New Catton Philadelphia Lane
towermill
(south)

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Drainage Windpumps
Steam Mills

A towermill used as a cornmill stood on the south side of Philadelphia Lane on the east side of the Aylsham Road. Two relatively small towermills, used as sawmills, stood opposite on the north side of Philadelphia Lane, one to the east and the other slightly to the west.


The mill used patent sails to power one pair of 4 ft. 9 ins. and one pair of 4 ft. 6 ins.French burr stones, along with a flour mill and jumper.
The sails were 30 feet long and 8 feet wide on 50 ft. stocks.


John Fisher Gurling may have built this tower mill in the early 1820’s. Mrs. Gurling was listed at Philadelphia in Blyth’s Directory of 1842 and James Vassar was the miller in 1845. He had previously been at Cann's_mill, on the opposite side of Philadelphia Lane. In 1851 he was given as a miller living in Peacock Street Opening, St. Paul’s with his wife Amelia, (30). In 1861 he was given as a miller aged 42 lodging at the Lord Howe’s Public House, St. Gregory’s. He was described as a widower in the 1861 census.  However, his 2nd wife Amelia Vassar was living with his children at her mother's (Elizabeth Gurling) house in Norwich as detailed in the 1861 census.  This is also confirmation that Amelia was sister of James' first wife, Ann.


It may have been standing in 1841 when James Vassar made an assignment.


NOTICE.

JAMES VASSAR of the city of Norwich, Miller and Baker having by Indenture dated the sixteenth day of February instant, assigned all his Estate and Effects to a Trustee for the equal benefit of his Creditors. Notice is hereby given, that the Deed of Assignment is lying at our Office for the signature of such Creditors as may elect to execute the same within two Calendar Months from the date thereof. The Trustee also requests that the Creditors will send a statement of their respective claims to us immediately, that the same may be examined. – Dated this 18th day of February, 1841.
BECKWITH, DYE & KITTON,
Solicitors to the Trustee.
Norfolk Chronicle - 20th February 1841


James Vassar was baptised on 3rd June 1817 in Mattishall. He married Anne Elizabeth Gurling, the daughter of John Fisher Gurling, millwright, in July 1838. John Fisher Gurling was a millwright who had premises at St. Martin at Oak Street and had died in 1827. A son, James, was born on the 20th April 1839 and in that year Robson's directory lists him as a miller living in St Magdalen Street.. In 1841 he was given as a miller aged 24, living in Sussex Street, St. Augustine’s with Ann (72), and George (1 week). His wife died on the 19th January 1844.


DIED.

Yesterday se’nnight, Ann Elizabeth, the beloved wife of Mr. James Vassar, miller, and eldest daughter of the late Mr. John Fisher Gurling, engineer, all of this city, in the 25th year of her age.
Norfolk Chronicle - 27th January 1844


John Brown was the next miller from 1853. He was born c.1796 in Norwich and in 1841 he was given as a miller aged 45 living in Philadelphia Lane, St. Clement’s with wife Sophia (39), son John (10) and daughter Caroline aged 1½. In 1851 he was given as a baker aged 55, born in Norwich living in the Baker’s Shop, Philadelphia Lane, St. Clement’s with wife Sophia (56), daughter Caroline (11) and son John aged 8.


John Gotts was the miller in 1858 having previously been at Costessey postmill and Elijah Eglington had taken the mill by 1863, John Gotts going to Costessey watermill. However, John Gotts moved back to Costessey postmill in 1889. Elijah Eglington was born c.1828 at Great Witchingham and had previously been brought up at Horsham St. Faiths watermill. He was given in White’s Directory of 1868 as a corn miller and in Harrod’s Directory of 1868 as a corn miller at Magdalen Street. The mill was for auction in February 1872.


To Let, a TOWER WINDMILL driving two pairs of Stones.
Apply to Mrs. Girling, at Mrs. Vasser's, New Catton, Norwich.

Norfolk News - 15th December 1866


TOWER WINDMILL to be LET with immediate possession, driving two pairs of Stones etc. complete, situate at Philadelphia, St. Clements Without.
Apply to Mr. C. J. Bream, Grocer etc. Upper Market.
Norfolk News - 30th November & 7th December 1867

Houses etc.
TOWER WINDMILL to be Let at Philadel
phia near Norwich, driving two pairs of Stones, etc.
Apply to Mr. C. J. Bream, Upper Market.
Norfolk News - 27th August, 3rd, 10th & 17th September 1870


During the time of Elijah Eglington's tenure and for some considerable time after, the mill was known as Eglington's mill.


TO BE SOLD, pursuant to an Order of the High Court of Chancery, made in a Cause of GIRLING v BREAM, with the approbation of the Vice-Chancellor, Sir RICHARD MALINS, in two Lots, by

MR. WILLIAM HUNTER

The person appointed by the said Judge, at the Maid’s Head Hotel, Norwich, on Thursday, the 8th day of February 1872, at Six for Seven o'clock in the Evening,A Piece of Freehold BUILDING LAND, St. Clement Without, Norwich, containing, with a moiety of Road, 32 Rods, with the Brick built TOWER WINDMILL and Tiled Shed thereon.
Printed Particulars and Conditions of Sale may be had gratis of Messieurs Miller, Son, and Stevens, of Bank Chambers, Norwich, Solicitors, and of Mr. William Hunter, the Auctioneer, at St. Andrew’s Plain, Norwich.
Dated this 18th day of January 1872.

H. PRICHARD,
Chief Clerk.

Norfolk Chronicle & Norfolk News - 27th January & 3rd February 1872

Elijah Eglington went to Stoke Holy Cross watermill by 1881. At this time his wife Elizabeth was aged 54 and he had two daughters, Ellen Mary Eglington (14), and Hannah Elizabeth Eglington aged 12.


William Smith took the mill. It may be the case that he owned the mill. He was born c.1809 at Cratfield, Suffolk and in 1851 was given as a carpenter at Philadelphia in St. Paul’s parish. He was listed in White’s Directory of 1854 as a stave cutter at Philadelphia. In 1861 he was given as a master mill sawyer aged 52 living in Philadelphia, St. Clement’s with his wife Maryann, 44, and daughter Caroline, 18. He was listed in Harrod’s Directory of 1868 as a sawyer at Philadelphia. However, it appears that he did not use the windmill for long as it seems to have been dismantled in the latter part of 1872.


UPPER HELLESDON

The Machinery, Fittings and Materials of a Brick Tower Flour Windmill.
F. Clowes is favoured with instructions to SELL the above by AUCTION, on Tuesday 1st of October 1872 at Philadelphia, Upper Hellesdon.
Particulars at the Auctioneer’s Offices, Bank Chambers, Norwich.
Norfolk Chronicle & Norfolk News - 21st September 1872

UPPER HELLESDON

THE MACHINERY, FITTINGS, AND MATERIALS OF A BRICK TOWER FLOUR WINDMILL, COMPRISING FOUR PATENT SAILS – EACH 30 FEET LONG BY 8 FEET; PAIR OF STOCKS, ABOUT 50 FEET LONG, IRON CURVEL, WIND TACKLE COMPLETE, CAPITAL IRON WINDSHAFT, IRON WALLOWER, SPUR WHEEL, PAIR OF IRON STONE NUTS ON GROVED SPINDLES, 2 PAIRS EXCELLENT FRENCH BURR MILL STONES, 4 FEET 9 AND 4 FEET 6, LARGE IRON BEVEL WHEEL, FLOUR MILL, JUMPER, HEAVY IRON SAIL AND OTHER BOLTS, BRASS BEARINGS, OLD IRON, AND SUNDRY FIREWOOD.
F. CLOWES is favoured with instructions to SELL the above by AUCTION, on Tuesday next, the 1st of October, 1872, in Lots, at Philadelphia, Upper Hellesdon, at Two o'clock in the Afternoon.
Further particulars may be obtained at the Auctioneer’s Offices, Bank Chambers, Norwich.
Norfolk Chronicle & Norfolk News - 28th September 1872

James Rumbolt may have been the miller in 1881. He had previously been at Costessey windmill and in 1881 he was given as a miller aged 50 born in Alburgh, Norfolk, living in Philadelphia, St. Clement Without with his wife Mary (58) sons George (22) and James (19) and daughter Mary Ann (26). Although the surname and birthplace are not the same many of the other details tie him in with James Rumball at Costessey Mill.


Morant's Map 1873
Morant's Map 1873
Mill marked in red
Cann's mill just to the north and Bird's mill to the immediate northeast in the adjacent plot
Upper Hellesdon Press Lane postmill lower left marked in blue

O. S. Map 1883
O. S. Map 1883
The mill stood on the vacant plot beside Cann's Buildings
The mill marked in red is Cann's Mill just to the northeast
Courtesy of NLS map images

c.1822: Mill built by John Girling

Bryant's map 1826: Windmill

O.S. map 1838: Windmill

February 1841: James Vasser made a Deed of Assignment

1842: Mrs. Girling, miller

1844: James Vasser, miller

1845: James Vasser, miller

1851: James Vasser, miller

1853: John Brown, miller

Kelly's 1854: John Brown, miller & baker, Philadelphia

1858: John Gotts, miller

1863: Elijah Eglington, miller

1864: Elijah Eglington, miller

1865: Elijah Eglington, miller

December 1866: Mill advertised to be let

November 1867: Mill advertised to be let

August 1870: Mill advertised to be let

1872: William Smith, miller

January 1872: Mill advertised for sale by auction

September 1872: Mill machinery advertised for sale by auction

1872: Mill dismantled and demolished

Morant's map 1873: Windmill


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 TG22461038
 
-1824 to 1872
All historical material within this page
© Michael Roots & Jonathan Neville
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