Gayton towermill had an 8 storey, tall, slim tower with a pronounced batter that was white painted, before later being tarred black; a stage was set around the 2nd floor. The ogee cap with its gallery, 6 bladed fan and ball finial topped by a weathervane was the smallest noted in the county by Rex Wailes and only measured 13ft long by 7ft high. The upright shaft was known as a graft shaft and consisted of both iron and wood. Three pairs of French burr stones were overdriven by two pairs of double shuttered patent sails, each with 8 bays of 3 shutters and in later years, one pair of these stones had been exchanged for a pair of peak stones. The mill had an elaborate glut box that had a handle to tighten a wedge. A two oven bake office, dated 1862, was in operation on the site, producing 50 stones of bread each.
To Millers, Merchants & others
To be Sold by Auction by Messsrs. Cruso & Hawkins at the Globe Hotel, Kings Lynn on Tuesday September 23, 1875 at 4 o’c in the afternoon precisely. In One Lot
All that BRICK TOWER WINDMILL situated in the centre of the village of Gayton, with patent sails & winding gear, working three pairs of stones & dressing apparatus, STEAM MILL adjoining working three pairs of Stones & BOLTING MILL driven by eight horse high pressure Steam Engine, together with Bakery also adjoining & communicating, fitted with two large ovens. Also Capital DWELLING HOUSE & two COTTAGES adjoining thereto, Granary, Stables, Cartlodge, Piggeries & convenient outbuildings, together with large & productive Garden & Two acres (more or less) of Pasture LAND adjoining, also 4a.0r.16p. or thereabouts of Arable LAND abutting upon the road leading from Gayton to Grimston east, upon lands now or late of .. Mitford, Esq. North & upon lands late of St. Andrew St. John, Esq., & now of his heirs or devisees towards the south & west.
All the above are freehold, except the two Cottages which are copyhold of the Manor of Wickenhall in Gayton with Gayton Wendlings, & in good & substantial repair & in the occupation of Mr. Edward Lewis, who is under notice to quit on the 11th October next.
Apply to the Auctioneers, Kings Lynn & Downham Market or at my Office,
Lynn, 9 September 1873.
Lynn Advertiser - 13th & 20th September 1873
Tall, slim mill with pronounced batter
Had 8 floors, 7 remain
Built into more modern, but now disused, buildings
No cap, sails or fantail
Had double shuttered patent sails
Cap with gallery, surmounted by weathervane
Wooden stage at 3 rd floor
Wooden slatted ogee cap with finial, horizontally boarded, petticoat removed
First 2 floors empty
1 wheatstone remains on 3 rd floor
Iron mortise stone nut, wooden cogs
Great spur wheel 12 tee armed, iron sectioned cogs drives sack hoist.
Second iron wheel with iron cogs attached drove ..?
Round wooden upright shaft
On 5 th floor upright shaft in square wooden casing
Diesel engine (Blackstone). Belt drive from nearby shed
Drove 1 pair peak stones, 1 pair burr.
In Lewis family. Gayton Milling Co.
Gayton Mills Co. Ltd. Registered as Company 13 April 1919.
Mr. J.A. Richards managing director.
Stage (& stones ?) at 2nd floor
Peak runner stone, 4 ft. diam. 10 ins. thick
French burr runner stone, 50 ins. diam. with plate –
Wm. Garner & Sons, 72 mark Lane, London. (Tucker c. 1910)
Mill had no chain pole
Early Blackstone paraffin engine, later Blackstone 32 h.p. diesel engine drove windmill stones by belt with pinion driving great spur wheel producing excessive wear on pinion.
Sails taken off 1924/25 by Kidds of Wisbech.
Philip Unwin - 1972
Red brick tower, tarred
22 ft. diam. inside. Wall 2 ft. thick
Second door blocked up
Remaining floors have staircase instead of ladders
Shaft across mill with bearings sunk into wall drove
roller grist mill
Peak bedstone, 4 ft. (50 ins.) still in situ
Iron mortise stone nut on floor
All iron great spur wheel, 12 armed, c.10 ft. diam. with ring of inverted iron cogs below to drive sack hoist
3 rd & 4 th floors:-
Round wooden upright shaft, 15 ins. diam. topped with iron fitting to take iron upper section of graft shaft (Wailes)
And parts of lower floors badly rotted by rain through upper floor which had been covered with tarred felt when cap removed, but already leaking before work at mill ceased.
Date stone 1862
Second pair of new ovens used for only three years before work ceased.
Harry Apling - 174th March 1981
O.S. map 1824: Windmill
Bryant's map 1826: Windmill
White's 1836: Robert Matthews, corn miller & baker
Robert Matthews (50) miller
Mary Matthews (50)
William Matthews (15)
Mary Ann Matthews (12)
Edmund Dennis (50) miller
Maria Dennis (50)
Alice Sarah Dennis (20)
Thomas Dennis (15)
John Dennis (15)
Robert Dennis (13)
Mary Ann Dennis (11)
White's 1845: Robert Matthews, corn miller & baker
1846: Robert Matthews, miller
1853: Walter Hall, miller
Whites 1854: Walter Hall, corn merchant, miller & baker
Whites 1864: Walter Hall, corn miller & baker
1862: Bakery probably rebuilt as it bears a date stone 1862
1872: Walter Hall, miller & baker
March 1872: Edward Lewis, miller & baker, took on tenancy, also at
1873: Edward Lewis, tenant miller, under notice to quit
September 1873: Mill advertised for sale by auction
1875: Edward Lewis, miller
Kelly's 1879: Edward Lewis, miller, farmer & baker
White's 1883: Edward Lewis, corn miller& baker
Kelly's 1892: Edward Lewis, miller (wind), farmer & baker
Kelly's 1896: Henry Lewis, miller (wind), farmer & baker
1898: Alfred Lewis, miller & baker
Henry Lewis, miller (wind), farmer & baker, The Church farm; & also The Station farm, East Winch, & Coldham farm, Sherbourne & West Acre mills (water)
Census 1901: Alfred Littleproud, miller
Kelly's 1904: Alfred Lewis, miller (wind & steam), farmer & baker, The Church farm & (water)
Kelly's 1908: Alfred Lewis, miller (wind & steam), farmer & baker, The Church farm & (water)
1909: Alfred Lewis, miller - also at
Kelly's 1912: Gayton Mills Co. millers & bakers, corn & artificial manure merchants; & at
Kelly's 1916: Gayton Mills Co. millers
13th April 1919: Gayton Mills Co. Ltd. Registered as Company - J. A. Richards, Managing Director
Kelly's 1922: Gayton Mills Co. millers, corn & agricultural merchants & bakers
1924-25: Sails removed by Kidds of Wisbech
1925: Mill foreman - Mr. Carr
Kelly's 1925: Gayton Mills Co. millers, corn & agricultural merchants & bakers
1926: The mill was powered by an engine
Kelly's 1929: Gayton Mills Co. Ltd. millers, corn & agricultural merchants & bakers TN 3
1933: Painting by Karl Wood showing a white ogee cap, windshaft and fanstage only
Kelly's 1933: Gayton Mills Co. Ltd. millers, corn & agricultural merchants & bakers TN 3
Kelly's 1937: Gayton Mills Co. Ltd. millers, corn & agricultural merchants & bakers TN 3
1949: Mill derelict
29th July 1980: Mill withdrawn at auction
December 1980: Roy Hirons moved into the mill house intending to convert the complex to a craft centre
1981: Roy Hirons & Mrs. Margaret Hall Tel. No. 613
10th June 1987: Planning granted to use part of the tower and the granary for holiday accommodation