Flordon Mill
tributary of River Tas


Drainage Mills (Windpumps)
Steam Mills


Flordon Mill stood just to the east of Tasburgh_mill on a tributary of the River Tas. The mill ceased production in around 1900 and having become derelict, was demolished in the 1920s.

It was one of the very few mills in Norfolk to use an overshot wheel - the others were at Buxton (one of its two wheels), Mundesley and Weybourne. Flordon's 16 foot diameter by 5 foot wide wheel worked with a water drop of 17 feet. Water power was supplemented by steam during the latter years in order to maintain production using three pairs of stones.

Flordon Mills
With Immediate Possession
To be Sold by Auction By Wm. Burt On Saturday 3 May 1806 at 4 o’c At the Rose in St. Augustines, Norwich
All that valuable WATER-MILL at Flordon in Norfolk, with the Dwelling house, stables & other buildings, garden, & about 5 acres of excellent arable & meadow Land adjoining, in the occupation of Mr. Robert Buck, held under a lease for a term of which 31 years were unexpired at Christmas last, at £25 per ann.
Also a capital Tower_Wind-mill standing on the above premises - the whole most desirably situate in a good wheat country.
Apply to Mr. George Watson, Saxlingham or Mr. Grand, attorney, Norwich.

Norfolk Chronicle - 26th April & 3rd May 1806

Sale by S. Lovick & Son, Friday December 3, 1819
Farming Stock, Implements & Effects of Mr. Benjamin Wilkinson of Flordon Mills.

Norfolk Chronicle - 27th November 1819

Notice to Debtors & Creditors of Benjamin Wilkinson of Flordon, Miller
Norfolk Chronicle - 4th December 1819

Benjamin Wilkinson late of Flordon, Miller
Notice to Creditors re dividend

Norfolk Chronicle - 9th September 1820

To Millers. To be LET for a Term with occupation at Michaelmas next
All that WATER MILL & WINDMILL at FLORDON near Saxlingham, seven miles from Norwich, with a comfortable Dwelling house & upwards of 100 acres of most excellent Arable & Pasture Land, adjoining the Mill, in a high state of cultivation.
The Mills are now in the occupation of Mr. Miles Blomfield & the land was late in the occupation of Mr. Thomas Edwards.
The Mill & Farm united form one of the most eligible & desirable occupations of the size in the county of Norfolk.

Apply to Mr. John Culey of Cossey or Mr. Brightwell, Solr. Surry Street, Norwich.
Norfolk Chronicle - 23rd May & 4th June 1836

Flordon Mills To be Let with Possession at Michaelmas next.
The water Mill, Wind_Mill, Cottages & about 25 acres of capital LAND at Flordon, now occupied by Messrs. Wilson & Fielding.

Apply to Messrs. Brightwell & Son, Surry Street, Norwich.
Norfolk Chronicle - 15th June 1844

Flordon Mills
To be Sold by Auction by Glasspoole & Standley on Monday October 14, 1844

All the Live & Dead FARMING STOCK & Effects of Messrs. Wilson & Fielding who leave the Mills at Michaelmas.
Norfolk Chronicle - 21st & 28th September 1844

To Millers
To be Let with Immediate Possession
With comfortable dwelling house & Outbuildings & also from 20-100 acres of excellent land at the option of the tenant. These Mills adjoin the railroad now making from Norwich to Ipswich & are about 7 miles from Norwich.
Apply to Messrs. Brightwell & Son, Solrs. Surrey Street, Norwich.

Norfolk Chronicle - 27th November, 4th & 11th December 1847

Flordon near Norwich
On the Great Eastern Railway
Messrs. Spelman have received instructions from the Executors of the late Thomas Brightwell Esq. To Sell by Auction on Saturday June 12, 1869 at 12 o’c for 1 o’c, at the Rampant Horse Hotel, Norwich, the following valuable Freehold & Copyhold ESTATE containing altogether 304 Acres divided into 17 Lots
Lot 1. THE WATER MILLS with steam power, Windmill, Dwelling house, two Laborers Cottages & several inclosures of Arable & Meadow Land containing together 35a.3r.1p.…
Lots 1 … are all in the occupation of Baron Brightwell, Esq.
Possession … at Michaelmas next.
Three fourths of the Purchase Money on any of the Lots may remain on Mortgage & where over £500 at 4 per cent.
Particulars & Conditions of Sale may be had seven days prior to the Sale of Mr. Thomas Brightwell, Solicitor, Surrey Street, Norwich & of the Auctioneers, Norwich & Yarmouth.

Norfolk News - 29th May & 5th June 1869

Spelmans’ Sale, Rampant Horse Hotel, Norwich, 12 June 1869
Lot 1
Most is missing, but
p. 3
Mills, dwelling house, Cottages, stables, outbuildings & 15a.1r.25p. Freehold
The Buildings standing on Barn Piece (No. 113 on Plan) & 22a.1r.16p. Copyhold of the Manor of Flordon.
Apportioned Land Tax £2.5s.
Quit Rents 19s.6d.
Rent charge in lieu of Tithes £13.6s.
This Lot in the occupation of B. Brightwell, Esq. & his under-tenants.
The purchaser will have to pay, in addition to his purchase money, by valuation in the usual way, for all the straps, ropes and tackle, sack chains, mill bills, scales, beams & weights, fixtures in the house and other things belonging to the tenant, a schedule of which may be seen at the Auctioneers’ office.
The right is reserved to the tenant to remove a marble chimney piece, also ten shrubs in the garden belonging to him.
Other Lots …
Spelmans’ Sale Catalogue - 12th June 1869

To be Let. The following Property at Flordon
The FLORDON MILLS comprising a watermill driving three pairs of Stones and also Steam Power capable of driving three pairs of Stones and a SMOCK_WINDMILL driving two pairs of Stones, with a Double Cottage let for £10.
With the Mills may be had either about 35 acres of Land adjacent or an additional quantity of 40 or 76 acres of Land with Farmhouse & Buildings.
The Mills & Land lie next the Great Eastern Railway Station & the Farm Buildings adjoin the same, offering unusual advantages to parties desirous of entering into a trading business in this populous district.
Particulars of Mr. Thomas BRIGHTWELL, Surrey Street, Norwich, Solr. or to Mr. Barron Brightwell of Flordon.
Norfolk Chronicle & Norfolk News - 24th July 1869

Messrs. Spelman Michaelmas Sales
ON WEDNESDAY October 6th, the FARMING STOCK, Mill Utensils, Furniture, China, Pictures & other Effects by order of Baron Brightwell Esq.
Norfolk News - 11th September 1869 & Lynn Advertiser - 25th September 1869

Flordon watermill was worked in conjunction with the nearby smockmill until the latter was dismantled and the machinery sold in 1870.

Sale of Flordon Watermill
in occupation of Mr. Dennis Blomfield as yearly tenant to Rainthorpe Hall Manor Estate.
Norfolk Chronicle - 15th & 22nd June 1878

Sale document 1908
Sale document 1908
Sale document 1908
Sale document 1908

Samuel Skinner - c.1901 Mary Skinner with Reginald, Nellie and Mary - c.1903
Samuel Skinner - c.1901
Mary Skinner with Reginald, Nellie and Mary - c.1903

Samuel Skinner was the mill cartsman from the mid 1880s to the early 1900s and was recorded on the 1901 census as living at the Mill House with his second wife, Mary Ann Taylor.
Samuel was born in 1862 at Pulham Market, the son of Charles Skinner and Eleanor Barnes. Samuel married his first wife, Sarah Rayson Palmer in 1886 and according to the 1891 census, they lived in a cottage near the mill house. They had two daughters - Ada, born in 1887 and Honor, born in 1893. Sarah died in 1897.
Samuel then married Mary Ann Taylor the following year in 1898. They had a daughter, Ethel in 1899 and a son Reginald, born on 24th October 1900. Another daughter, Nellie was born in 1903, then Winnifred "Queenie" in 1904 and Mary in 1909. Their second son Jack was born in 1907 and then Arthur in 1916.
For many years until his death, Arthur was the games and domestic
keeper at St Osyth's Priory in Clacton-on-Sea and his wife, Doris, was the head housekeeper.
Samuel Skinner died some time after 1916 and Mary Ann Skinner died in 1931.

Tail race May 1969 Watermill Farm July 1969
Tail race May 1969
Watermill Farm July 1969

The picture above shows where the gable of the old mill joined onto the mill house and interestingly it would appear that the mill was once lower than the house.

The ground behind where the mill was rises quite sharply to where the mill dam would have been. The dam was said to have originally been as large as the one at Tharston Mill and stretched for 5 furlongs upstream, being known as
The Broadwater.

My great many times uncle by marriage, Robert Claxton who died in Norwich in left his estate to 'to be equally divided between the children of my dear sister Phillipa.' His nephew, William, son of his sister Phillipa Claxton and William Wilson was born in London in 1811.
From what I can find out, William the nephew may have sold his interest in the Flordon Mills in 1844 after his uncle's death and acquired a farm (The Manor) in Scarning, where he lived until his death. The 1901 census records,show his son Walter and grandchildren, Arthur, Lucy still living near Scarning. William's other children were Bernard, Fredrick. Walter's family included his spouse Mary and children Sidney, Marion, Frederick,Arthur and Lucy. William's sister also Phillipa married William Colman who later migrated to Australia.
The notice of the sale of the mill at Flordon occurred soon after Robert Claxton's death in 1844. In the 1841 Census William Wilson age 30, Miller and his wife Elizabeth and son Bernard Wilsonm are listed in Flordon. In the 1851 Census the family is living in Scarning, all the children except Bernard are shown as being born in Scarning. William is then described as Farmer. The difficult part is to establish for sure that the family is the 'right' Wilson. i.e that William is Robert Claxton's nephew and Philippa laxton's son. The odds seem to be that they are but, there is always a 'but'! According to the IGI a Philippa Claxton married William Wilaon 3 March 1806 at St Peter Parmentgate Norwich. It then seems they moved to London where Robert Claxton, Philippa's brother and his spouse Eliza Tourner lived until Eliza's death in 1824. Shortly after he is mentioned in his sister-in-law's (Anna Torner) will as living in Norwich.
Sallie Ramsay, Australia - 27th March 2010

O.S. map 1882

O. S. 25" Map 1882
Flordon watermill centre bottom and Flordon smockmill centre left
Courtesy of NLS map images

O.S. map 1882

O. S. 25" Map 1882
Flordon mill to the northwest of Tasburgh mill
Courtesy of NLS map images

The above maps clearly show the dotted line of the parish boundaries tracing the original paths of the rivers. The River Tas used to run to the west of the mill rejoining the main river course well to the north of Tasburgh mill, with a considerable section having been dug in order to accommodate the mill. It would appear that an even longer new section was excavated to allow for the construction of Flordon mill, although both could have involved the enlarging of existing smaller watercourses.

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

1539: Mill mentioned in Land Transaction documents held in the Norfolk Record Office

1542: Mill mentioned in Land Transaction documents held in the Norfolk Record Office

1740: Robert Buck snr., miller & trustee of Quaker meeting house in Roydon

Index of wills 1669: John Howard

Faden's map 1797: Mill

10th December 1800: Robert Buck jnr., miller & new trustee of Quaker meeting house in Roydon

Poll Book 1802: Robert Buck, miller

April 1806: Mill advertised for sale by auction with the windmill and Robert Buck as tenant miller at £25 p.a.

Poll Book 1806: Robert Gapp, miller

1819: Benjamin Wilkinson

1820: Benjamin Wilkinson

White's 1836: Miles Blomfield, corn miller

May 1836: Mill advertised for let along with the windmill

1844: Wilson & Fielding, millers

June 1844: Mill advertised for let along with the windmill

September 1844: Farming Stock & business effects of Wilson & Fielding advertised for sale by auction

White's 1845: Barham Brightwell, corn miller

November 1847: Mill advertised for let along with the windmill

White's 1854: Barron Brightwell, corn miller & farmer

White's 1864: Barron Brightwell, corn miller & farmer

1869: Barham (Barron) Brightwell, miller

May 1869: Mill advertised for sale by auction along with the windmill

July 1869: Mill advertised for let along with the windmill

September 1869: Farming stock & mill utensils of Baron Brightwell advertised for sale by auction

Kelly's 1872: Dennis Blomfield

Kelly's 1879: Dennis Blomfield, miller

Kelly's 1883: Dennis Blomfield, miller, also at Tasburgh

O.S. Map 1888-1892: Flordon Mill (Corn)

Kelly's 1892: Mrs. Louisa Blomfield

Kelly's 1896: Reginald Blomfield, miller (steam & water) & farmer, Flordon Mill; & at Tasburgh mill, Tasburgh

Kelly's 1900: William L. Duffield, miller (steam & water) Mill House

Kelly's 1900: William L. Duffield, miller (steam & water) & farmer

Census 1901: Samuel Skinner (38) b.Pulham Market, miller's carter (living with family at Mill House)

1908: Mill advertised for
sale by auction

Kelly's 1912: William Lant Duffield

c.1925: Mill demolished

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Nat Grid Ref TM19449670
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