On Boxing Day 2016 while visiting St Michael’s Church in South Elmham, Suffolk, I found my second windmill headstone. I nearly missed it, as I only saw it when walking away from the church, it was close to the footpath. I would have liked to have cleared the weeds, but I make it a habit not to touch anything in the church or churchyard, I’m not sure why, but thats how I feel.
In Loving Memory of Frederick Arthur Aldridge
called to rest 19th July 1960
Aged 73 Years
Miller Of This Parish For 59 Years
Frederick was married to Florence May.
The mill on the headstone is a post mill, and would have milled corn, the earliest date I can find that mentions the mill is 1836. Frederick is mentioned as the miller in 1916 and 1925, this could be from one of the yearly directories, the mill ceased operations in 1929 or in 1938 ? the sails came off in 1946. A note in the Peterborough column of ‘The Daily Telegraph’ about how the former miller, Mr Frederick Aldridge, watched as his unsafe old mill was demolished on 10th September 1955.
This is the mill, you can see how like the headstone it is, with the stone roundhouse at the bottom, which was partially demolished in 1977.
Fredrick in 1920.