East Harling
River Thet


Drainage Mills (Windpumps)
Steam Mills

Painting by unknown artist c.1880

East Harling watermill was built of weatherboard over a brick base and had a pantiled roof. A leanto steam shed was built against one gable end and used a very tall chimney. Steam was used to supplement the waterwheel in times of low water levels.

c.1900 c.1900

Pippa Miller's copy of photo c.1900
Pippa Miller's copy of photo c.1900

Roger (Bygod) ... being 25 years old, but he also having no issue, in 1301 settled all his estate except ... upon King Edward I, after his and his wife's death ...
This Roger, jointly with his wife, Alice, held this manor of the King's grant upon the settlement, at which time the manor house had a demean of 335 acres of land, 15 of meadow and 20 acres of pasture with a park, 2 windmills and a fourth part of Harling mill ... he died in 1305.
Blomefield's History of Norfolk


At the GEORGE INN, Thetford, on Thursday April 12 1797,
in Seventeen lots,

THE MANOR HOUSE and valuable and extensive MANOR of EAST HARLING, with the two very valuable LARGE FARMS, several SMALL FARMS, a capital Water CORN MILL, the Swan, Queen's Head and Nag's Head INNS, fundry other MESSUAGES and TENEMENTS with portions of LAND and valuable RIGHTS of COMMON belonging to each.
The whole of the yearly value of 1108l. 2s. 6d.
Poffeffion may be had at Michaelmas next of the Mansion-house, and feveral other lots which, with all other circumftances attending the eftate, are defcribed in printed particulars to be had at the George Inn, Thetford; of Mr. Tillett, at Eaft Harling, who will fhew the premiffes,; of Mr. Ranfome, Wymondham; of Mr. Bacon, the Auctioneer, at Norwich; and of Meffrs. Kent, Claridge and Pearce, at their office, No. 5, Gray's Court, Weftminfter.
The Sale will begin precifely at Eleven o'clock.

Norwich Mercury - 15th April 1797

A short time since was caught in the mill pool of Mr Rodwell of East Harling, Norfolk, a sturgeon, which weighed 72 lbs, and measured 6 feet in length.
Ipswich Journal - 15th August 1807

c.1906 1915





Elizabeth Colman c.1864 Timothy Colman c.1864
Elizabeth Colman c.1864
Timothy Colman c.1864

Timothy Colman - 1900 Thomas Banyard Colman - c.1900
Timothy Colman 1900
Thomas Banyard Colman c.1900

To Millers and Merchants
To Let and entered upon immediately
A Capital TOWER_WINDMILL, good Dwelling House, Barn, Stables, Miller's Cottage, Counting House, roomy Warehouses for Corn and Seeds etc. with about 5 acres of Land situate at Rockland St. Peter 5 miles from Attleborough and 5 from Watton where a profitable business has been carried on for several years.
Apply to Mr. Timothy Colman, East Harling Mills.
Norfolk Chronicle - 14th November 1857

Millpool and house June 1969 Millpool and house 25th January 2004
Millpool and house June 1969
Millpool and house 25th January 2004

Candler Family
Edward Candler, 1811 - 1888 was recorded as miller at Bawburgh in 1836 and 1845. His family were Quakers and several of his relatives were also millers. Lawrence Candler 1747 - 1820 was recorded at at Cringleford in 1806 (either the watermill or the postmill). His son Lawrence jnr. 1773 - 1824 was recorded at Cringleford_watermill in 1836 and again in 1845 with Horatio (his brother?). Horatio was again recorded there in 1864 and his son Horace Robert from 1883 - 1908. Lawrence and Horatio were recorded at Saxlingham_Thorpe_watermill from 1845 - 1863; they were also running Saxlingham_towermill in 1847. In 1879 and 1883 Horace was also recorded at East Harling watermill, where he lived and from at least 1890 - 1896 he was also running Keswick_watermill.

Around the turn of the 19th century Timothy Colman was working the mill with his nephew Banyard Colman until there was a family disagreement and the two fell out. Banyard then decided to open his own mill at East Harling station in opposition to his uncle. It appears the new mill was more efficient and eventually the watermill was forced to close before being demolished, possibly as early as 1908. However, some of the photographs on this page appear to contradict this date. Wheel markings can still be made out under the old mill bridge.

Old Mill Bridge c.1910
Old Mill Bridge c.1910

East Harling Enclosure Map 1805
East Harling Enclosure Map 1805
Windmill is East Harling postmill

The millpool c.1965
The millpool c.1965

An old water arch May 1967
An old water arch May 1967

East Harling mill workers and stablehands lived in cottages opposite the church. At one time about 20 horses were being used to bring grain in from farms over a wide area as well as delivering meal back to farms and flour to local bakers. It was only c.1960 that the stables and buildings were demolished to make way for a village community centre, although stones from the stables were salvaged and used for the community centre thus allowing for harmony of material and colour with adjoining buildings.

Mill dam May 1967
Mill dam May 1967


O.S. Map 1904
O.S. Map 1904
Courtesy of NLS map images

1301: One fourth of the mill owned by Roger & Alice Bygod along with two Lopham windmills

Faden's map 1797: Mill

April 1797: Mill advertised for sale by auction

17th June 1804: Lionel Rodwell, miller, died aged 56. His wife had died on 10th April 1791 aged 36

1807: ? Rodwell, miller

August 1807: A 6 ft. 72lb sturgeon caught in mill pool

Pigot's 1830:
Thomas Jary, miller, Church road

White's 1836: Thomas Jary, corn miller

Pigot's 1839: Thomas Jary

White's 1845: Thomas Jary, corn miller (& East Harling towermill)

1857: Timothy Colman, miller (previously at Rockland St. Peter towermill)

White's 1864: Timothy Colman, corn miller

Kelly's 1879: Horace Robert Candler, miller

White's 1883: Horace Robert Candler, miller, corn, seed, malt, hops, sacks, coal & cake mrcht.
East Harling & Cringleford mills; h. East Harling mills

Frederick Fox, foreman miller

Kelly's 1883: Thomas Banyard Colman

White's 1890:
Thomas Banyard Colman, miller, corn, seed, & manure merchant, coal, coke and seed factor, East Harling steam and water mills

Census 1891: Headly Chapman, journeyman miller

Kelly's 1892:
Thomas Banyard Colman, miller (water & steam), corn, seed & manure merchant, coal, cake & salt factor & agent for Ind, Coope & Co. Romford ales, Steam & Water mills

Kelly's 1896: Thomas Banyard Colman, miller (water & steam)

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 TL98908670
Top of Page
Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2003