New Catton Philadelphia Lane towermill
(west - Cann's Mill)

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Two relatively small towermills stood to the north of Philadelphia Lane on the east side of the Aylsham Road.
This 5 storey tower mill was the westerly one of the pair, often known as Cann's Mill, with the other mill, just to the northeast in the adjacent plot, often known as Bird's_Mill, The mill used patent sails with a fantail to power three circular saw benches that in 1885 were used for the manufacture of fish boxes.


Bailey Bird was the son of John and Elizabeth Bird (née Harrison) and was born on the 30th November 1794 and baptised on the 5th December 1794 in Diss.

Bailey Bird was married twice. The second marriage was to Maria Webster (b.1819 in Hevingham), the daughter of Robert and Elizabeth Webster. The wedding was in the January to March quarter of 1842 in Norwich. They had the following children:- Keziah Maria, baptised on the 15th March 1843 in St. Clement’s, Norwich 4; Robert Bailey, born 15th August 1844 and baptised 16th September 1844 in St. John Sepulchre, Norwich 5; Prudence Maria, born in the July to September quarter of 1847 4 and Hepzibah Maria, born on the 14th March 1849 in Philadelphia, St. Clement.

In 1851 Bailey Bird was given as a miller living in Philadelphia, St. Clement’s with his wife Maria (32), sons Peter M. (8) and Robert B. (5) and daughters K. M. (8), Prudence (3), and Hephzibah (2).
Also given in 1851 in Philadelphia was a Bailey Bird who was a sawyer at a wind mill. He had a wife Susan (30) and had been born in All Saints, Suffolk c.1823.

In 1856, a daughter, Rachel Mary, was born.


Samuel and John Cann were listed in Melville’s Directory of 1856 as timber merchants at the saw mills, Philadelphia. Samuel Cann was born c.1828 at Norwich and his wife was called Frances. John Cann was the son of Watling and Ann Cann and he was born c.1830 in Catton, Norfolk.
At this time the mill was owned by Bailey Bird and was put up for auction after his death in 1860. John Cann was the landlord of the Windmill public house, Millers Lane, St. Clement Without from 1842 to 1845 and Watling Cann was the landlord in 1845.


Bailey Bird died on the 26th April 1860.


DIED

On Thursday last, Mr. Bailey Bird, mill sawyer, of St. Clement’s without, aged 65.
Norfolk Chronicle - 28th April 1860

Bailey Bird owned both of the sawmills standing to the north of Philadelphia Lane.
He also owned the Cawston Black Mill.
They were all put up for auction after his death.


THREE TOWER WINDMILLS,
CAWSTON AND NORWICH,
TO BE SOLD BY AUCTION
Without Reserve,
BY MR H. J. MASON,

At the Bull Inn, Magdalen Street, Norwich, on Thursday, the 14th day of June 1860, at Five for Six o'clock in the Afternoon, by order of the Executors of the Will of Mr. Bailey Bird, deceased, in Lots.

Lot 1. All that Brick Tower WINDMILL, USED as a Saw-mill, well situated in Cawston, Norfolk, erected within the last eight years, with the Machinery and going Gears complete, now in the occupation of William Fuller, a yearly tenant, at the rent of £25 per annum.

Lot 2. All that substantially erected Brick Tower WINDMILL, used as a Saw-mill, situated at Philadelphia, near St. Augustine’s-gates, Norwich, with the Machinery and going Gears belonging thereto, and occupied therewith, and ~ Rods of Ground, late in the occupation of the deceased.

Lot 3. A Tower_WINDMILL, used as a Saw-mill, with Machinery and going Gears complete, A COTTAGE, with land, Garden, and Appurtances, late in the occupation of the deceased, adjoining the mill, and three Cottages near, now occupied by Miss Hannah Orton, James Revell, and the Widow, all situated at Philadelphia aforesaid.

The respective purchasers of Lots 2 and 3, will have the option of purchasing the Timber and other Trees, now lying on those Lots.
Immediate Possession may be had of the Mills, Yards, and Cottage, late in the occupation of Mr. Bird.
Part of the purchase money may remain on mortgage at 4½ per cent.
Particulars and Conditions of Sale may be had of Mr. W. L. Mendham, Solicitor, St. Andrew’s Broad-street; or of the Auctioneers, Norwich.
Norfolk Chronicle & Norfolk News - 26th May & 2nd June 1860


Watling Cann was listed in Hunt and Co.’s Directory of 1850 as a saw miller at Philadelphia. He was born c.1802 at Kenninghall, Norfolk and in 1851 was given as a wood merchant aged 49 living in Philadelphia, St. Clement’s parish with his wife Ann (61) and sons John (21), a sawyer and Reuben aged 18. He was listed in White’s Directory of 1854 as a stave cutter at Philadelphia.


In the 1861 census, John Cann was given as a mill sawyer aged 30 employing 2 men and 1 boy living in Philadelphia, St. Clement’s with his wife Caroline (21) and daughter Ann aged 10. It would appear that John had previously had an older wife.


Fatal Accident. – An inquest was held at the hospital, on Monday, by the Coroner, on the body of Robt. Palmer, in the employment of Mr. Cann, of the Philadelphia saw mills. The deceased was at Hevingham on the 16th of July, when in the act of coming down a tree he had placed on his gill, the horses sprang forward, and he was caught by the chin and thrown violently forward for some distance. He was removed to the hospital, where he died, on Saturday, from the effects of the injuries sustained. “Accidental” death was the verdict. Deceased leaves wife and six children.
Norfolk Chronicle - 27th July 1867


J. & S. Cann were listed in White’s Directory of 1868 as saw millers at Philadelphia and Harrod’s Directory as saw & planing millers.


In 1871 John Cann was given as a Sawyer at Wind Mill aged 40, living in Philadelphia Lane, St. Clement’s with his wife Clara (24), son John (6), and daughters Ann (20), Clara (1), and Henrietta aged 2 months; Samuel Cann was given as a Sawyer at Wind Mill, Partner with his Brother employing 2 men and 1 boy. He was aged 43, living in Philadelphia Lane, St. Clement’s with his wife Frances (41), sons Samuel (16), Watling aged 12 and daughter Martha (14). In 1881 John Cann was given as a retired tradesman aged 50 living in Philadelphia, St. Clement’s Without with wife Clarissa (34), son John (16) and daughters Clarissa (11), Haphira (8), Beatrice (5), Henrietta (3) and Alice aged 2.


Houses etc.

WITHIN Half a mile of Norwich, To Let for a term of years, a powerful WIND SAW MILL in first rate repair, with Gas laid in and Three Circular Saw Benches, drives with more power than any other wind saw mill near Norwich. To view and terms, apply S. Cann, Philadelphia, Norwich.
Norfolk News - 21st September 1872


Philadelphia, Norwich

Iron faced Saw Bench, Circular Saws, Cross-Cut and Pit Saws, Boards, capital Pony, excellent Whitechapel Cart, Pony Tumbril, Harness, Chaff Engine, Sacks, Ladders etc.
Messrs. Hunter Are instructed by Messrs. J. & S. Cann (who have disposed of the Business) to Sell by Auction upon the Premises, the Saw Mills, Philadelphia, Norwich, the EFFECTS as above on Tuesday January 14, 1873.
The Sale will commence at Twelve o'clock.
Offices St. Andrews Hall Plain, Norwich.
Norfolk News - 11th January 1873


Houses etc.
PHILADELPHIA near NORWICH

TO BE LET, a WIND SAW MILL, with Three Circular Saw Benches and Going Gear complete, with large Premises and Shed, now in the occupation of Mr. C. R. Gallant, Brush Board Cutter etc. whose tenancy expires at Christmas next.
For particulars apply to Samuel Cann, Bailey Street, Dereham Road; or of J. Cann, opposite the Mill.
Norfolk News - 20th & 27th November 1875


Houses etc.
PHILADELPHIA near NORWICH

TO BE LET, a WIND SAW MILL, with Three Circular Saw Benches and Going Gear complete, with large Premises and Shed, now in the occupation of Mr. C. R. Gallant, Brush Board Cutter etc. whose tenancy expires at Christmas next.
For particulars apply to S. Cann, St. Gregory's Church Alley; or of J. Cann, opposite the Mill.
Norfolk News - 4th, 11th & 18th December 1875


PHILADELPHIA St. Clements Without, Norwich
Messrs. Hunter

Have received instructions from Mr. Cann to Sell by Auction at the Royal Hotel, Norwich, on Tuesday August 1, 1876 at 6 for 7 o'c
All that excellent Brick WIND-SAW-MILL
In five Floors, with Patent Sails, Revolving Cap to wind herself, Drums, Shafting, three Sawing Benches and Machinery complete, in capital working order. Also the Mill Yard with the Cart shed and Drying shed thereon, containing with the Building Sites about 50 Rods. Tenure Freehold. Outgoings none.
Particulars on application to the Auctioneer or to

Sad & Linay,
Solrs. Norwich
Norfolk Chronicle - 22nd & 29th July 1876

PHILADELPHIA LANE, ST. CLEMENT’S WITHOUT, NORWICH.

JAMES MOBBS is instructed by the Mortgagee to Sell by Auction, at the Norfolk Hotel, Norwich, on Wednesday, March 7th, 1883, at Six for Seven o'clock in the Evening, in One or Two Lots.
All that capital Piece of Freehold BUILDING LAND, situate in and having a frontage of 98 feet to Philadelphia Lane, and containing 45 Rods or thereabouts; together with the very substantially-erected BRICK TOWER WINDMILL, having five floors, with the Machinery and going Gear consisting of 2 Pairs of Pattern Sails, Capping and Fly Wheel, Head Wheel, Bell Wheel, Drums, Shafting, 2 Circular Saw Benches, &c.
Also a Wood and Tiled CART SHED, &c. lately occupied by Mr. Samuel Cann.

Particulars and Conditions of Sale may be obtained at the Auctioneer’s Offices, Orford Hill, Norwich; and of S. Garerd Hill, Esq., Opie Street, Norwich, Vendor’s Solicitor.
Norfolk Chronicle, 24th February & 3rd March 1883

The above was offered as one Lot and was withdrawn at £160.
On Christmas day, 1884, John Cann’s eldest daughter died.


DIED.

NICHOLS.- On the 25th ult., at her residence, No. 16, Bull Close Road, Ann Elizabeth, the beloved wife of Henry L. Nichols, and eldest daughter of John Cann, of Philadelphia, Norwich, in her 35th year.
Norwich Mercury - 3rd January 1885


In 1885, Samuel Cann, 57, of Old Palace Road, was summoned for £32. 1s. 4d. for failing to repair part of Philadelphia Lane, which did not exist in 1824. It was stated in evidence that the saw mills were used to produce fish boxes. The mills had all been demolished by this time and houses built on their sites.


. . . that operated by S. & J. Cann until the 1860s was commemorated for more than a century by the name of Sawmill Buildings in Philadelphia Lane.
When windmills ground the city's flour, R. W. M., Eastern Daily Press - 13th April 1970

Morant's Map 1873
Morant's Map 1873
Mill marked in red - Bird's mill just to the northeast in the adjacent plot
Eglington's mill just to the south
Upper Hellesdon Press Lane postmill lower left marked in blue

O. S. Map 1883
O. S. Map 1883
Mill marked in red - Bird's mill just to the northeast had been in the adjacent plot
Upper Hellesdon Press Lane towermill lower left
Courtesy of NLS map images

1876: Alfred Walker, sawmiller at Sprowston northern sawmill

White's 1888 Alfred Walker, saw mill proprietor, St. Augustus Rd., Philadelphia

Kelly's 1892: Alfred Walker, Aylsham Road, sawyer


1841: Bailey Bird, miller

Hunt’s 1850: Bailey Bird, saw miller, Philadelphia

Kelly's 1854: Bailey Bird, timber dealer, Philadelphia

White’s 1854: Bailey Bird, stave cutter, Philadelphia

Melville’s 1856: Samuel & John Cann, timber merchants, saw mills, Philadelphia

1859: Samuel Cann, saw mill

26th April 1860: Bailey Bird died

May 1860: Mill advertised for sale by auction along with the adjacent tower sawmill and Cawston Black Mill

Census 1861: John Cann (30) mill sawyer employing 2 men and 1 boy
Caroline Cann (21) wife
Ann Cann (10)
Address: Philadelphia, St. Clement’s .

White’s 1868: J. & S. Cann, saw millers at Philadelphia

Census 1871: John Cann (40) Sawyer at Wind Mill
Clara Cann (24) wife
Ann Cann (20)
John Cann (6)
Clara Cann (1)
Henrietta Cann (2 mnths)
Address: Philadelphia Lane, St. Clement’s .

Census 1871: Samuel Cann (43) Sawyer at Wind Mill, partner with brother employing 2 men and 1 boy Frances Cann (41) wife
Samuel Cann(16)
Martha Cann (14)
Watling Cann (12)
Address: Philadelphia Lane, St. Clement’s .

1872: Samuel Cann, sawyer

September 1872: Mill advertised to be let

Morant's map 1873: Windmill

c.January 1873: J. & S. Cann disposed of the business

January 1873: Business effects of J. & S. Cann advertised for sale by auction

1875: Clement Rolling Gallant, brush board cutter

November 1875: Mill advertised to be let

July 1876: Mill advertised to be sold by auction

O.S. map 1883: Sawmill

1883: Clement Rolling Gallant, brush board cutter

February 1883: Mill advertised for sale by auction

Kelly's 1883: Alfred Walker, saw mill proprietor & brush wood cutter, Philadelphia Windmill

c.1884: Mill demolished


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Nat Grid Ref TG22451043
 
-1836 to 1884+
All historical material within this page
© Michael Roots & Jonathan Neville
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