Frederick & The Post Mill

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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.

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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.

12 comments

  1. A rather unusual headstone. Interesting story, though I’m sorry he had to watch them tear it down. Thanks for sharing that good story and pictures. 🙂

  2. It’s always surprising to me to find that that traditional windmills like this — using a design that had effectively been around since at least the 16C, I think — survived in use so late into the 20C. Fascinating details, Lynne, thanks.

    1. Yes thats very true, the style didn’t change from the original ones, I suppose they were fit for purpose and really it wasn’t until after WW2 that things really changed. The population increased, people moved from villages and the mills made less flour and it all came to an end…..a shame really. But glad you enjoyed the post 🙂

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