Village Windmills

There have been numerous windmills in the village over the years, though very little is known about any of them.

Their history is very sketchy and confusing, and if anyone can help straighten out the discrepancies I would be very grateful, in the meantime, here goes ...

Between 1775 and 1792, a post mill was sited close to a gravel pit (now a fishing pond) on Beverley Road. It is recorded that the miller had a dispute with his neighbour, who retaliated by planting a row of trees which eventually grew and disrupted the wind-flow to the mill, eventually putting it out of business.

By 1800 there were two mills depicted on a map drawn in connection with improvements to the River Hull Navigation and the proposed Leven Canal - One was the old post mill and the newcomer was a tower mill on the other side of the road near the canal head. This mill was apparently worked by William Cook, but no accurate date is known.

Hebb's New Mill
Later still, around 1893, two mills were known to have existed in the village. One would have been Hebb Mill, then known as Leven New Mill', by then converted to wind & steam power, and the other would probably have been Wright's Mill, also wind and steam driven, which was sited in what is now the Mill Drive/Barley Gate area of the village, Edward Armytage Wright being the miller/farmer.

Around the mid 1940's a lightning bolt struck Hebb New Mill, causing a fire that gutted the structure. It was never rebuilt, and the base still remains today, still bearing the scar where the lightning strike went to ground.

It is unclear what happened to the tower mill near to Canal Head (run by William Cook), or when Wright's Mill was originally built, but apparently, due to its bad state of repair, it was demolished in the early 1920's.

A conflicting article has come to light in recent years, and goes something like this...

"before crossing Bowlam Dyke by Mill Bridge" (South Street), "set back from the road on the right, Old Mill House, the home of George Hollders, a farmer [assumed to be the site of the old post mill] Next on the left, the windmill of Mr William Cook and his wife Elizabeth, one of three corn mills in the village. from Mr Cook's mill [opposite Nursery Walk] the mill of George Agar, set back from High Stile, [assumed to be Wright's Mill] and the new mill of Blackie Stevenson and his wife Elizabeth on Spruce Road (on top of the hill between the end of East Street and the new bypass) [assumed to be Hebb New Mill] would clearly be seen"

There is no accurate date to which this article refers, only "about 150 years ago"

Our thanks go out to Margaret Kirby for the following information - John Hebb was baptized at Leven on 2nd November 1845 (died 2.11.1910 age 65). He appears in the 1871 census, age 25, as Corn Miller and in 1881 again and in East Street. In 1891 he is at Hornsea Road but in 1891 John describes himself as Brewers Agent 'Beer Off' but with him his is unmarried son Thomas M. Hebb 27 Corn Miller. From the photo of the Mill with the Knaggs family in it, the Knaggs family came to Leven in mid 1890s. I worked this out from the children who were born at North Frodingham and then others in later 1890s at Leven. The photo (windmill with no sales) is early 1900s.