Author Topic: Gillingham wind powered oil mills... Help needed.  (Read 175 times)

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bertroid

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Re: Gillingham wind powered oil mills... Help needed.
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2020, 09:50:58 PM »
bertroid,


If you use this link you can access everything on the oil mills:


https://web.archive.org/web/20170610043755/http://www.kenthistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=19779.0


Dave


Ahhh  I knew we'd had this one before.  Worth resurrecting though!

DaveTheTrain

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Re: Gillingham wind powered oil mills... Help needed.
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2020, 09:15:19 PM »
bertroid,


If you use this link you can access everything on the oil mills:


https://web.archive.org/web/20170610043755/http://www.kenthistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=19779.0


Dave

bertroid

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Gillingham wind powered oil mills... Help needed.
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2020, 08:52:13 PM »





I believe we touched on this subject on the old forum, but I can't access it, so let's start again.


William Coles-Finch is not very useful on this subject, but does mention a Mr Huggins chartering a boat around 1858 to watch his mill burn down(!), which is presumably the one mentioned at the end of this thread.


It appears there were possibly three (or more) windmills built and used to grind linseed into linseed oil in the first half of the nineteenth century.  Locations are vague, but it would appear two were in the vicinity of Exmouth Terrace, and one was at Herrings Hang. 


What follows is a very long but abbreviated set of newspaper cuttings.  Can anyone throw any more light on this lot, as in locations, maps, and dare I say it pictorial representations?


Gillingham Wind-powered Oil mills.
Newspaper cuttings

South Eastern Gazette - Tuesday 04 October 1831:
 
"TO BE LET BY TENDER,
IN LOTS
 BRITTENS FARM, GILLINGHAM, consisting of about 104 ACRES, of most valuable Meadow, Pasture, Arable, and Wood Land, with a convenient Dwelling House, and Garden, Cottage, Barn, Stable, &c.  An Oil Mill and Brick Yard adjoining.  Very desiurably situated near to BROMPTON LINKS, and contiguous to the River Medway.
J Hurley and J Gage, on the premises, will shew the L s.  For particulars, apply to Wm. Salmon, Auctioneer, Accountant, &c. No 70, Week-street, Maidstone, to whom all Tenders are to be sent – (All Letters to be post paid.)”
 
Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser - Tuesday 14 February 1832, refers briefly to “…Mr Nash’s Oil Mill, in the parish of Gillingham…”
 
South Eastern Gazette - Tuesday 10 February 1835 –“ A case was heard before the county magistrates on Friday se’nnight, on the evidence of the Rev. W. Lewis, Curate of Gillingham, against the persons employed at Mr Elvy’s oil mill in that parish, for working on a Sunday.  It was stated in evidence for the defence that after the seed was crushed, it would in a few hours become sour, unless ground for a second time, and the men were therefore sometimes compelled to continue grinding on Sunday; the information also failed to prove that the person employed was fourteen years of age, or that the grinding of the seed was ever commenced on a Sunday ; and the laws for the better observance of the Sabbath excepting works of necessity and charity from their operation, the magistrate dismissed the complaint with costs.  A second information was withdrawn, and to a question whether on a future occasion a constable would be authorised in forcibly entering the premises to see whether the engine was at work, the magistrates very properly reminded the complainant that every man’s house was his castle.” (!)
 
Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser - Tuesday 10 August 1841: “  DREADFUL CATASTROPHE, - On Friday afternoon a shocking occurrence too place in an oil mill recently erected at the Herring Hang, Gillingham, by Messrs.  Chesson and Holding for a particular species of manufacture on a principle which was kept perfectly secret.  Mr Chesson was engaged in the process when one of the stills burst and set fire to the building which burnt with the utmost rapidity.  He himself fell a sacrifice to the flames, having probably been suffocated and prevented from escaping.  When his remains were found they presented a shocking spectacle – one arm being gone, and the other lower extremities burnt to a cinder.  The unfortunate man has left three children and a distracted wife who since the dreadful event has given borth to a fourth!  The premises were not insured.  An inquest was held on Saturday, when the journey returned a verdict of ‘Found burnt’”
 
South Eastern Gazette - Tuesday 21 July 1846:
 
“TO SEED CRUSHERS.
TO BE SOLD OR LET ON LEASE,
WITH IMMEDIATE POSSESSION,
 
A Well-established WIND OIL MILL, capable of crushing from four to five thousand quarters of linseed during the season, containing two pairs of rolls and seven presses, driving three pairs of stones, and having a Steam Engine attached.  The GEAR and MACHINERY are of the best description, and the whole is in excellent condition.
The premises are desirably situate at Gillingham, in the county of Kent, a neighbourhood abounding in wealthy agriculturists, and where an extensive business has been for many years carried on.
For further particulars, and to view the mill, apply to Mr. GEORGE JEFFERY, Solicitor, Maidstone ; or to Messrs SELBY and NORTON, Solicitors, Town Malling, Kent.”
 
(same advert repeated a few times into 1847)
 
South Eastern Gazette - Tuesday 20 November 1849:
 
“TO BE SOLD BY AUCTION,
By Mr. J.T. SKINNER,
 
On TUESDAYm DECEMBER 4th., 1849 at Ten o’clock on the forenoon, by order of and for the trustees of the late James Gardiner Jeffery, Esq., on the premises, at the OIL MILL, EXMOUTH TERRACE, NEW BROMPTON, in the parish of GILLINGHAM.
The whole of which will be particularized in catalogues, which may be had 3 days prior to the sale, by applying to the Auctioneer, 278, High-street, Chatham ; and of Messrs. SELBY, NORTON and SELBY, Solictors, Town Malling ; GEORGE JEFFERY, Esq., Solictor, Clarendon-place, Maidstone ; and at the place of sale.  The plant, machinery and buildings, may be viewed on Monday, the day before the sale.
And also at the same time and place, will be offered for Sale by Auction, in one lot, The roomy and substantial brick and timber-built FREEHOLD MILL, with patent sweeps, formerly used as an oil mill, containing six floors, with main wind shaft, break wheel, upright shaft, and gear attached; and about two roods and thirty-two perches of arable land and garden ground.  This mill, erected on the west side of ‘Arden’s Fields’ in the parish of Gillingham, Kent, and mayt at a moderate outlay be converted into a flour mill; being in an elevated and desirable situation, (near the River Medway and Gillingham summer hard or landing place, with good roads thereto, and in the locality of an increasing and populous neighbourhood, near to the Royal Dock Yard at Chatham, the Arsenal, and other Government Establishments,) renders this property valuable to a small capitalist or for investment.  There is a good well of water upon his estate.
The purchaser of this lot is to erect at his own expense, within three months from the day of sale, substantial wood batten fences, on the south-east side thereof in a straight or parallel line ; and on the north-west side next to the private road way as now stumped out ; and also at the north east end of the same next to the road way by Mr. Freeland’s cow lodges, not less than 4 feet 6 inches in height.”



South Eastern Gazette - Tuesday 16 February 1858 – “  THE LATE FIRE AT GILLINGHAM. – In our last Tuesday’s paper it was erroneously stated that the mill destroyed by fire at New Brompton was in the occupation of Mr Steadman, miller; we have since been informed that such was not the case, the mill which was consumed being an old oil mill, with which Mr Steadman is in no way connected.”