Owners of the Post Mill
The Statement of Claims for the Great Ellingham Inclosure of 1800 includes a claim by Thomas Steward for one messuage, one Windmill and one acre of land (all freehold) which he occupied.
He also claimed rights for the pasture of cattle on the commons and waste lands of the village and rights of cutting and taking firing, taking sand and clay for repairs, and any other rights he enjoyed with his property.
The document also shows that Thomas Steward occupied a barn and land comprising 26 acres and 3 rood which was owned by Joseph Flodman Clover.
The Inclosures Particulars and Valuation of 1800 also mentions Thomas Steward. He is said to own and occupy a house, outbuildings, mill yard and garden; and allotments in Mill Field and Sixteen Acres.
The Valuation document also confirms that Thomas also occupied land owned by Joseph Clover. This included pieces of land named Dirty Grip Close, Pennell Pightle, Mill Close, Mill Pightle as well as allotments on Ravens Croft and Pennell Common.
A notice for the proposed sale of a freehold messuage with stable and outbuildings (in good repair) and a Capital Post Wind Mill in Great Ellingham appeared in the Norfolk Chronicle on 2nd April 1808.The premises were well situated for trade and there was about three acres of land adjoining. The owner at that time was Daniel Mack.
Wikipedia describes a Post Mill as “the earliest type of European windmill. It’s defining feature is that the whole of the body of the mill that houses the machinery is mounted on a single vertical post, around which it can be turned to bring the sails into the wind”.
A map dated 1819 showing the extent of land in Great Ellingham owned by John Barnard, shows the position of the Post Mill which adjoined land owned by John Barnard.
The Mill with associated buildings and land was situated on the left hand side of the Mill Lane track (heading towards Rocklands) not far from the junction with Crinkle Crankle Lane. This 1819 map shows the owner of the Mill at that time to be “Bowles“.
The Norfolk Chronicle of 30th September 1820 gave notice of the sale by Auction at the Crown Inn, Great Ellingham at four o’clock in the afternoon of Friday, October 6th, 1820 of a “Capital Post Mill with two pair of French stones, and going gears complete”; a dwelling house and cottage, barn, stable and outbuildings (all in good repair) and about one acre of arable land adjoining. The proprietor was Mr William Bowles.
A later map dated 1842 (again showing land owned by John Barnard) but using information from a survey taken in 1829, shows that the Mill was then owned by a Mr Taylor.
Norfolk Mills website suggests that Garrett Oddin Taylor was the owner of the Post Mill in 1844 and that his tenant was John Sayer and others.
Who were the Millers who occupied the Post Mill in Mill Lane?
Thomas Steward: Baptisms for at least 11 children of Thomas Steward and his wife Elizabeth appear in the Great Ellingham Parish Registers between 1771 and 1782 including twin girls baptised in 1775. Burials appear for 6 of the children (including the twins).
Daniel Mack: I cannot find any entries for the Mack family in the Parish Registers around the time of Daniel Mack’s ownership of the Post Mill in 1808. In any event, he may not have occupied the Mill.
William Bowles: A baptism for Matthew, son of William Bowles and his wife Mary, appear in the Great Ellingham Parish Registers on December 5th, 1813. William Bowles is described as a Miller. Sadly, William and Mary Bowles buried their son Matthew just a few days later on December 13th.
I have not found any other children for this couple in Great Ellingham Parish Registers. There are two earlier baptism entries for sons of a William and Mary Bowles in the Great Ellingham Parish Registers for 1753 (Stephen) and 1754 (Richard) but these entries are 40 years prior to the baptism of Matthew. However they may well be connected to the later William and Mary Bowles.
John Sayer: The census of 1841, shows John Sayer described as a Miller living in Great Ellingham with his wife, Mary Anne Sayer, Apprentice Miller John Saunders aged between 15-19 and servant William Whenn of a similar age. The census does not show exactly where John Sayer was living other than that he was living on the south west side of the road leading from Attleborough to Watton.
The Great Ellingham Parish Registers include marriages for two children of Miller John Sayer. John Watling Sayer (of St Margaret’s, Norwich) married Ann Guyton of the parish on April 6th, 1841. Two years later, Sarah Sayer married James Standley of Watton on April 27th, 1843.
By 1851, John and Sarah Sayer moved from Great Ellingham to Attleborough. By 1861, the couple had moved to Rockland All Saints. John and Sarah Sayer were still living in Rockland All Saints in 1871.
John Sayer died at Rockland All Saints in July, 1871 and was buried in the churchyard at Great Ellingham on July 29th. Sarah Sayer died in Great Ellingham and was buried alongside her husband on April 27th, 1877.
Left: Headstone for John & Sarah Sayer in Great Ellingham churchyard
Jeremiah Fielding: The census of 1851 shows 28 year old Jeremiah Fielding born Rockland All Saints as a Miller in Mill Lane, Great Ellingham.
Living with Jeremiah is his 29 year old wife Mary Ann (also born Rockland All Saints), their one year old son John Joseph and Mary Ann’s sister Elizabeth Harvey. 15 year old Robert Duffield born Old Buckenham is Jeremiah’s apprentice.
William Stackwood: 10 years later (1861), 24 year old Miller, William Stackwood, has moved into Mill Lane, Great Ellingham with his family – 23 year old wife Elizabeth, children Hannah aged 4, John 2 and four month old Louisa born in Great Ellingham. William’s grandmother, 78 year old widow Martha Miles is also with the family along with a journeyman miller, 25 year old Charles Chaston. The Stackwood family had moved out of Great Ellingham by 1871.
George Butler: Possibly the last family to live at the Mill in Mill Lane was the Butler family.
1842 Great Ellingham Estate Map: estate of John Barnard held at the Norfolk Record Office catalogue reference DS 80
1819 Map of estate of John Barnard at Great Ellingham held at the Norfolk Record Office catalogue reference MC 2580
1800 Inclosure Commissioner’s Particulars and Valuation held at the Norfolk Record Office catalogue reference MC 2213/119, 941X7
Norfolk Mills Website http://www.norfolkmills.co.uk/Windmills/gt-ellingham-postmill.html – accessed 01.07.2019
Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post_mill – accesssed 01.07.2019
Norfolk Chronicle 2nd April 1808
Norfolk Chronicle 30th September 1820
Great Ellingham Parish Registers Norfolk Record Office PD/609. Also available at FamilySearch.org https://www.familysearch.org/search/image/index?owc=4J8C-CB7%3A29627201%3Fcc%3D1416598
1841 census HO107/781/8
1851 census HO107/1823/52; HO107/1823/112
1861 census RG9/1237/127; RG9/1237/82
1871 census RG10/1841/121