which consists of the villages of Crich, Fritchley and Whatstandwell.

Crich Parish Windmills

Peter Patilla

Crich had several windmills which have become "lost" over the years.

Field names containing the word "windmill" crop up several times on the 1849 field names map. One can only surmise how the name came about.

Map showing windmill names


windmil names on a Crich map

Thomas Dodd's Windmill

Map of Dodds windmillFrom the Wooly manuscripts held at the Derbyshire Record Office 1:
In the year 1757 Thomas Dodd of Pothouse built a windmill, in close in Plaistow, just opposite the said Pothouse, whence ye close became Windmill Close. The said close had formerly been in three closes, then called the Nether Close, the Long Lands and the Square field. This windmill was pulled down and carried away to Four Lanes End by Johnathan Kendall in 1764
[1 See Derbyshire Windmills Past & Present by Alan Gifford : Heage Windmill Society]

Note: Four Lanes End is in Oakerthorpe





Crich Windmill on Upper Broom Close

Upper Broom Close is the site of the house called "Penrose" on Sandy Lane.
Evidence of a windmill on this site comes from newspaper reports and 1838-42 OS map.

Derby Mercury 27 July 1842
Eligible Investments, Crich
Lot 13
Parish Map Tenant Detail Size and proportion

847, 1272, 1273
Thos Wheatcroft Three valuable closes of arable and pasture land and WINDMILL standing there on, called the Upper Broom Close, Midddle Broom Close and Nether Broom Close, lying west of the the Wirksworth and Alfreton turnpike Road, and near to Crich a7 R0 P28
11-96th parts or shares

Note that the Parish map numbers in the advert differ from the Tithe Map.

Derby Mercury 2 July 1845 & 9 July 1845
Eligible Investments, Freehold Estate in Crich
Parish Map Tenant Detail Size and proportion

Thomas Wheatcroft Upper Broom Close and Windmill a2 R0 P37
11-96th parts or shares

map showiung broom close

This is shown as 867 on the 1849 Tithe map for Crich –

tiche map showing Broom Close

The fate of this windmill is unknown, although it assumed to have burned down between 1845 and 1900. The house "Penrose" was built on the site in 1900 and the kitchen was clearly built on old foundations. During work in grounds during the late 1990s a large amount of charcoal and burnt wood was found near to the house which indicated a significant wooden structure had been burnt. Nearby are two large millstones thought to come from the windmill.


Burton's Windmill at Coddington

Evidence of this windmill comes from "The Stone House Document Collection" by Mrs N. Billings. This private collection gives a most detailed history of The Stone House and its lands. The following information is reproduced by kind permission of Mrs N. Billing.

In July 1786 the enclosure surveyors working in Coddington marked out plot 175 which was to be close to the site of the windmill – as indicated by subsequent documents.

Enclusre mao of 186

Document dated the 5th April 1842 stated that George Cowlishaw (farmer) sold for £100 to Joseph Anable (farmer) of Crich Carr plot No. 175 on the enclosure map – a plot of 4 acres 4 perches at Coddington Bank. This plot was part of the common and waste of Crich parish. This four acre plot has two small pieces of land sold from it: one of 1,100 yards, the other of 150 yards sold to John Burton and Daniel Spencer.

[John Burton was grocer and baker of Crich.]

The Derbyshire and Chesterfield Reporter on 15th September 1842 reported that Mrs Mather, a neighbour of the windmill and of John Burton the miller, had only one child, a little lad of around eight. The windmill fascinated the little boy and he played close to the mill. On the previous Saturday he had taken shelter from heavy rain in the mill, but the miller shooed him away. The lad returned later and, innocently climbing up to the stage around the tower, the massive sail caught his head, wounding him fatally. Mr Hall, the Crich surgeon, used all his skill to save the child’s life but without hope.

Derby Mercury 21 Sept 1842

INQUESTS BEFORE MR WHISTON, jun, CORONER – On Thursday last, at Crich, on the body of William Mather, a child of the age of 9 years, who died the day but one before from the effects of an injury which he received on the back of his head from one of the sails of a wind-mill, the Saturday previous.

A conveyance dated16th April 1844 between George Cowlishaw, Joseph Annable of Crich Carr, John Burton of Crich, grocer, Edward Carr late of Preston, druggist, but now of Belper stated that John Burton agreed to buy a further piece of land (150 square yards) from George Cowlishaw for £6, adjacent to John Burton’s other plot and beside John Burton’s windmill. Access to be along the existing seven foot wide trackway, to be widened to nine feet wide. Land to be occupied by Edward Carr for life.

In 1849 the windmill caught fire and was ruined.

Derby Mercury 21 Feb 1849

Total Destruction of a Corn Mill by Fire.
On Friday night, the 16th inst., the windmill belonging to Mr. John Burton, of Manchester, and lately in the occupation of Messrs. John and William Sykes, of Crich, situate at Crich Carr, in this county, was totally destroyed by fire. It appears the proprietor on that day had been drying the cylinders and other apparatus belonging to the mill which were in a damp state, and betwixt eight and nine o'clock at night he went, accompanied by a young man named John Holmes, to see that all was safe, and which apparently was so; but about eleven o'clock he was called out of bed to witness its total destruction, and so rapidly did the devouring element spread, owing to the combustible nature of the materials, that it was impossible to approach it, in order to make any attempt to stem its progress. About an hour after the fire was discovered the sails together with the large beams of timber came down with a tremendous crash, leaving the mill a complete wreck. Happily no person was injured. The drying kiln adjoining the mill escaped the fire, owing to its being situated to windward. How the fire originated is unknown. We are glad to hear Mr. B. was insured.

In a conveyance dated 18th October 1849 between John Burton late of Crich, grocer, but now of Manchester; Joseph Annable of Crich Carr, farmer; Joseph Stone of Wirksworth, gentleman (the solicitor) reference was made to a sale indenture of 12th June 1841 between George Cowlishaw and John Burton. Now, Joseph Annable has paid John Burton £30. At the time of the enclosure plot 175 was assigned to Thomas Carwood; these two pieces of land of 150 square yards are a part of it. A windmill built there following enclosure is now in ruins, but the stone and materials of the windmill are included in the sale.

Site of Burton's windmill in CrichFrom a field name map of 1849. "Poddington Allotment" should be "Coddington Allotment" and is Plot 175 on the enclosures map











Conveyance of 25th March 1858 recorded that James Anable of Wirksworth, yeoman, to Walter Yates of Crich Carr, higgler, who has paid over now £340 including interest for the newly erected house on land described at enclosure as plot 175, but excluding the two fields of 150 square yards each. A windmill had been built here.

site of Burton's mill on 1880 mapIt is assumed that some of the stone from the ruined windmill was used to build Stone House. The 1880 maps shows the house building on plot 599.

Reproduced from 1880 Ordnance Survey map with the kind permission of Ordnance Survey.










Sites of the three known Crich Windmills.

sites of Crich Mills

Reproduced from 1838-1842 Ordnance Survey map with the kind permission of Ordnance Survey.

Fritchley windmill

What is beyond doubt is that Fritchley had at least one windmill as evidence clearly remains.

map of Fritchley Mill

From a field name map of 1849; Milling Spot, Mill Green and Mill Green Close in Fritchley.

Photographs courtesy Geoff Dawes archive

fritchley windmill

An oddity with the photographs above and below. Above – the windmill is more delapidated than the cottage; below – the cottage is more delapidated than the windmill. Was the cottage repaired between the two photographs?

Fritchley windmill

Photo 2010: Peter Patilla

fritchley windmill

Alan Gifford, in his excellent book "Derbyshire Windmills Past & Present" (Heage Windmill Society), states that this post mill must have been built before 1793. He names the following millers:

Elijah Hall (1817); Eliza Hall (1829); John Hall (1846–1855); George Fletcher (1862); James Slack (1864 –1887)

See Frichley windmill photos for modern photographs.

From The Derby Mercury dated 26 October 1853

To be sold likewise the Material of a Windmill, standing near Crich, consisting of a large quantity of Stone, two valuable step ladders, a quantiti of oak and other timber, floor boards, &c. a large quantity of cast metal Mill work, and other material too numerous to mention.



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