This headstone in Hilgay Churchyard, Norfolk, jumped straight out at me when I walk around the corner of the church, I have never seen one like it before. I was quite fascinated by it and wondered if John Whittome had been a miller. So I did a bit of researching to day and found out quite a lot of John Whittome, who was a Millwright and also became a Miller.
In loving memory of John Whittome died May 10th 1891 aged 74 years also of Elizabeth his wife died March 31st 1894 aged 76 years God is love
John Whittome died in 1891 and was buried in Hilgay churchyard, to the south of the church. The distinctive headstone has the carving of a large tower windmill with a stage, possibly Denver Mill, and was inscribed:Wheel & Millwright, Joiner & General Smith.
The Whittome family ran The Hilgay Post Mill (which stood for 250 years) and also The Hilgay Smock Mill. John had also been a Corn Miller from 1868 to 1883. The Smock Mill was used for grinding corn, and had a pair of fine French dress stones. John built a house in the village with a foundry and steam mill nearby. Sad to say that that not any of the mills survive today.
The following was found in the Lynn Advertiser – 13th October 1866
Wheel & Millwright, Joiner & General Smith
Thanks his friends for their patronage during the last 30 years & solicits a continuance of their commands in the above branches of business
Steam & Horse machines of all kinds carefully attended to.
Agricultural Implements of the most approved principles built or repaired.
Joiners & Smiths work of every description.
Timbers sawn by steam power.
It is a wonderful headstone to commemorate the life of a Millwright and Miller.