Field's Mill, together with Killick's Mill (see below), formed a pair of windmills that stood on Broom Hill.
In Dickens' times the Miller was a Mr Clark, but the owner was Mr Field.
Mr Field was an amateur musician, who kept a piano, a harp, and a barrel organ in his sitting room. It is said that the Organ was bought from Loose Church, and so fixed that the power from the mill turned the organ's handle. Dickens would visit the Mill, on his walks and listen to the organ music.
Fields Mill burnt down in 1875.
Photo (c 1870) from Medway Archives (ref C050961069)
the broomhill windmills - Killicks Mill
Built in 1819, this one had 6 sides as opposed to the more usual 8-sided mills.
The cap was blown off for the second time in 1880. It was replaced and worked again for a year in 1890 but was unprofitable and it stood derelict until it was pulled down in the 1920s
Photo from Medway Archives (ref DE402/12/48)
The two windmills can be clearly seen on this map from 1803, of what was then known as Stroud Hill.
(Map courtesy of www.visionofbritain.org)
The mills were located just off what is now called Broom Hill Road, at the top of Gorse Road, where the aeriel mast is. Note that Frindsbury has a pair of windmills too.
Unfortunately not - this photograph (c 1897) shows the Frinsbury mills. However, it is perhaps the earliest photograph we have of Broomhill - on the left of the photo.
Taken from Rochester Castle keep, it shows clockwise from top left, Yoke Farm (Yoke House from c.1900), Frindsbury Road, Stonehorse Lane, Broom Hill, The Great Mill and The Little Mill, St. Mary’s Church and Vicarage, Station Road Board School, Canal Road, and Rochester Road and Rail bridges.
Photo (c 1879) from Medway Archives (ref DE402/12/38)