Lakenham
Ber Street Gates
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The Ber Street Gates mill in Carrow was working in the 1200s.


On the west part of this church (St. Peter Southgate) lie the hills called Butter Hills, corruptly for BOETELER's or BUTLER's hills, part of which were owned by John de BOTELER and after that by Hubert de HOE and Agnes his wife, THOMAS the fellmonger and Isabella his wife, who gave it in free alms to the Prioress of Carrow, there being then a windmill on that part of it which reached the city ditch, the walls being then not built . . .
Blomefield's History of Norfolk, Vol. IV

There was a mill on the "Butler Hills" before 1300 and one is just visible to the right of the Black Tower on Carrow Hill on the 1723 map. This is called "Botelers Hill" and today it is known as Carrow Hill. The site of the mill was just outside the City Walls and probably lies on what is now Ice House Lane, between Carrow Hill and Bracondale. The mill seems to have gone by 1782. The following advert may relate to the site.


A WINDMILL
To be LETT for a long Term of Years, a Piece of Land, within half a Mile of Ber-street-gate, on which might be erected a Windmill, with singular advantage.
For the several Particulars enquire of James Crowe, Esq. at Tuck's-wood.
A MALT-HOUSE in Lakenham to be lett, VERY CHEAP, Enquire as above.

Norfolk Chronicle - 16th November 1782


The following accident happened near the site of the mill and is included for interest:

On Wednesday an inquisition was taken by Thomas Marks, Gent, on Henry Cooper, aged 22 years, who, jumping off a dray (laden with two mill stones) which he was driving on Bracondale Hill, unfortunately fell so that the wheels passed over his body, by which means he was mortally injured, and died soon after.
Norfolk Chronicle - 11th August 1798

Here was an ancient HOSPITAL or nunnery dedicated to St. Mary and St. John, which, King Stephen having given lands and meadows without the South Gate, SEYNA and LEFTELINA, two of the sisters in 1146 began the foundation of a new monastery called . . . CARROW . . . consisted of a PRIORESS and nine Benedictine black nuns . . .
This house was endowed by the founder and other benefactors with its site and lands adjoining, both within the walls and without and with all the liberties that belonged to those lands when they were in King Stephen's hands as SOC and SAC, TOLL and TEAM and INFANGENETHEEF; by which liberty they had a common gallows near their windmill standing on the hill by Berstreet gates . . .

Blomefield's History of Norfolk, Vol. IV

In this year (1252) being the 37th of Henry III, the King granted his royal license to the citizens to enclose their city with a large ditch, they being then in possession of all their liberties.
Blomefield's History of Norfolk, Vol. III

From the above extracts from Blomefield, Vols. III and IV it appears that the windmill was there at some time between 1252 and 1294, but whether it was inside or outside the ditch and later walls is uncertain.
Harry Apling - c.1982


Part of Botelers Hills . . . Thomas the Fellmonger and Isabella his wife. In the grant by the latter there is mention of a windmill on that part of it which reached the city ditch . . .
Walter Rye, Carrow Abbey otherwise Carrow Priory ref. Blomefield Vol. IV - 1889


We have no further information on the boundaries of the city until a case brought before the King in 1235 shows them to have been by then disputed. The bailiffs claimed that a windmill standing IN CAMPO was part of the city and they had distrained upon its owner for land gavel. The owner maintained that it was outside the city and part of a royal hundred. The citizens subsequently admitted that the mill was in an outside hundred and outside the ditch of the city. It is not clear exactly what was at issue. But it appears that the city's jurisdiction in one area at least did not stretch beyond its ditch. After the new or extended ditch was built in 1253 . . .
James Campbell, The Atlas of Historic Towns - 1975


c.1273: Mill working near Ber Street Gates

T. Starling's Plan of Norwich 1819: Circular building shown at NGR below


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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-1300 to 1723+
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