he bequest that Samuel Bass, basket maker, received from his cousins, half in 1832 from John Bass followed by the rest from Sarah Bass in 1841, was described by John Bass as "...land known as The Windmill at Littleham Devon"
The Devon Record Office state that there was a windmill near West Down and Gore Lanes. No information can yet be found on this.
Some information can be gleaned about a windmill on The Point, Exmouth. [location]
According to the website at http://www.exmouth-guide.co.uk/history.htm, it wasn't until some time later than the 13th century that Exmouth developed after the granting of land to a miller who built a windmill on the exposed land at The Point.
The Point Windmill has long since been demolished. Its site can now only be estimated as being between the Docks and Point Terrace.
The Point Windmill that was demolished sometime before 1850, according to Eric R. Delderfield's "Exmouth Milestones", was built by Messrs C. Webber in 1797 at a cost of £300 and they still owned it in 1825 although not used.
However, a news item in Trewmans Exeter Flying Post, dated 11 April 1799, attributes the building of the windmill to a Mr Champling. This report states that Mr Champling was struck by the vanes and was killed. (see cutting)
Another news item from the Trewmans Exeter Flying Post, this time dated 12 March 1818, reports a gale so violent that the vanes reached a speed high enough to cause a fire, destroying the upper part of the windmill. This happened on Tuesday, 7 March 1818. (see cutting)
Since the parish of Littleham includes "The Point" as indicated in this map
, I am inclined to believe that the one on Exmouth Point is the one referred to in the two Wills, mainly because it was so near shipbuilding activities and perhaps that is how the Bass's of Lympstone came to own it (and whatever went with it). According to "Exmouth Milestones" by Eric R. Delderfield, "...Messrs Walters and Wishart's and Mr George Hook's boat-building premises were immediately adjoining it".
If the Point Windmill is the correct one, then it seems possible to me that the bequest could have been something of a "white elephant" as far as the recipient, Samuel Bass, who lived in Topsham, was concerned, since the Point Windmill appears to have been demolished quite soon after he inherited the remainder of the property in 1841.
UPDATE : Additional evidence supporting the above has come to light in the form of an item in the newspaper "Western Times", dated Saturday 11th September 1847, under the heading The New Debt Court. It is a brief account of an action entitled Simmel v. Bass. Simmel had agreed to lay a barn floor at the Windmill, near Exmouth and Bass, the Defendant, had refused to pay. It contains the statement "Defendant was a basket maker, and had a life interest in £20 a-year, the rent of this estate at Exmouth". (see cutting)
UPDATE: On 24 May 2016,
I had an email from John Wakefield [email@example.com
] which convinced me that the Windmill at the Point in Exmouth is not The Windmill referred to in the Bass Wills. In fact the 1842 Tythe map apportionments
indicate that Samuel Bass leased from the late Lord Rolle 4 acres of meadow and a barn on the Salterton Road which he rented to Richard Webber. The lower 2 acres is numbered 776 and the higher 2 acres numbered 778 on the plan, whilst the barn and curtilage is numbered 777. This is a part
of the Tythe map. This is a larger part
of the Tythe map showing the location, relative to Exmouth on the left. The Point Windmill location is at the extreme left.
Quite why the land leased by Samuel Bass was described as "The Windmill" is open to conjecture.