Friends of

Upminster Windmill

A timeline of Upminster Windmill

1801

1803

1812

1838

1844

1846

1849

1851

1857

1882

1889

1912

1916

1927

1934

1937

1946

1947

1948

1960

1961

1965

1968

1970

1983

2001

Today

William Nokes, James' brother takes tenancy of Bridge Farm which includes the field where the windmill now stands.

Tenancy of the Mill Field transferred to James Nokes. Mill built plus bakery and cottages.

Mill reported working at full capacity. Rateable value £28. Increased on 21 April to £77 due to capacity being increased by installing a steam engine driving two pairs of mill stones.

James Nokes dies and eight years later William also dies.

Thomas Abraham comes to Upminster Mill as foreman to Thomas Nokes with a wage of £1 per week.

Windmill and Bridge House Farm inherited by Thomas Nokes, James' son.

Whole estate put up for auction because it was so heavily mortgaged due to great expenditure on improvements.   The Sale Bill states  "…the Mill Estate, eligibly situated on a pleasing eminence on the High Road at Upminster, comprising a most substantial modern built Corn Mill, capable of dealing with very extensive business, with capital steam engine and all its appendages, driving five pairs of stones, and substantial Engine House, Granaries and Storage for a large quantity of corn.  Stabling and other suitable Outbuildings, with a modern well-built detached comfortable Residence.  This residence has been built about 10 years.  2 Millers Cottages and a pond full of water, together with a beautiful and productive meadow, containing 11 acres, 3 roods 1 perch, with several charming spots for building villas".

 

The whole estate is bought by Ambrose Colson for £2000 and sold shortly afterwards to James Wadeson.

Thomas Abraham back in Upminster running the Mill on wages of only eighteen shillings per week. For this pay he was expected to work night and day when the wind was good. He leaves to farm at Orsett.

Thomas Abraham buys the mill and surrounding land for £1,100.

Thomas Abraham dies and the mill passes to his younger son John Arkell Abraham.

Struck by lightning. Essex Herald reports  "such a storm was never known in this neighborhood before.  The lightning struck one of the top sails of Abraham's windmill and cut it to pieces; some of the pieces were thrown fifty yards and others were strewn all over the buildings.  It is believed that the mill must have been struck more than once, as the lightning went right through the top of the wind boards and then down the sack chain and fused the links together. 

 

The wind shaft snaps and the sails come crashing down. The residents of Upminster present John Abraham with a sum of money to help with the repairs which cost £200.

John Arkell Abraham dies and the mill passes to his two nephews, Alfred and Clement.  Alfred was the miller and Clement managed the business affairs.

Due to government controls during The Great War, and the growth of large scale milling, the windmill became less profitable. There was not enough corn available for milling and the mill was unable to work to capacity.

Romford Recorder reports:- "The terrific gale raging all Friday morning (March 25th) had a disastrous effect on one of the oldest landmarks of Upminster, the windmill.  The gale had been running south-east at a tremendous pace when a storm appeared from the south-west.  The fan was revolving at a great speed when this disturbance from the south-west struck it broadside and smashed it up completely sending pieces flying in many directions.  One large piece cleared the houses immediately behind it and sailing into the air over the road clattered down on the tiled porch-way of no. 24, Highview Gardens.  It was inevitable that before long the mill would reach the end of its working life.

The mill was auctioned and passed from the Abraham family. The last miller being Alfred Abraham who died in 1951 aged 95.  It was bought by Mr W H Simmons for £3,400.

The mill was for sale again and was bought by Essex County Council who intended demolishing it and developing the site.  Following a public outcry the County Council changed its decision.

Nothing having been done to the mill during the war, it had suffered badly from neglect, and repairs simply to preserve it were estimated at £400.

The Windmill Committee take a lease from Essex County Council but for a number of reasons the ambitious plans are not realised.

A meeting was held on August 16th in St Laurence Hall and a committee formed to restore the mill to working order with a millwright, Mr Hector Stone who had been working on the mill since 1945.

Essex County Council purchase the surrounding land and demolish the out buildings and steam plant at a total cost of £3,650. 

As a result of local government reorganisation, ownership passes to the London Borough of Havering.

£2,000 was spent on major repairs, including rebuilding the lower gallery, replacement of timbers, repainting the exterior and making the mill waterproof and less liable to vandalism.

First Public opening, 1800 visitors.

Sails unsafe, new sails fitted and cap refurbished over the next two years.

Fan Stage rebuilt and new fan tail fitted.

Friends of Upminster Windmill formed.

2015

After visitors flock in their thousands, the Windmill closes in September for restoration works which will bring it back to working order.

Whole estate put up for auction because it was so heavily mortgaged due to great expenditure on improvements.   The Sale Bill states  "…the Mill Estate, eligibly situated on a pleasing eminence on the High Road at Upminster, comprising a most substantial modern built Corn Mill, capable of dealing with very extensive business, with capital steam engine and all its appendages, driving five pairs of stones, and substantial Engine House, Granaries and Storage for a large quantity of corn.  Stabling and other suitable Outbuildings, with a modern well-built detached comfortable Residence.  This residence has been built about 10 years.  2 Millers Cottages and a pond full of water, together with a beautiful and productive meadow, containing 11 acres, 3 roods 1 perch, with several charming spots for building villas".

 

The whole estate is bought by Ambrose Colson for £2000 and sold shortly afterwards to James Wadeson.

Struck by lightning. Essex Herald reports  "such a storm was never known in this neighborhood before.  The lightning struck one of the top sails of Abraham's windmill and cut it to pieces; some of the pieces were thrown fifty yards and others were strewn all over the buildings.  It is believed that the mill must have been struck more than once, as the lightning went right through the top of the wind boards and then down the sack chain and fused the links together. 

 

The wind shaft snaps and the sails come crashing down. The residents of Upminster present John Abraham with a sum of money to help with the repairs which cost £200.

Romford Recorder reports:- "The terrific gale raging all Friday morning (March 25th) had a disastrous effect on one of the oldest landmarks of Upminster, the windmill.  The gale had been running south-east at a tremendous pace when a storm appeared from the south-west.  The fan was revolving at a great speed when this disturbance from the south-west struck it broadside and smashed it up completely sending pieces flying in many directions.  One large piece cleared the houses immediately behind it and sailing into the air over the road clattered down on the tiled porch-way of no. 24, Highview Gardens.  It was inevitable that before long the mill would reach the end of its working life.

A meeting was held on August 16th in St Laurence Hall and a committee formed to restore the mill to working order with a millwright, Mr Hector Stone who had been working on the mill since 1945.

£2,000 was spent on major repairs, including rebuilding the lower gallery, replacement of timbers, repainting the exterior and making the mill waterproof and less liable to vandalism.

You have a chance to become part both of the Windmill's history, and of its future: see how by clicking here. 

1793

James Nokes comes to Upminster from Stifford and takes tenancy of Hunts Farm Corbets Tey Road.

Thorough survey carried out.

1995

Upminster Windmill is managed on behalf of the London Borough of Havering by The Friends of Upminster Windmill. Registered Charity 1162180

 

Upminster Windmill

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