Upper Hellesdon
Press Lane postmill

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Norfolk Windmills

This postmill was the first of three mills on this site and was known as St Clement's Mill, being shown on a 1741 map. The two postmills appear on this page and the later Upper Hellesdon towermill on a separate page.

To be Sold,

The windmill without St. Augustine's Gates, late in the possession of Thomas Youngman, with the remainder of the lease (being 14 years to come) of a piece of ground on which the mill stands and several Pieces of land thereto adjoining. For further particulars enquire of Mr. De Hague, Attorney in Norwich.
Norwich Mercury - 3rd August 1754

Joseph Robinson was the miller in 1777, when he took out insurance on the mill.

Royal Exchange Fire Insurance Policy No. 69648.

6th January 1777. Joseph Robinson of the City of Norwich, Miller. On a Corn Windmill timber built situate near the road leading to Mile Cross Without St. Augustine's Gates belonging to the City of Norwich aforesaid £350. On goods in trust £50.

To be SOLD

A capital WIND-MILL, situated in the Parish of Hellesdon, and near to St. Augustine's Gates of the City of Norwich, carrying two pair of French Stones, one pair 5 Feet 6 Inches, and the other 4 Feet in diameter, and a full-sized FLOUR-MILL, with all the going Geers in the best condition; together with a round House at the bottom of the Mill, 24 Feet in the clear. Also a Lease of eight Acres of Land (on part whereof the Mill stands) for twenty-one Years from October next.
Enquire of Mr. Robertson, Miller, at his House near St. Augustine's Gates; or of Mr. Harmer, Attorney, at Norwich.
N.B. Two Hundred Pounds of the Purchase Money may remain on interest if agreeable to the Purchaser.

Norfolk Chronicle - 24th May 1784

The mill was not sold and it was put up for auction in April 1786.


At the KING'S HEAD, in the Market-Place, Norwich, on Wednesday the 26th Day of this Instant April, at Three o'Clock in the Afternoon, subject to such Conditions of Sale as shall then and there be produced unless sooner disposed of by private Contract, of which timely notice will be given in this Paper),
THAT capital and compleat POST WIND MILL, with two Pair of French Stones; one about four Feet, the other five Feet and a half diameter, with Flour Mill, Going-geers, Brasses and Ropes thereto belonging. There is a very spacious Round House under the Mill, and the whole is in excellent Condition, it being of few Years standing, and much improved at a considerable Expence. The situation is desirable, near to the great Road between St. Augustine's Gates and Mile Cross.
Also a Term in a Lease, nineteen Years of which will be unexpired at Michaelmas 1786, of the Mill Yard and Garden, and two Inclosures of Arable Land adjoining, containing about eight Acres, and now in the occupation of Mr. Joseph Robinson, Miller, who will shew the Premises.
Enquire of Mr. Harmer, Attorney at Law, or Mr. Back, Land Steward, Norwich.

Norfolk Chronicle - 8th April 1786

The mill may have been demolished in 1813 and replaced by another post mill. It is unclear whether this was a major rebuild of the previous mill or a replacement. George Shafto appears to have been the millwright who did the work. John Hawks was the miller but he died in March 1813. The mill was then to let in October 1813.


A Capital POST WIND-MILL, with Round-house, and Granary, capable of containing 20 score Wheat, two pairs of excellent French Stones, with French Regulators, flour Mill and Cylinder complete, the Mill and Machinery are in the most excellent repair, and situate within half a mile of the city.
Application may be made to Mr. Shafto, Millwright, St. Martin's at Oak.
Possession may be had immediately.
Norwich, 7th October 1813.

Norfolk Chronicle - 9th October 1813

Thomas Dyball was the next miller and he was at the mill until October 1816.

At the Black Horse Inn, St. Giles's, on Saturday, the 21st day of September, inst. precisely at 4 o'clock in the afternoon.

A Capital POST-WINDMILL, recently erected, 13 feet and a half wide and 19 feet long, with two pair of excellent French Stones; the head stone 5 feet 2 inches, the other 4 feet diameter; roundhouse with two floors, flour mill, and cylinder, the whole in complete repair, together with one acre and a half of good arable land, now in the occupation of Thomas Dyball.
The above is Freehold, remarkably well situated for wind and work; a short distance without St. Augustine's Gates, Norwich, next the turnpike-road leading to Aylsham.
Possession may be had on the 11th October next, and a good part of the purchase-money may remain on mortgage.
For further particulars apply to Marsh and Barnard, Solicitors, Bank-street, Norwich.

Norfolk Chronicle - 7th September 1816

The mill was not sold and it was again advertised in November 1816.

To be LET or SOLD

A capital POST WINDMILL, with two pair of French Stones, Flour Mill and Cylinder, in good repair, a short distance from Norwich, by applying to G. Shaftoe, Millwright, Norwich.
Norfolk Chronicle - 16th November 1816

The mill was offered for sale or let several times over the next few years.


A Capital POST WINDMILL, with two pair of French Stones, Flour-mill, &c. Dwelling-house, Stable and outhouse.
For price and particulars apply to G. Shafto, Millwright.
Norfolk Chronicle - 20th September 1817


A Capital POST WINDMILL, with two pair of French Stones, Flour Mill, &c. all the going gears with immediate possession.
For further particulars apply to G. Shafto, Millwright.

Norfolk Chronicle - 7th March 1818

With Immediate Possession,

A Capital POST WIND MILL, near Norwich, now in full trade, with two pairs of French Stones, flour-mill, and cylinder, and all the going gears complete and in good repair, with about an acre and a half of Land.
For further particulars apply to G. Shafto, Norwich, if by letters, post-paid.

Norfolk Chronicle - 24th June 1820

Millwright George Shafto was one of the executors of the estate of William Page, landlord of the Rose Inn, where the mill had been auctioned.

ALL persons indebted to the late Mr. WILLIAM PAGE, of the Rose Inn, St. Augustine's, Norwich, are requested to pay their respective Debts to his Executors, Mr. George Shafto, or Mr. W. Primrose, of Norwich, within one month from this date, or legal proceedings will be taken against them for recovery thereof.
Nov. 23d, 1820.
Norfolk Chronicle - 25th October 1820

On Saturday, November 25th, 1820,

At the Rose Inn, St. Augustine's, Norwich, precisely at four o'clock in the Afternoon
A New and substantial POST WINDMILL, admeasurement 19ft. by 12ft.with two pair of French Stones, flour mill, an jumper, and all her going gears complete; a round house, with a double floor; and about six acres and a half of land adjoining, together with a new-built and convenient Dwelling-house, cart-shed, and every other convenience. - The above premises are situated within a mile of Norwich, are now in full trade, and all freehold. Land-tax six shillings per annum. For Particulars apply to Mr. G. Shafto, Norwich; or to the Auctioneer, (if by letters, post-paid).

Norfolk Chronicle - 4th November 1820

William Primrose was the miller in February 1821, when the mill was again for sale.

To Millers, Bakers, and Others,
To be SOLD by Private Contract,

A Capital POST WIND-MILL, now in full trade, within the city of Norwich, with two pair of French Stones, flour mill, and all her going gears complete. - The above is under a lease to Mr. Wm. Primrose, which expires at Lady-day next, at which time possession will be given.
For further particulars enquire of Mr. G. Shafto, Millwright, Norwich - Letters to be post-paid.

Norfolk Chronicle - 17th February 1821

William Primrose seems to have been the purchaser of the mill. He worked it for a few years more until following the death of his wife in December 1823, he leased it to Robert Press.


Last week, in St. Augustine's, after a long and painful illness, borne with exemplary patience, in her 56th year, Jane Elizabeth, wife of Mr. William Primrose.
Norfolk Chronicle - 27th December 1823

Robert Press married a Miss Beloe on the 8th October 1825.


Saturday last, Mr. Robert Press, miller, of St. Augustine's, to Miss Beloe, daughter of Mr. John Beloe, manufacturer, of this city.
Norfolk Chronicle - 15th October 1825

Robert Press was in financial difficulty in 1829 and the mill was advertised to be let in July of that year. His assignment was also advertised over the next few months.

With Immediate Possession.

A Capital POST MILL, with Going Gears, and two Pair of French Stones, Flour Mill, &c. quite new; also a Dwelling House and Shop, next the road, with Garden, Stable, Piggery, Cart Shed, and two acres of Land, within half a mile of St. Augustine's Gates.
For particulars enquire of W. Primrose, Saint Augustine's, Norwich.

Norfolk Chronicle - 4th July 1829


THE Creditors of ROBERT PREST, of Hellesdon, in the County of the City of Norwich, Miller, who have not entered into any arrangement respecting payment of their debts, are requested to meet at the Rose Inn, St. Augustine's, Norwich, on Monday, the 17th day of August inst. at two o'clock precisely.
Norfolk Chronicle - 18th July 1829

ROBERT PREST'S Debtors & Creditors

NOTICE is hereby given, that ROBERT PREST, of Hellesdon, in the county of the city of Norwich, Miller, hath by Indenture bearing date the 28th day of August last, Assigned over all his personal Estate and Effects to Thomas Cooper, of East Dereham, Merchant, John West, of St. Faith's, Farmer and Benjamin Holmes, of Spixworth, Farmer, upon trust for the equal benefit of such Creditors, as shall execute the same within two calendar Months from the date thereof, which Indenture is now lying at our Office for the execution of the Creditors of the said Robert Prest, and such of them as shall refuse to execute the same within the time aforesaid, will be excluded the benefit arising therefrom.
ALL persons indebted to the said Robert Prest, are desired to pay the amount of their respective Debts to the said Trustees, or one of them, within One Month from the date hereof.
Attornies to the said Trustees.
Norwich, 10th Sept. 1829.

Norfolk Chronicle - 19th September 1829


A Capital POST MILL, with Going Gears, and two pair of French Stones, Jumper, Flour Mill &c. quite new; also a new Dwelling House, and Shop next the road, with Garden, Stable, Piggery, Cart Shed, and two acres of Land, within half a mile of St. Augustine's Gates.
For particulars enquire of W. Primrose, Saint Augustine's, Norwich.

Norfolk Chronicle - 31st October 1829

Robert Press's effects were put up for auction in November 1829.

At the Duke's Palace Wharf,
On Monday, the 9th of November 1829,
At Twelve o'clock,

A Capital Three-quarter FLOUR-MILL, a Dressing Machine, Sail Cloth, and about 200 Flour Sacks, in Lots, by Order of the Trustees or Mr. PREST, Miller.
Norfolk Chronicle - 7th November 1829

This was the last mention of Robert Press/Prest in connection with the mill. He died on the 4th September 1861.


On Wednesday last, aged 60, Robert Prest, formerly of Hellesdon, in this county.
Norfolk Chronicle - 7th September 1861

Joshua Reynolds was the next miller. He was born c.1804 at East Ruston. He was at the mill by 1839. In 1841 he was given as a miller aged 30-34 at Hellesdon with his wife Ann (30-34) and children Maryann, (5); Richard (3); Delia (2) and Joshua (4 months).

The mill was up for auction in June 1841.

Superior Post Windmill
Within half-a-mile of ST. AUGUSTINE'S GATES.
On Thursday, June 3rd, 1841,
At the Norfolk Hotel, St. Giles's-Street, Norwich,
At Four o'clock in the Afternoon,
In One Lot.

A Capital POST WINDMILL, with excellent brick round house, two pair of French Stones, cylinder, flour mill, patent sails, and all her gears in most complete order. The mill winds herself, and stands remarkably well in the wind. A comfortable Brick and Tiled DWELLING HOUSE, containing parlour, Keeping room, three bed rooms, store closets, kitchen, flour shop, wash house, scullery, with lead pump, and soft water pipe thereon, and arched cellar; two stalled stable and hayloft, ware-houses, piggery, cart shed and premises, all very convenient, and in excellent repair. A very neat Garden and piece of Arable Land, altogether containing 1A. 2R. 9P having a most valuable frontage of about 570 feet upon the road from Norwich to Aylsham, and admirably adapted for building purposes.
The Estate is situate in the Hamlet of Hellesdon, in the city of Norwich, and is now in the occupation of Mr. Joshua Reynolds.
ALL FREEHOLD, and no Annual Outgoings.
If required £450 may remain on Mortgage of the Property.
For particulars and conditions of Sale, apply to Mr. James Winter, Solicitor, St. Giles' Broad Street, or to the Auctioneer, Saint Andrew's Hill, Norwich.

Norfolk Chronicle - 22nd May 1841

The mill, by this time, had been modernised, patent sails replacing the earlier commons and a fantail had being added. The mill may have had an iron windshaft from new, or it would have most likely been mentioned in the advert if a new one had been fitted. Joshua Reynolds was listed in Blyth's Directory of 1842 as being at St. Faith's Road, Upper Hellesdon. He married on the 12th September 1848.

Joshua Reynolds was listed in Blyth's Directory of 1842 as being at St. Faith's Road, Upper Hellesdon. He married Charlotte Gray on the 12th September 1848.


Tuesday last, at Prince's-street chapel, by the Rev. John Alexander, Mr. Joshua Reynolds, Miller, of Hellesdon, near this city, to Charlotte, youngest daughter of the late Mr. Wm. Gray, Farmer, at Wymondham, in this county.
Norfolk Chronicle - 16th September 1848

Joshua Reynolds was listed in Hunt and Co.'s Directory of 1850 as a miller at Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Lane mills were not very far away but he was definitely at Hellesdon rather than Philadelphia Lane. In 1851 he was given as a miller aged 47 living in Aylsham Road with his wife Charlotte (43) and children, Richard (13); Sophia (11); Joshua (10) and Sarah (8). He was listed in White's Directory of 1854 as a corn miller in Aylsham Road and in Melville's Directory of 1856 as a miller (living?) in St. Augustine's Road and at Hellesdon. In 1861 Joshua Reynolds was given as a miller aged 57 employing 2 men and 1 boy living in Aylsham Road, Hellesdon with his wife Charlotte (53) and sons Richard (23) and Joshua (20). He worked the mill until 1862, when he took up farming. The mill was sold by auction in June 1862.

Is instructed by the Proprietor Mr. JOSHUA REYNOLDS, (who has taken a Farm in the County).
At the Norfolk Hotel, St. Giles' Street, Norwich,
On Wednesday, June 11th, 1862,
At Six o'clock in the Evening, in Three Lots, or in One, as may be determined at time of the sale.

Lot 1.
A Capital POST WINDMILL, driving two pair of Stones, with Patent Sails, Iron Shaft, Wind Tackle, Flour Mill and Jumper, Round-house, two Floors, and everything complete and in first-class condition. Also Granary, three stalled Stable, Piggery, and Covered Cart Shed. The above are now and have been for nearly thirty years in the occupation of the Proprietor, who, during that period, has done a thriving business, and who will introduce the Purchaser of the mill
Lot 2.
A very substantial and well-built Brick and Slated DWELLING-HOUSE, near the above, containing entrance hall, two front parlours, large kitchen, back kitchen, shop, store-room, commodious cellar, five bed-rooms, coal-house, lead pump, Yard, Outhouse and every convenience. Also a very excellent and tastefully laid out Flower Garden, Shrubbery, and Kitchen Garden, also in the occupation of the Proprietor. - Possession of this lot may be had on the 11th of October next.
Lot 3.
All that very valuable Piece of LAND, having a considerable frontage next the turnpike road leading from Norwich to Aylsham, called the "Mill Pightle," also occupied by the Proprietor.
The above Property presents an opportunity for occupation seldom offered to the public.

Norfolk Chronicle - 31st May 1862

William Witard took the mill. Smithdale's millwrights were at the mill in October 1865 repairing the steam engine and again in May and June 1866 repairing the stone spindles and brasses.


On the 4th inst., at Church-street, New Catton, Albert Ernest, second son of Mr. W. Witard, in his 6th year.
Norfolk Chronicle - 19th January 1867

Ephraim Witard was listed in White's Directory of 1868 as a miller in Hellesdon. He was born c.1839 in Belaugh.

In 1869 there was a robbery at the mill.


William Neve, labourer, in the employ of Chas. Cunnington, the Orchard Gardens, Heigham, was charged with stealing a reefing jacket, value 4s. 6d., the property of his master. He was further charged with stealing a silver watch, value £4, the property of E. Witard, the Mill, Hellesdon-road. - Mr. Mendham (the Town Clerk) prosecuted. - The prosecutor left his jacket in a drying shed on Thursday afternoon, and on going for it soon afterwards it was gone. The prisoner had been in his employ about six week. On Thursday night about nine o'clock, the prisoner went to the shop of Charlotte Thompson, a second-hand clothes dealer, in St. Miles, and sold the coat for 1s. 6d. - The prisoner condemned himself by saying it was not nine o'clock when he took the coat, but about eight o'clock. He was taken into custody by Detective Rushmore, who took the coat from Thompson's shop. - In the case of the watch, it appeared that in July last the prosecutor locked up his house, leaving the watch there. On returning the same day the property was missing. Upon searching the premises it was found house had been entered by the back window. The prisoner was seen by a person named Curtis, who lived opposite the prosecutor, to be hanging about the premises the day the watch was missed. - William Stone, a driver, bought the watch of the prisoner in July for 25s. He afterwards tried to pawn the watch at Owen's, but in consequence of what he heard there he placed the watch in the possession of the police. - The prisoner said Stone only gave him 4s for the watch, but this he denied, and the boy's mother had told his wife that if he (Stone) swore to the boy he would find himself in trouble. - The prisoner pleaded guilty to both charges, and the Bench sentenced him to one month's hard labour for the first offence, and two month's hard labour for the other, one sentence to commence at the termination of the other.

Norfolk Chronicle - 20th November 1869

In 1871 Ephraim Witard was given as a miller aged 32 living in Cromer Road, Hellesdon with his sons George A. (8) and Albert W. (7). Also living with him were his parents Stephen (81) and Maria (74).

The mill was dismantled in 1875 and was replaced by Upper Hellesdon Press Lane towermill.

To Millers, Millwrights, Builders and Others,
IS instructed to Sell by Auction on Tuesday August 17th 1875, in Lots, the Plant and Materials comprised in the

situate near Magdalen Gates, consisting of a pair of French Burr Stones, 3ft. 10in., a pair of 5ft. ditto, iron spur wheel, wind shaft, upright shaft, 2 stone nuts, stone spindles, flour mill reel and drums, 2 prs. govenors, oak post, crown trees and cross trees, capital oak scantling, studs &c., weather boards, large quantity of firewood, old iron pig troughs, cart harness, springs, axletrees, and miscellaneous effects.
The sale will commence at Eleven o'clock.
Offices - Bank Plain, Norwich.

Norfolk Chronicle - 14th August 1875

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