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I believe the date of this photo (which is stated as 1876) is actually older (earlier) than the 1876 date.
The reason is that the railway is not in evidence adjacent to what is now Isis st (which runs across the middle of the photo from the lower part of Severn St at the bottom of the South Hill). Isis St was realigned closer to the Windmill side of the railway when the railway was built so its new alignement would be obvious even if the tracks could not be seen.
Secondly the windmill itself does not yet have the steam engine shed located anywhere nearby (this had its own chimney stack that was over half the height of the Windmill in size). This engine sheed and chimney was located to the northern part of the windmill so would be clearly evidenced in this photo if it did exist. The Steam engine was operational sometime in 1869 and the engine shed chimney would be visible from prior to this time onwards (as the shed and chimney were built).
Thirdly, the lack of any other buildings on the South Hill in front of/below the Windmill, West of Lune St.
Archives (Papers Past) show that there were some buildings on the even numbered (downhill) side of Stour St from not long after the Windmill was first built. As those sections were marked out and sold as sections in 1864.
This all means that I think this photo may in fact date from late 1867 - 1867 was the year during which the Windmill was built and first opened. Or even early the next year i.e. 1868.
As not long after these early dates that the steam engine was added to the WIndmill to provide more round the clock operations. So there is a narrow window of maybe 2 years from when the Windmill was built - so it looked as it does here before it then had the engine shed added so that it no longer matches the photo.
These all suggest the photo may have been taken sometime in (late) 1867-1868. When it was basically "brand new".
You can read more about the windmill's history here:
- Greg Nikoloff posted one month ago.