Denver Mill bought by Tom Edwin Harris, miller at Southery.

W S Barron & Son started at Sweetbriar Street, Kingsholm, Gloucester.

1898

Thomas Smithdale and Son open works in Ramsey St. Mary, Huntington.

1900

Southdown Mill, Great Yarmouth sold for £100 and demolished.

1903

60 million bushels of wheat home grown, 300 million imported and nearly all roller milled.

1904

1905

Ashtree Farm windmill built by Smithdale's of Acle at "Nowhere" on the Bure loop out of Gt Yarmouth.

1912

British Government rule that windmills can only produce animal feed.

Tom Harris dies and Denver Mill is inherited by his Engineer son Thomas Edwin

1914

1925

W S Barron move to new Bristol Road works in Gloucester and agree with Henry Simon

    to co-operate on technical and commercial matters but retain their independence.

Thomas Harris awarded the prestigious SPAB Windmill Section Certificate.

1934

1937

Denver windmill struck by lightning, damaging one of the sails and wind milling ceased. Little Gem roller mill and boulter removed from Steam Mill where feed milling continued by diesel power from the Blackstone.


Ashtree Farm - the last operating wind pump - stops work after tail winding.

1941

1949

Arthur Daines, miller at Billingford received no assistance to keep the mill going from SPAB who considered it Norfolk County Council's responsibility.

1952

Arthur Daines, miller at Billingford received no assistance to keep the mill going

    from SPAB who considered it Norfolk County Council's responsibility.

Billingford Mill - the last operating windmill in Norfolk - stops work.

1953

Norfolk County Council commission R Thompson & Son to carry out a detailed survey of Denver Mill.

1957

1954

Rex Wailes urges Norfolk County Council to take the lead with Billingford and announces

    a CPRE appeal.

1959

Cecil Smithdale of Acle carries out an inspection at Denver Mill.

Floor and ladders replaced in Denver Windmill by the Norfolk Windmills Trust at a cost of £507.

1961

Norfolk Windmills Trust formed  'For the Preservation of Windmills of Beauty or Historic

    Interest in or near the County of Norfolk'.

1963

Barron & Sons merge with feed section of Henry Simon forming Simon-Barron Ltd.

Thomas Harris died and Denver Mill gifted to Norfolk County Council by Thomas' sister     Edith Staines in memory of her father and brother.

Repairs to Denver Windmill curb completed at a cost of £914, paid for by CPRE, Downham     RDC and Norfolk County Council.

Gales blow a sail off Denver Windmill, snapping the stock at the canister and damaging the gallery and office.

1968

1969

1971

1972

Thomas Smithdale & Son in Acle cease trading when Cecil (Thomas grandson) who ran the business since 1955, retired.

Millwright John Lawn fits the first pair of his Mk ll hollow steel stocks to Denver     Windmill at a cost of £2,250.

A gale lifts the cap off Denver Windmill and damages the curb and repairs are agreed     by the Norfolk Windmills Trust along with replacement of the external render.

The Abel family’s proposals of a fifteen year plan to turn round the business and establish a sustainable long term project are accepted by the Norfolk Historic Buildings Trust and Denver Mill Ltd takes on the lease.

1974

1975

Henry Simon Ltd and Thomas Robinson & Son merged to become Robinson Milling Systems Ltd

Denver Mill transferred to the Norfolk County Council & CPRE (Norfolk) run Norfolk Historic Buildings Trust who apply for grants and set up Denver Windmill Ltd to run the project.

Robinson Milling Systems Ltd acquired by Satake Corporation.

1976

1988

1991

1997

Denver Mill commercially producing flour for the first time in over 60 years.

Denver Mill re-opens as a working project with funding from the HLF, RDF and Local     Authorities.

2000

2008

2009

2007

The project failing, Denver Windmill Ltd, the Norfolk Historic Buildings Trust and the Abel family brought together by the Norfolk Rural Business Advice Service.

Denver Mill one of three finalists in the Taste of England category for the 2009 Regional Enjoy England Awards for Excellence

Denver Mill one of three finalists in the Taste of England category for the 2010 Regional Enjoy England Awards for Excellence

2010

Early 2011

15th January 2011

756 Kg local wheat milled in the Windmill - the most since 1941!

5th - 7th of February a further 1½ tonnes flour from the windmill.

4th October 2011

A John Lawn metal stock sheared whilst freewheeling during busy lunchtime and school visit.  Only prompt action by staff prevented a disaster turning into tragedy.

15th October 2011

Mill landlords the Norfolk Historic Buildings Trust admit to not being adequately insured.

Denver Mill takes first prize for stall and third prize for products at the North Norfolk Food Festival held at Holkham Hall, third prize at the Norfolk Smallholders Association show and shares an award with Poplar Farm for diversity.

Late 2011

Friday 13th January 2012.

“Norfolk’s last working Windmill” is without stocks and sails for the first time in its 177 year life.

Early 2012

February 2012

Snow, water and frost damage to the fabric of the windmill increases as the Norfolk Historic Buildings Trust continues to fail to carry out urgent repairs.

April 2012

Floors boards and joists displaying water damage, mould and mushrooms throughout the mill and tower render begins to fall off.

August 2012

Heavy rain floods Tearoom and additional water damage to wind, steam & new mills,     miller’s barn, shop and engine shed.

2012

January 2013

Over a tonne of product has to be dumped due to damp in windmill.

July 2012

A new company is proposed to take over ownership of the Denver Windmill Project with

    local, experienced Directors and ownership by the public at large through shares.

Late 2012

Proposed new ownership is cancelled when the NHBT want three times the valuation of the site.

North Walsham Engineer William Cubitt takes out a patent on his shuttered sail design.

Southdown Mill built at Great Yarmouth - 12 stories, 100' high and with 84' span

    sails - for £10,000.

1807

1812

1820

One steam pump renders 70 windmills redundant at Ten Mile Bank, and a 28hp steam

    pump at Littleport replaces 75 wind pumps.

Norfolk Engineer & Millwright Thomas Smithdale born.

1824

First record of a windmill on the Denver site by Ordinance Survey.

1833

The Slavery Abolition Act comes into force, abolishing slavery throughout most of

    the British Empire.

1835

Denver Post Mill demolished and present Tower Mill built for John Porter.

Milling Engineer Henry Simon born.

1837

Queen Victoria accedes to the throne of the United Kingdom.

1838

Isambard Kingdom Brunel's paddle steamer SS Great Western crossed to New York from

    Avonmouth.

1840

Penny Post introduced in the UK and Penny Black stamp issued.

1842

The Mines Act becomes law, prohibiting underground work for all women and boys under

    10 years old in England

1845

A suspension Bridge collapses in Great Yarmouth leaving 80 dead.

Start of the Irish Potato Famine

1846

Act of Parliament passed to repeal the Corn Laws.

1847

Thomas Smithdale establishes the St Anne's Foundry at St Anne's Wharf, Synagogue

    Street, off King Street in Norwich.

1848

Cooke's Mill Stalham - the first to be fitted with patent sails - converted to steam

    power.

1850

A pair of Peak stones cost £5, a pair of French Burrs £36.

Great Exhibition at Crystal Palace, London.

1852

The first public toilet for women and the Palace of Westminster open in London.

1853

John Gleaves takes over as miller at Denver.

Thomas Smithdale takes over Charlotte Buttifant & Son Millwrights and Engineers of

    King Street Norwich.

Charge of the Light Brigade in the Crimean War.

1854

Cholera epidemic kills 10,000 in London and by establishing that it is water born

    Dr John Snow forms the science of epidemiology.

1855

David Livingstone becomes the first European to see the Victoria Falls.

1858

The city of Denver, Colorado founded.

1859

Start of British rule in India.

1860

Severe storm hits the east coast of England sinking 100 ships and killing 40 people.

1861

Start of the American Civil War

1869 Salisbury open their first shop in Drury Lane, London

and the Co-Op is founded

    in Manchester

1862

John Porter - original owner of Denver Mill - died.

First fish and chip shop in London opens.

1863

First section of the London Underground (Paddington to Farringdon Street) opens.

First industrial meat packing plant established at Fray Bentos, Uraguay.

1864

1865

Father and son John and James Gleaves running Denver Mill.

1867

The first ship passes through the Suez Canal.

1869

1870

Full scale commercial roller milling and sieving in Austria, Hungary and the USA.

Denver Mill advertised for sale or let in the occupation of James Gleaves

1873

1874

After manufacturing much of J J Colman & Co's production equipment, Thomas Smithdale

    sets up the Gothic Mustard Works.

Joseph Rank buys his first windmill and struggles to make a living.

1878

Henry Simon built his first  'Gradual Reduction' roller milling plant in Manchester.

First fully automatic roller flour mill built by Henry Simon for McDougall Brothers

Joseph Rank builds his first roller only mill at Alexandra Mill, Hull.

1881

Thomas Harris born at Southery

1885

1887

The Association of British and Irish Millers complain to the British Government about

    the effect of American flour on the British market.

James Gleaves listed in Whites as corn miller and corn merchant at Denver Mill.

DC generators fitted to conventional windmills in Denmark by Prof Poul la Cours for

    village use.

1890

1891

Richard Hunt builds an 8 story, 8 sail windmill at Much Hadham with 4 pairs of burr

    stones for £5,000.

1892

1897

Thomas Smithdale and Son open works in Acle, Norfolk.

The Mill has been here for nearly 200 years and it is easy to forget just how this

    fits in with the history and technology of the period.


These are some ‘mill’ based pointers to what was going on during that period.


1851

SPAB considered that Norfolk had a special heritage of windmills and approached Norfolk

    County Council to take a lead in their preservation.


A series of ‘near misses’ comes to a head when a section of fan stage floor falls and injures a member of staff.

Early 2013

March 2013

Large pieces of render falling from the tower make it unsafe to enter.

June 2013

June 2013

Denver Mill forced to leave the windmill when the NHBT refuse to renew it’s lease, instead taking back the operation of the site themselves.

With increasingly irregular opening hours and long periods closed the future of the project looks very precarious.

2015

The site does not re-open after closing for the winter and the windmill - gifted to Norfolk - is put for sale on the open market.