|Article researched by John Meads
Although the existence of a windmill in
Only two households are mentioned at the “Windmill” in the 1841 census: William Hobbs, a tailor, and Moses Eady, miller, although George Shipley, mentioned above, precedes them on the list, which seems to indicate that he was also there.
In 1851, there are four households listed, the family of George Holland, John Garton, Mary Rowley and George Garton, all of them agricultural labourers.
In 1861, there is only one household, that of Samuel Allen, occupation: miller.
In 1871 only two, William Hull, agricultural carter and George Hodson, agricultural labourer had the “Windmill” address.
Although the 1887 Ordnance Survey map shows a complex of buildings on the site, it is not clear which of them are domestic and which are mill buildings
Neither the 1881 nor the 1891 census mention any houses at the windmill but Kelly’s Directory names Walter Bell in 1890 and 1903 as miller and the parish records have a John Cave, miller, abode: “Windmill”, having a child baptised in 1898.
The 1901 census shows only two families living at what are now given the name of “Windmill Cottages”, those of Arthur W. Hodson and John T. Melton.
It is Arthur W. Hodson’s wife Prudence who can be seen on the familiar photograph showing the cottages and windmill taken before the First World War, by which time the windmill was derelict and the premises used by the Burton Ironstone Company, whose employees occupied the cottages. Only the middle two cottages seem to be occupied, which seems to confirm the census data.
The next ‘fix’ we get on the occupants of the cottages is the 1918 electoral register, which shows that eight cottages now stood on the site. It is thought that either the original buildings had been demolished and replaced by a newly constructed terrace, or that extra dwellings had been added to those already there on the site of the recently demolished windmill. The families were those of: house number 1: Mark Blowfield, 2: Arthur Wiggins Hodson, 3: Henry Henson Cullip, 4: Edgar John Hancock, 5: Alfred Aubrey, 6: Fred Palmer, 7: Walter Wright and 8: William Palmer.
Sixteen years later, in the 1934 electoral register, five of the eight cottages were occupied by the same families: Blowfield, Hodson, Hancock and the two Palmer families.
Years of neglect during the 1940s and lack of modern facilities resulted in the houses being listed for demolition by the Urban District Council in the early 1950s. The remaining occupants of 2, 3, 6 and 7 were on a list for re-housing in 1955 and by 1957 only one family lived there.
During the 1960's the cottages were taken over by dog breeder, Mrs Richard Harpur, as boarding kennels for dogs (click here for details). In 1966 conditions at the kennels were highlighted by a national newspaper (Click here for the article). Mrs Harpur threatened to commit suicide in 1973 following a ban on her keeping animals (Click here for an article on this ban). The death of Mrs Harpur was reported in 1975 - click here.
After a period of about 25 years, during which several different options were put forward and, following much debate as to their fate, the refurbishment of the cottages took place in the early 1980s (click here for photographs and articles of the facelift 1975 and 1978), and by 1982 a row of five modernised cottages occupied the site. In 1988 the residents of the cottages opposed a plan to site a breaker's yard close to their homes - click here for an article relating to this plan.