, Norwich.

Norfolk Chronicle - 12th April 1800

To be RENTED immediately,
At the Wilderness, near Ber-street Gates.

A TOWER WINDMILL, lately used in the manufacturing of Cotton, with the Tower on which the Mill is situated; and an extensive range of Offices lately used as spinning rooms.
Also to be rented at Michaelmas next, a large GARDEN, well planted with fruit?trees, asparagus, strawberry, and raspberry beds; a shrubbery is annexed, and an alcove, with an elevated terrace walk, commanding an extensive and delightful prospect of the city, the river, and adjacent country.
Enquire of Mr. T. Greeves, St. Michael's Bridge, Norwich..

Norfolk Chronicle - 10th May 1800

The painting A panoramic View of Norwich by John Ninham shows a close-up view of the Black Tower with its windmill in the foreground, with the Castle and Cathedral in the distance.


A watercolour by an unknown artist, painted after 1810, by which time the old Carrow Bridge had been built nearby, shows the Black Tower surmounted by a small wooden tower without any sails. James Starke and John Thirtle show the mill in a similar state in other paintings.


The mill was a decagonal smock mill, painted brown, with a tall domed cap topped by a weathervane.An extension at the rear housed a large wheel for winding by endless chain. It had four common sails but no windows are shown. The mill itself probably only contained a vertical shaft for driving the snuff milling and succeeding cotton spinning machinery housed in the Black Tower itself. If the diameter of the top of the tower were estimated at 25ft., the mill would have been about 17ft. diameter at the base and about 30ft. to the top of the cap, with the sails spanning some 45ft. No doubt part of the top of the tower formed some kind of stage, or setting the sails would have been somewhat precarious.


The mill and machinery had been removed by 1833, when the Black Tower with its thatched roof and flagpole was struck by lightning and burnt out on 7th July that year.



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Nat Grid Ref TG23750762
 
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