Corn windmill, of tower-type, built in 1790 for Peter Sumper (Miller), and later raised in height to six stories.
Reasons for Designation
Lelley Windmill, completed in 1790, is listed at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:
* a striking and largely intact example of a late-C18 windmill that retains much of its original external character;
* it reflects in its design, plan-form and machinery, the specific milling function it was intended to fulfil and illustrates clearly the process flow;
* for the retention of an increasingly rare, full suite of original milling machinery including all stages of the milling process from the use of grain bins, through the millstones, to the flour dressing equipment;
* for the late C19 adaption of the original windmill machinery to allow operation by steam power and the extremely rare survival of the C19 vertical steam boiler, with its associated chimney;
* an important survival of an increasingly rare agrarian-industrial building type, retaining a full suite of milling machinery.
* the C19 adaption of the mill to meet the demand for flour from the rapidly growing urban population, illustrates the impact of the Industrial Revolution on small-scale rural industry.
Lelley Windmill was built in 1790 for the miller Peter Sumper. It is possible that the wide splayed brick base pre-dates the current mill structure, and that it may have been the base of an earlier, C18 post mill. The tower is thought to have been built without external scaffolding, with the brickwork laid from within the structure in a similar manner to that often used with tall chimneys; most of the mill machinery was installed at the same time or shortly afterwards. Sometime during the early-C19 the mill tower was heightened, allowing for a second stone-floor to increase production and at the same time, raising the height of the sails to catch more wind. One of the millstones bears a maker's plate for Robert Nutt of Hull, a local millstone supplier who worked in partnership with a Thomas Stapleton until the partnership was dissolved in 1860. An ancillary steam engine was installed in 1873, but it had clearly fallen out of favour by 1895, when the present (2021) owner's grandmother gave an endorsement in the Priestman Oil Engine catalogue of 1901, which reads, 'I beg to say I have had one of your 11 Brake Horse-power oil engines in use for a period of six years. This engine drives two pairs of stones, four feet in diameter, in a windmill tower for making flour and grist. I prefer the oil engine to a steam engine of equal power. When I was using steam, I had to give attention to this about every 20 minutes, but I can run the oil engine for eight hours without attention after starting. The engine has given me entire satisfaction.'
Following the building of a number of large commercial steam mills in Hull during the early C20, it is likely that the mill's trade slowly dropped away and its demise would have occurred over a period of time; it eventually became disused and fell into dereliction, but unlike many other mills it was not stripped for scrap and retains much of its milling machinery.
Corn windmill, of tower type, built in 1790 for Peter Sumper (Miller), and later raised in height to six stories.
MATERIALS: a tarred red brick windmill tower, all doors and window openings have segmental brick arches, and it retains its timber sheer beam frame, wind shaft, floors and much of its machinery. A brick-built steam-engine room annexe and chimney is situated to the rear.
PLAN: a battered circular-plan, with a wide splayed base.
EXTERIOR: the windmill is situated to the east of Lelley village. It is a six-storey brick-built tower, with window openings to all floors. The ground-floor forms a wide splayed base with two timber multi-paned Yorkshire-sash sliding windows, a blocked doorway on the southern side, and a doorway closed by a timber stable door that faces north. The first-floor has two window openings, and an iron drive shaft and a pulley wheel project out from the eastern side. Putt holes for the insertion of the beams that would have supported the luffing gallery (a timber gallery on the outside of the mill from which the miller would control the sails) are exposed at the second-floor level and are visible around the circumference of the building. The second-storey has gallery doorways facing west and east, and window openings facing to the north and south. The third-storey has a window opening aligned on each of the cardinal points, while the fourth and fifth-storeys each have two single window openings facing east and west. The curb of the tower is delineated by two projecting brick bands, with the cap ring above, upon which the remains of the cap frame, cast-iron wind shaft, Lincolnshire cross, and the neck bearing rest. The cap, sails and the fan tail are all missing.
INTERIOR: the ground-floor has one pair of millstones complete with tun, hopper, horse, shoe and damsel that were designed to receive a belt drive from a vertical iron shaft. The first-floor (meal-floor) has a vertical iron shaft with bevel gears connected to a horizontal shaft, which passes through the eastern side of the wall. A pulley on a horizontal shaft drives a flour dressing machine and a pulley on the vertical shaft drives another. The vertical shaft has a pulley wheel attached beneath the ceiling, along with the tentering gear and a governor for a pair of millstones on the floor above, in addition to a further belt-drive off the vertical shaft, and a meal spout. The second-floor (stone-floor) has a pair of millstones, complete with tun, hopper, horse, shoe, and damsel. There are also two sets of tentering gears for the millstones on the floor above, along with a governor and meal spouts. The third-floor (stone-floor) has two pairs of mill stones, complete with tuns, hoppers, horses, shoes and quants with iron-mortise stone nuts. One of the millstones bears a maker's plate for Robert Nutt, a local millstone supplier. The iron upright shaft carries a clasp-arm wooden great spur wheel with iron teeth. A belt pulley also drives a governor spindle that passes through floor. The vertical shaft rising from below carries an iron-mortise nut engaging the spur wheel, and a further nut drives a vertical shaft that rises through ceiling. The fourth-floor (bin-floor) is occupied by timber grain bins, the main upright shaft and a vertical drive shaft. The fifth-floor (dust-floor) has the upright shaft with a cast-iron wallower, sack hoist friction-driven that is controlled from below, a vertical shaft and a grain cleaner. There is a sack hoist trap door in the floor and further trap doors can be found in all of the floors below. The timber cap is missing, however, the cap frame formed of a pair of sheer beams remains in place, carrying an iron wind shaft and the remnants of the winding and striking gear.
Some of the internal structural timbers within the mill have been re-used and exhibit joint holes that are believed to be indicative of 'common sail' timbers of the type used in C18 post mills.
SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: a sub-rectangular plan engine room annexe, with fragmentary brick walling, is attached to the southern side of the base of the windmill. A brick-built chimney is situated within the annexe, approximately 6.6m to the south-west of the mill. It has a square-plan pedestal aligned on the cardinal points, which rises to a third of the height of the chimney. An architrave formed of three-courses of projecting brick work forms the base of the tapered round section of the chimney, which rises to a projecting architrave with a raised flue cap. A mid-to-late-C19 vertical steam boiler made of riveted boiler-plate stands at the base on the northern side of the chimney.