Steam Mill


Drainage Windpumps
Steam Mills

Harleston steam mill and maltings was bought by Henry Hudson in 1895, when he left Jay's Green towermill where he had been in business with William Blackwood.

It would appear that the mill had closed down by 1908 as Kelly's directory of that year lists Henry Hudson as being at the Magpie Hotel and there is no mention of the mill. Henry Hudson having left the mill and business when he married the widow owner of Harleston Magpie.

Unsuccessful sale
Unsuccessful sale - Norfolk News - 26th May 1906

'Mill Premises, known as '20th Century Roller Flour Mills' with stores, granaries and stabling contained a five bedroom house, garden, offices and two cottages and was the property of Henry Leonard Hudson. He was a prominent business man in the town and had been a director of Harvey and Hudson the bank which became bankrupt and was bought by Gurney and Co in 1870. The rolling plant of two sacks capacity was contained in a four storey building.
On the ground floor was the engine house with a 20 hp horizontal girder steam driven engine. Adjoining was a stone floor containing two pairs of 4 ft French Burr stones, wheat dressing machinery, wheat screener (used for removing dust and dirt from grain prior to grinding) with all the necessary gears, pulleys and hoists. the second floor had a rotary scalper and sifter, a double purifier and 3 flour mixers. the dust collector was on the fourth floor.
The whole property, with immediate possession was offered for sale at the Magpie Hotel in May 1906 when Henry Hudson at 58 years old, decided to retire from the business. In fact he took on the Magpie Hotel. Charles Marston of Bungay took over the mill in 1909, and on his death in 1919 it was passed to his son Charles Candace Marston who in 1923 was awarded the prestigious silver challenge cup ' The Miller' at the baker's exhibition.'
Whatever happened to Musketts? - Harleston Heritage Group

Harleston Mill was in 1935 producing meat pies. The premises were rented by British Cooked Meats, which was owned by the butcher Frank Spurgeon* and a farmer from Alburgh, Harry Andrews. At the outbreak of the war, the Army commandeered the mill and soldiers from the Camerons Highlanders were stationed there. They used the facilities there to produce food for the troops. At the end of the war, the mill was taken over by the British Government and used as a sugar store until it was discovered that virtually all the sacks of sugar had been attacked by rats. By 1851 it had come under the ownership of Charles Candace Marston, who was still trading as Charles Marston (Bungay) Ltd, Harleston Norfolk. he had bought the property  in 1909 for £600. The company was a subsidiary of Hovis and Co. In 1956 Hovis amalgamated with McDougall and flour continued to be produced at Harleston, and the mill buildings were demolished soon after. To prevent the flour dust from falling through the floor, the heavy boards had been jointed as tongue and groove with a zinc strip inserted in the joint to perfectly seal between the boards. These floors were fifty feet long'
 *Frank Spurgeon occupied the neighbouring premises from at least 1933 - the family business returned only a few years ago and is now in different more central premises
Whatever happened to Musketts? - Harleston Heritage Group

Diss Express - 24th September 1909
Diss Express - 24th September 1909

Probaby William Oliver Brock who would have then been in his mid 40-s.  In the 1911 census he was living in one of the grand pseudo regency terrace houses on the London Road - Wilderness Terrace and described himself as assisting in the Corn and Coal Business.  Corn and Coal being the main string of the Hudsons commercial bow.  The 1901 census had him claiming to be a manager in the same business.  I suspect he took on the Mills when his boss retired and overextended himself, may have been forced to sell on to the Marstons who had deeper pockets
Kate Chenneour - 4th May 2023

O.S. Map 2005
O.S. Map 2005
Image produced under licence from Ordnance Survey

Kelly's 1896: Henry Hudson, miller (steam) coal, corn, & general merchant & maltster, Redenhall road

Kelly's 1900:
Hudson Henry, miller (steam) (E. R. & F. Turner's roller process), coal, corn & general merchant & maltster, 20th Century flour mills & farmer, Darby's farm, Redenhall

Kelly's 1904:
Hudson Henry, miller (steam) (E. R. & F. Turner's roller process), coal, corn & general merchant & maltster, 20th Century flour mills & farmer

c.1906: Mill closed down

6th October 1909: Mill machinery and contents sold by auction

If you have any memories, anecdotes or photos please let us know and we may be able to use them to update the site. By all means telephone 07836 675369 or

Nat Grid Ref TM24648360
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Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2007