The Upper Mill at Kurrajong

aka Speedwell, Wheeny Creek, Wheeney Creek, Leverton's Mill, Singleton's Mill

Singleton Mills homepage > Kurrajong Watermills > The Upper Mill, Wheeny Creek

The first flour mill that is thought to have been established by the Singleton family was known as the Upper Mill or the Speedwell. It was located on portion 122 in the Parish of Kurrajong (shown on the map below in green) about 2k north of Kurrajong. It was built on Little Wheeny Creek which had a constant water flow.

sites where the two watermills built by the singleton family were built near kurrajong nsw

Above: The site of the Upper Mill, shown in green; and the site of the Lower Mill, shown in purple.

This mill site has now been listed on the State Heritage Register, following a proposal supported by the research of Les Dollin, Frank Holland and the Kurrajong Comleroy Historical Society.

Ruins and relics of the mill

Distinct traces of a 180m long millrace are visible.

At the location of the Upper Millpond, loose stones have been found that are believed to have been part of a millpond wall.

There are also pronounced rectangular cuttings the into the solid rock on both sides of the creek which may have been part of a structure used to test water flow rates in the creek.

A millstone from the Upper Mill was found near a road bridge above the mill. This millstone is now on display in Memorial Park, Kurrajong Village. It has a key hole in its centre. Millstones were used in pairs to grind the grain and this stone was the upper stone or Runner Stone which rotated against the stationary lower stone.

It is a Derbyshire gritstone, from the Derbyshire Peak District quarries in England. These stones are commonly called 'Grays' referring to the colour of the stone.

two millstones from the Singleton watermills built at Wheeny creek kurrajong -photo by Les Dollin

Above: Millstones from the Kurrajong Singleton mills on display at Memorial Park, Kurrajong. The vertical stone is from the Lower Mill and the horizontal stone is from the Upper Mill.

Descriptions of mill

The Upper Mill was built from stone on a solid rock foundation. Evidence on the site examined by Les Dollin suggests that the mill was originally a simple undershot mill. However, probably as finances and technology became available, it was converted to a more efficient overshot mill.

The Millhouse was probably originally constructed from weatherboard.

The first description of this mill that has been found was in an advertisement in The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, 23 March 1816:

"To be sold by Private Contract, a complete Overshot Water Mill, and 100 acres of good Land, known by the name of the Curryjong Brush …

the Mill being built on the Winney Creek, … The Mill will be engaged to be capable of grinding 40 bushels of wheat daily, and from there being no Mill within a considerable distance, it will have constant work…

Applications to be made to Mr. Benj. Singleton on the premises.."

A later description appears in an advertisement placed by a later owner in The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser on 10 June 1824:

"The Curryjong Mill, ... with a weather-boarded House adjoining and belonging to the said Estate. The Mill is plentifully supplied with water, is in good repair, and has a pair of excellent French burr stones. …"

The original track across Little Wheeny Creek crossed the creek further upstream from the present Mill Road crossing. This was done to get around the top of the millpond of the Upper Mill. Then the track followed the creek downstream past the Donny Brook Inn and then on to the Upper Mill.

Note that 'Mill Road' in Kurrajong was not so named because of the mills that the Singleton family established in this locality. Rather, it was named after Mr Isaac Mills who had a 30 acre property (portion 163) at the western end of the road.

***** Further information to come *****

History of the mill

The Upper Mill was built on a 50 acre portion of land that was granted to Benjamin Singleton. Evidence for this grant was found in a mortgage of this and adjoining properties by later owners, John and Sarah Payne on 27 May 1828. The land description stated:

"… fifty acres of land ... formerly granted by the Crown to one Benjamin Singleton, … together with the Water Mill now standing and being thereon …"

This mill must have been built prior to 1816 because Benjamin Singleton advertised it for sale as a "complete Overshot Water Mill" in The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, 23 March 1816. (see details above).

It was still in the Singleton family's hands in 1819 when an auction notice for the Upper Mill property was placed in The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, 8 May 1918:

"All those 50 acres of Land at Curry Jong Brush, in the District of Richmond ; together with the Water Mill, Buildings, and Premises, on the said Land erected …"

***** Further information to come *****

Further Reading
The Kurrajong MillsThe Lower Mill at Wheeny Creek, Kurrajong