Windmill Domain is named after Mt Eden’s first industry. In 1844 William Mason established the Eden Flour Mill. Mason, who had been one of the founders of Auckland, would have a long career as a politician,
Auckland’s first flour miller, John Bycroft Snr was one of the earliest settlers of the Mt Eden district, and the stone mill he built in 1843 in Windmill Road, was for more than a century one of the best-known landmarks. For a number of years the maori people brought kits of corn to be ground into flour while they sat around in the fields eating pipis, and in more recent times local gardeners found the remains of these feasts in the form of heaps of shells.
In 1854 Mt Bycroft sold the mill and bought another at Onehunga, powered by water and there he made his first biscuits. The original mill was operated for about ten years longer, until converted into a defence point for the protection of Auckland during the Maori Wars but was not required for this purpose. It then fell into disuse and the property was sold to a Sheltand Islander, Robert Robertson who converted the ground floor into a dairy.
Old residents remember the mill as a 50′ ivy-covered structure in a state of gradual decay. It was demolished in 1952.
NB: The above text has been taken from the book by E C Franklin – Mount Eden’s First Hundred Years and differs from the information presented in the Maungawhau Heritage Walks Brochure, as seen below. Clarification is being sought.
In 1844 William Mason established the Eden Flour Mill. Mason, who had been one of the founders of Auckland, would have a long career as a politician, architect and farmer in both the North and South islands. The mill buildings comprised of a large scoria windmill, and a timber store and millers house. The mill was soon sold to Reverend Walter Lawry, General Superintendent of the Wesleyan Church. It was later purchased by entrepreneur John Bycroft who ran the enterprise for seventeen years.
During the late 1860s it was taken over by Robert Robertson who set the millstones to work crushing bones for fertilizer. The Mt Eden Borough Council’s history of the area notes that when animal bones were scarce the gruesome practice of using human bones collected from Maori burial caves was undertaken. In later years the windmill was demolished in 1929.