Barnham Broom Mill
River Yare


Drainage Mills (Windpumps)
Steam Mills


Barnham Broom had two mills listed at the time of Domesday but only one survived into modern times. This final structure was quite a small mill and was under the same roof as the mill house, which still remains today. It was constructed of weatherboard with a pantiled roof.

At one point its water power was supplemented by a heavy oil engine that operated the mill via a pulley wheel on the end wall of the mill. The engine also operated a belt driven circular saw and a weaving loom.

When the waterwheel was in operation the whole building would shake.

The mill probably ceased operating during the war and was demolished c.1944.


The watermill was probably also worked in conjunction with a postmill that lay a short way to the east as the Tithe Award of 1847 showed that the land surrounding the postmill was owned by Robert Atkins who also owned and ran the watermill and the land had probably been in the family for some time. It is also likely that the postmill ceased to work some time after the towermill was built adjacent to the watermill..

Barnham Broom drawing
Pippa Miller's copy of Claude Messent's 1938 original

In 1938 Claude Messent records This is one of the smaller types of mill, but is of much interest as showing a mill and house continuous under one roof. A curious feature is that the roof at the mill end gradually changes from a straight pitch to the slightly double pitch of the Mansard type. The arches to the waterway are unusually lofty and narrow. This water mill is built mainly of timber framing and weather boarding but part of the brickwork to the left centre of the picture is included in the mill.

closeup c.1925
Closeup from the top photo

The photo above clearly shows the pulley on the gable wall and also a large pile of wood that was possibly waiting to be sawn on the engine driven circular saw.

Mar1967 Mar1977
March 1967
March 1977


At the beginning of October (Unless disposed of by Private Contract)
The valuable FREEHOLD MILLS at Barnham Broom, Norfolk, consisting of an excellent water mill & windmill, with flour mills, machinery & going gears complete, now in full trade. Also a good substantial built Dwelling house lately titted up, with a well planted garden & 4 acres of excellent meadow land adjoining & a chaise house, granaries, stable, waggon lodge, piggeries & other suitable Buildings. The Machinery in the Mills are recently built & the Mills are capable of manufacturing at least 7 lasts of corn per week. Barnham Broom is situate in a fine corn country, 4 miles from Wymondham, 7 from Dereham & only 9 from Norwich, all good corn markets.
Possession may be had at Michaelmas next & a moity of the purchase money (if required) may remain upon mortgage for a term of years. Apply to Mr. John Stedman, the proprietor, at Barnham Broom Mills near Wymondham. Mr. George Shafto, Millwright, St. Martins at Oak, Norwich, or Mr. S. GILMAN, Solr. Hingham

Norfolk Chronicle - 12th & 19th September 1818


On Saturday, 31st October, at 4 o'clock, At the White Swan Inn, Norwich. (Unless sooner disposed of by Private Contract)
The valuable FREEHOLD MILLS at Barnham Broom, Norfolk, consisting of an excellent watermill and windmill, with flour mills, machinery and going gears complete, now in full trade. Also a good substantial built Dwelling-house lately fitted up, with a well planted garden and 4 acres of excellent meadow land adjoining, and a chaise house, granaries, stable, waggon lodge, piggeries and other suitable Buildings. The Machinery in the Mills are recently built and the Mills are capable of manufacturing 7 lasts of corn per week.
Barnham Broom is situate in a fine corn country, 4 miles form Wymondham, 7 from Dereham and only 9 from Norwich, all good corn markets.
The Land Tax is 24s. per annum and there is no other annual out going whatsoever.
Possession may be had at Michaelmas next and a moiety of the purchase money (if required) may remain upon Mortgage for a term of years.
Apply to Mr. John Steadman, the Proprietor, at Barnham Broom Mills, near Wymondham, Mr. George Shafto, Millwright, St. Martin's at Oak, Norwich, or Mr. S. Gilman, Solicitor, Hingham.

Norfolk Chronicle - 10th, 17th & 24th October 1818

Robert Atkins miller c.1836 - c.1847 married Hannah Johnson on 17th February 1830 at North Elmham. While living at Barnham Broom mill they had nine children: Alfred Barzillai b.1832, Hannah Elizabeth b.1832, William Robert b.1833, Goddard George b.1834, Thomas b.1835, Hannah b.1837, Henry Charles b.1839, Susannah b.1841 and Robert b.1842. Hannah Atkins died in 1842, possibly as a result of childbirth complications.
Robert remarried and with his new wife Emma White, had two childeren - a son William Benjamin Lewis b.1847 and Mary Blanche b. 11th April 1851 in Norwich.
Robert Atkins left the mill, probably early in 1848 and moved to London Street in Norwich, where the 1851 census lists him as a draper and his wife Emma as a milliner.
The 1901 census shows that daughters Hannah and Mary Blanche were both living at the same address in Putney, London.

Barnham Broom W. Atkins DC 26Nov1839
Detail from the death certificate of 6 year old William Atkins who died after being accidentally burnt on 26th November, 1839

Tithe Award 1847
Map. Millard & Son, Surveyors, Norwich. 1846

Owner: Lord Wodehouse
Occupier: Robert Atkins

No. 259
No. 260
Windmill & yard
Dwelling house, water mill etc
0a. 1r. 11p.
1a. 0r. 4p.

To Millers. To be Let. With Immediate Possession
All those two powerful Water & Wind Corn Mills with a good Dwelling house, Barn, Stable & other Outbuildings & about 20 acres of superior Arable, Meadow & Pasture Land situate at Barnham Broom in the County of Norfolk now in the occupation of the Trustees of Mr. Robert Atkins.
For Rent & particulars apply to S.H.L.N. Gilman, Esq. Hingham, Mr. Frank Freestone, Solr. or Mr. Butcher, Auctioneer, Norwich.

Norfolk Chronicle & Norwich Gazette - 1st April 1848

To be Let with possession at Michaelmas next
The BARNHAM BROOM WIND & WATER MILLS & 40 acres of very good land. The Wind Mill drives two pair of stones & the Water Mill three pair of stones.
Apply to Mr. Roberson, Barnham Broom Mills, near Wymondham.
Norfolk Chronicle - 26th May, 2nd, 9th & 16th June 1860

Barnham Broom Mills
John Standley has received instructions to Sell by Auction all the Live & Dead FARMING STOCK, Mill Carriages & Sacks … of Mr. Burton B. Harvey under a Deed of Assignment.
Particulars in future papers ..

Auctioneer’s office, Wymondham.
Norfolk News - 26th November 1864

To be Let on Lease. With immediate possession.
The Barnham Broom Water & Wind Mills
With an excellent Residence & about 42 acres of fine Arable & Pasture Land. The Water Mill drives three pairs of Stones & the Windmill two pairs.

Apply to Mr. Forrester, Tombland, Norwich.
Norfolk Chronicle & Norfolk News - 26th November 1864

To be Let
The Barnham Broom Mills and small Farm adjoining.

The windmill containing two pairs of stones and the Water Mill three pairs and has a Steam Engine (belonging to the tenant) attached to it. Distance from the Hardingham and Kimberley Railway Stations about 2½ miles.
Apply to Mr. Forrester Tombland Norwich

Norfolk Chronicle - 11th May 1867

The Bankruptcy Act, 1861
In the MATTER of the Deed of Conveyance for the benefit of Creditors executed by David Sayer of Barnham Broom near Wymondham in the County of Norfolk, Miller & Farmer bearing the date the 11th day of March 1867 & duly registered under & in pursuance of the 192nd section of the above Act.
THE TRUSTEES of the above named David Sayer hereby give notice …
To declare a Dividend on all debts due from the said David Sayer …
Dated this 25th day of May 1867
J.H. Tillett & Son
Solicitors to the said Trustee

St. Andrews Street, Norwich.
Norfolk Chronicle - 1st June 1867

Sale Tuesday September 24
Under instructions from Mr. D. Sayer
(Live stock)

12 o'c at the Mills.
Norfolk Chronicle - 21st September 1867

Situations Vacant
To Journeymen Millers
Wanted an experienced Person who must be a Married Man.
Reference required.
Apply to Mr. S. T. Turner, Barnham Broom, Wymondham.
Norfolk News - 28th September 1867

Sale of effects of Mr. Sippens T. Turner, who relinquishes occupation of the Mills.
Norfolk Chronicle - 30th August 1873

headrace Mar1967 Barnham Broom watercourse Mar1967
Headrace March 1967
Old watercourse March 1967

Barnham Broom Inquest
12 - 13 year old boy James Andrews fatally injured by hoisting chain in Mr. Turner's water mill

Norfolk News - 23rd November 1872

1977 old brickwork 1977
March 1977
Old brickwork in 1977

Mill House, Barnham Broom, Nr Wymondham



Mill House is a C18 house erected on two storeys. It has 5 bedrooms and there is a self contained annexe. Outside is an old stable block converted to provide a studio/games room and car port.

The grounds include old mill workings and extend to nearly 3 acres.
There is mains electricity, well water, and drainage is to a septic tank.
Oil-fired central heating is installed.
Apply: Messrs. Jackson, Stopps & Staff (Mr. M. Knight), 168, High Street, Newmarket.
Tel. 0638 2231.

S.P.A.B. - February 1978

During renovation of the mill in the 1980s a series of gas pipes were discovered that were traced back to a small acetylene production plant to the side of the mill that provided lighting before the advent of electricity in the vicinity.

Barnham Broom wheelrace 5Jan2003 5Jan2003
Wheelrace 5th January 2003
Headrace 5th January 2003

When the mill was constructed, much of the brickwork base was built on slats of wood with no foundations with the area above and between the water arches being simply filled in with loose rubble. Over time, the mortar eroded and was washed away taking bricks with it. Eventually, during the 1990s, a 3 foot by 9 foot section of what was the old mill base suddenly collapsed, leaving a deep hole in the brick river channel. It took in excess of two full loads of readymixed concrete to fill the abyss.

5Jan2003 5Jan2003
5th January 2003
5th January 2003

Barnham Broom windmill base 5Jan2003
Remains of the windmill base 5th January 2003

My great, great grandfather was Robert Atkins - one time miller at Barnham Broom Mill. He was born June 1805 and was alive at the 1881 census - living in London with his wife (Emma), alive sometime in 1882 as recorded in a Post Office directory for London and dead by the 1891 census, as Emma was described as a widow. She was living in Wandsworth/Putney at the 1891 census. She died in 1892.
Roger Atkins - December 2004

31st May 2004

We were doing some research into my wife's family - Yeomans - and the connection with Barnham Broom. On reading the file on the two Mills by chance - bingo - because there was a reference to the 1841 census and the connection we were looking for..... Ralph Yeomans age 25 was a servant at the mill in 1841 and coming by that year was a family of journeyman millers with a young daughter !!
The records show that he and Thirza were married the same year and they had 10 children, one of whom was George Sutton Yeomans, a direct descendant of my wife. (Our second son is named James Sutton - so we now know why !!)
They lived in Barnham Broom for the rest of their lives and they are both buried at the village church. There is also a reference by the great great grandson of Robert Atkins, the miller at the BB mill when Ralph and Thirza met and married.
We have no photos or personal records but would very interested if anyone did...

Alan Sparshott - 25th January 2011

Listed under Census 1841 is recorded a family by the name of 'Cook'. William Cook (a Journeyman Miller) and his wife Clarissa Cook are noted to be at the Mill with their five children...
The youngest of the children  Clarissa aged 10 in 1841 appears to be the wife of my Great Grand Uncle Edward Henry Howes.
Edward Henry Howes was born on 6th February, 1839 in Wymondham and died on the 3rd September 1900 at Bondi Sydney Australia.
Clarissa Cook was born in 1832 at Norfolk and married Edward Henry Howes on 25th March 1860 at St.Stephens Church Norwich. The Marriage Certificate recorded her fathers name was William Cook and he was a Miller.
Unfortunately Clarissa Cook died on the 7th October, 1860 from a miscarriage aborted at 6 weeks. As both myself and other relatives have a great interest in the Cook and Howes family we wondered if anyone may have any further information which could be helpful to the families here in Australia.

Robert Lee, Queensland, Australia - 1st March 2013

I stayed at  Mill House in about the mid 1960s when I was a child.  It belonged to my mother's cousin Joe Gurney. He lived there for a while I think and then moved to Northrepps Hall.
Alexandra Walker - 8th March 2024

O. S. Map 1881

O. S. Map 1881
Courtesy of NLS map images

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

Poll book 1802: Richard Jary, miller (possibly wind)

1818: John Stedman, owner

September 1818: Mill advertised for sale by auction

Bryant's map 1826:
Barnham Water Mill

Pigot's 1830: William Atkins, miller, Barnham Broom

White's 1836: Robert Atkins (b.June 1805, Runhall, m. Hannah 1830)

Pigot's 1839: William Atkins

November 26th 1839: William Atkins - 6 year old son of Robert Atkins died. He was accidentally burnt

Census 1841:

Robert Atkins (35) miller
Hannah Atkins (30)
Henry Atkins (2)
Susanna Atkins (6 mths)
Harriet Pigg (15) independent
Mary Atkins (15) iIndependent
Caroline Taylor (15) servant
Hannah Carman (15) servant
Rebecca Buitton (20) servant
Ralph Yeomans (25) servant
Address: Water Mill

William Cook (65) journeyman miller
Clarissa Cook (45)
Thurza Cook (20)
James Cook (19) journeyman miller
Mary Cook (15)
Harriet Cook (14)
Clarissa Cook (10)
Maria Pole (20)
William Spurdens (19) journeyman miller

John Rudd (30) journeyman miller
Sophia Rudd (30)
John Rudd (9)
Mary Rudd (7)
William Rudd (5)
Alfred Rudd (3)
Thomas Rudd (1)

White's 1845: Robert Atkins, miller

Tithe Award 1847: Owner Lord Wodehouse; Occupier Robert Atkins

April 1848: Mill advertised to be let

April 1848: Mill let to Tingey & Roberson, farmers & merchants (trustees to Robert Atkins)

1850: Tingey & Roberson, farmers & merchants

Census 1851: William Mitchell (24) b.North Walsham, miller
Maria Mitchell (28) b.Barnham Broom

1853: Tingey & Roberson, farmers & merchants, also at Hardingham - also owned by Lord Wodehouse

1858 - 1860: Tingey & Roberson, farmers & merchants

May 1860: Mill advertised to be let

Birth certificate October 1862: Burton B. Harvey (miller) husband of Sarah and father of Robert Blyth Harvey

1863: Burton B. Harvey, farmer

1864: Burton B. Harvey, farmer (made Deed of Assignment to creditors)

November 1864: Trade stock of Burton B. Harvey advertised for sale by auction

November 1864: Mill advertised to be let

1865: David Sayer

11th May 1867: Norfolk Chronicle advertised the mill to be let

June 1867: David Sayer's trustees declared a dividend on his debts

24th September 1867: David Sayer's stock sold (declared bankrupt and made Deed of Conveyance)

1867: Sippens T. Turner, farmer

1868: Sippens T. Turner, farmer

28th September 1872: Sippens T. Turner advertised for a journeyman miller

13th November 1872: James Andrews jnr (12) fatally injured (b. 3rd Oct 1860)

September 1873: Sippens T. Turner sold his effects

1875: John Wrigglesworth, farmer - Mill Farm

Kelly's 1879: John Wrigglesworth jn, farmer & miller, Mill Farm

14th October 1881: Towermill cap and sails blown off in a gale

White's 1883: John Wrigglesworth, farmer & miller (water only)

1888: John Wrigglesworth, farmer - Mill Farm (water only)

Kelly's 1892: John Wrigglesworth, farmer & miller (water) - Mill Farm

Kelly's 1896: John Wrigglesworth, farmer & miller (water) - Mill Farm

18th February 1899: John Wrigglesworth died aged 72 (born 17th September 1826 at Wicklewood)

Kelly's 1900: Herbert Charles Betts, miller (water) & farmer

Kelly's 1904: Herbert Charles Betts, miller (water) & farmer

Kelly's 1908: Herbert Charles Betts, miller (water) & farmer

Kelly's 1912: Herbert Charles Betts, miller (water) & farmer

Kelly's 1916: Charles Gayford, miller (water) & farmer

1920: Charles Gayford (water only)

Kelly's 1922: Charles Gayford, miller (water)

Kelly's 1925: Charles Gayford, miller (water)

Kelly's 1929: Charles Gayford, miller (water)

Kelly's 1933: Charles Gayford, miller (water)

Kelly's 1937: Charles Gayford, miller (water)

1943: Mr. Rackham bought mill, removed the machinery and demolished the mill

1952: Richard & Violet Loveday, Mill House

c.1965: Mill House owned by Joe Gurney

February 1978: Property advertised for sale by Jackson, Stopps & Staff for £38,000

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 TG 07510742
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Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2003