The Mills of Barton

Early History

Barton had two mills recorded in the Domesday Book.  By the 1600s this number had increased to five, three wind and two water.  These would have been post mills.  One windmill stood in a field along Barrow Road, roughly opposite the cemetery around where Meadow Drive is today.  One windmill was (in 1693) recorded in West Mill Hill and was known as Milson's Mill.  One windmill stood near the 'Stonepitts at the Townend of Barton in the West field'.  In 1649 this was called Broken Mill which presumably meant it was derelict.  It is possible there were two mills here but it is not certain.  A watermill stood at the south end of Pasture Road.  In 1621 Mr Harrison owned it and in 1759 Mr Mason sold it to Mr Pindar.  In 1785 it was known as the Beck Mill.  By 1805 it was known only as 'the site of a mill' which presumably means it had been dismantled or had collapsed.  The other watermill was the Poor's Watermill at the top of the Haven.  It was devised to the poor of Barton by Ralph Signe in his will of December 1644.  Over the years the mill grew old and the water levels dropped, even with the holding reservoir at the opposite side of Waterside road.  This was filled at high tide, allowing water to be released at low tide to ensure a flow of water when needed.  Eventually this mill was demolished, but this was within living memory.

The Poor's watermill standing at the head of Barton Haven.  This picture shows the holding reservoir at the opposite side of the road which was filled at high tide, allowing the water to be released at low tide to ensure a flow of water when needed.
(picture courtesy of Brian Peeps)

Later History

By the 1800s the brick-built tower mill was becoming more common in Barton, but the post mill was still around even into the early 1900s.  Barton had at least six of the brick-built tower mills (and possibly seven).  They would have all started out as wind powered, but some would be converted to steam or oil power.  There were definitely three post mills illustrated on a map of Barton of 1824.  One along Caistor Road, one along Ferriby Road and one along Waterside Road.  There may also have been a tower mill along Caistor Road, and possibly others at this time, but they were not marked on the map.

Mill map 1824
A map of Barton 1824 showing the three post mills.

Caistor Road Mills

There was a four-sail tower mill at the top of Caistor Road, possibly running alongside an older post mill.  It is not clear, but it is possibly the same person worked both mills.  William Bell (the later John) was the first recorded miller at the Caistor Road site, in 1811.  This is likely to have been the post mill  At the same time James Girdley was recorded as miller at the Caistor Road site.  He was recorded from around 1811 to around 1842, and was a corn miller, with premises along Priestgate.  This is likely to have been the tower mill.  This was the only time two miller could be found at the Caistor Road site, and as John Bell dies in 1823 it is possible that the two mills became owned by one miller from this point.  By 1849 Robert Foster was the recorded miller, then in 1850 it was Edward Foster.  In 1852 an advert appeared in the Hull Packet advertising for sale "Wind Corn Post Mill, with patent sails, two pair of stones.... abutting on the Caistor Road..."  It was possibly around this time the post mill was demolished.  By 1856 it was William Foster, again a corn miller.  William Foster lived in Lincoln and this may be one reason why around this time Samuel Cuthbert took over the site.  Samuel was also a grocer on Priestgate, probably the same premises occupied by James Girdley.  On the 21st September 1885 Samuel Cuthbert was summoned before the courts of Barton for stealing mushrooms from a field in Barton belonging William Renison.  He was fined 1s and 10s 6d in costs.  In 1887 boring contractors for the new town waterworks started boring a well in a small field just above Mr Cuthbert's mill along Caistor Road (Hull & Lincolnshire Times Jan 1 1887).  Samuel continued miller here until around his death in 1900 when William Cuthbert and then Mrs Ann Cuthbert carried on milling here until around 1919, again being classed as corn millers.  They did vacate their premises along Priestgate around 1900 for premises in King Street.  Henry James Redding was then the recorded miller (wind) in 1922.  Unfortunately Henry James Redding went bankrupt on the 15th May 1922, being recorded as a Miller and Market Gardener on Eastfield Road and Caistor Road. Taking over from James Redding was Willie Langley to around 1926, and finally Thomas Hollingsworth and Son took over the mill from 1933 to sometime after 1935 (again wind millers).  It was demolished shortly after this.

Ferriby Road Mills

There was a post mill recorded along Ferriby Road in 1693.  In 1798 this mill was being worked by Thomas Simpson, and was shown on the 1824 map (above).  It is not know what happened to this post mill, but there was a report in the Hull Packet that on the 31st December 1833, during a severe gale, a fan-wheel of a flour mill in Barton was ignited by the friction caused by the velocity with which it was turning.  The flame and smoke were distinctly visible.  Part of the fan was blown into a field and another part into the roof of a house opposite.  It is not certain that it was the Ferriby Road post mill, but the report does suggest it was badly damaged, and the date corresponds with the end of this mill more than any other in Barton, presuming it was not repaired.

There was also a tower mill about half way up Ferriby Road, just opposite the junction with Tofts Road and was likely to be a replacement for the post mill recorded above.  This mill was known as Milson's Mill on account of it being almost exclusively being run by George MilsonThis tower mill was a corn mill which was six storeys high and originally had four sails.  It is not known yet for definite when the post mill was demolished, nor when the tower mill was built, but the first recorded miller here in a trade directory was in 1872, this being George Milson.  This would suggest the post mill was demolished prior to 1811 (the first trade directory used), or at least was not in use, and the tower mill was built just prior to 1872.  By 1885 the mill was powered by wind and steam, but a fatal accident followed when a young man, named Joseph Tuplin, went down a well which supplied the engine boiler with water.  Whilst he was down there he was overcome by foul air and George Millson went to his assistance.  Tuplin was found dead and George Millson was unconscious for some time.  By 1918 the mill was run by steam alone.  The last directory George Milson (or anyone) was recorded working here as a miller was in 1933.  Again this mill has been demolished but it is rumoured that the houses that stand in its place were built from some of the original mill bricks.

Waterside Road Mills

There was a post mill marked on the map of 1824 (see above) along Waterside Road, and this was likely to have been worked by Morley & Popple, who were corn millers and flour dealers.  They worked this mill until 16th May 1836 when their partnership was dissolved by mutual consent..  It is now known when this mill was demolished, but there were a few tower mills along Waterside Road. 

The first, more southerly, mill was known as Hewson's Mill (surviving).  This mill was built around 1813 for Cook and Sutton and was a corn mill.  This is an eight storey mill and it was fitted with Sutton's Patent Gravitated Sails for Windmills.  George Hewson took over the mill around 1841 and continued here until Elam Hewson took over around 1868.  Both were recorded as corn millers and flour dealers.  Finally John L Hewson took over in 1918 and was probably the miller who converted it from wind to steam.  Then around 1926 he had it converted to run on oil.  John Hewson was the last recorded miller here in 1940.  Hewson's mill still survives today but is in a very run-down state.

The second, more northerly, tower mill along Waterside Road, was known as Sisson's Mill.  It was a four sailed eight storey tower mill.  This mill was a whiting mill and was run by various millers up to the beginning of the 1870s when the Sissons Brothers took it over.  They ran it up to and beyond 1919.  It has since been demolished and is now lost.

There was another tower mill further north along Waterside Road, its actual location is unknown.  It was known as Bank Mills and was another whiting mill.  It was owned by various millers, the more important being David Cobb and, from around 1922, the Sissons Brothers. 

John Easson Peck was a recorded miller along Waterside Road in 1835, but which actual mill this was is unknown for now.  William Morris and Son were corn millers recorded working along Waterside road around the 1850s, although again which mill is unknown.  Also working along Waterside Road was John Cart, in 1851, again it is unknown which mill he worked.

Market Lane Mill (Surviving)

The Old MillThe most impressive surviving tower mill in Barton is Kings Garth Mill (pictured left).  It stands in the centre of town overlooking Market Lane and Castledyke South sitting right on top of an Anglo-Saxon burial ground.  It was built around 1803 at which point William Gibson was the owner. By 1805 Joseph Chafer had taken ownership.  By 1810 Thomas Marris was the owner, but he lost possession of the mill when he was declared bankrupt in 1812.  Up to 1830 Joseph Brown worked the mill and was recorded as a miller and flour dealer.  This would suggest as this point it was a corn mill.  By 1838 David Holdsworth owned the mill, but William Hewson was recorded as the miller and flour dealer.  In 1847 Thomas Waddingham took ownership of the mill until 1859 when William Dewey became the owner.  In the 1860s E Harding became the owner of the mill, but it was still William Hewson who was the recorded miller until around 1882.  William Hewson lived on Holydyke which was very close to the mill.  He was the brother of George Hewson who was the miller along Waterside Road.  Their father, William, was also a miller.  The Market Lane mill was a six-sailed eight-storeyed mill and it is rumoured that one of the sails fell off onto the road resulting in the rest being removed in around 1868.  After this a gas engine was installed to drive the workings.  Certainly up to the 1860s, and more than likely beyond, this mill was a chalk (whiting) mill.  It ended its working life as a mill sometime around 1950 when it was owned by Day's.  It has since been renovated and turned into a public house.

High Street/Hungate Mill

There are also reports of another mill, know as Glanford Mill, in the records but its whereabouts is as yet unknown.  There was, however, a miller called Isaac Hunter recorded working as a miller and flour dealer along High Street, close to Hungate, from around 1826 to around 1868, latterly being recorded as a farmer too.  This may well be the mill which was known as Glanford mill.

Fragments Relating to Barton on Humber - Thomas Tombleson 1905.
Various editions of the London Gazette.
Various editions of the Hull Packet and East Riding Times.

Many thanks to Robin Day for his information relating to Kings Garth Mill, and to John Sass for other mill related information.


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