Newton by Castle Acre Mill
River Nar


Drainage Mills (Windpumps)
Steam Mills

9th August 1901
9th August 1901

Newton by Castle Acre Mill is on a Domesday site. It was built of brick with a pantiled roof and was originally under the same roof as the mill house. Later the mill was enlarged, which naturally altered the roof line, however, the original gable line can clearly be seen on the picture below.

Stone from the nearby ruined priory was used in the construction of the mill house.

In the 1930s the mill was used for 'kibbling' corn for animal feed.

9th August 1901
9th August 1901

Samuel Priest snr wrote a will on 21st September 1799, proved 4th May 1804, leaving everything to Joseph Whitby, who he acknowledged to be his son, born out of wedlock to Frances Whitby of Weasenham and also left £100 to his then housekeeper, Mary Tuffs. In 1801 he wrote a codicil to the will leaving a further £500 to her 6 month old daughter, Ann Tuffs also born out of wedlock. Joseph Priest, miller at Hunstanton and Robert Beeston, miller at Wighton were appointed executors for a fee of £10 each.

Joseph Whitby Priest married an Elizabeth Pooley (or Powley) at Swaffham in 1810. On 6th June 1813, Samuel Priest son of Joseph and Elizabeth Priest was baptised at Newton with Castleacre.
Although Joseph Whitby Priest, inherited the mill from Samuel Priest snr, he eventually died in 1826 in Leeds, Yorkshire, working as a baker, leaving all his estate to his wife Elizabeth.  In the 1841 census listed below, it appears that the Samuel Priest jnr born 1813 was possibly living with an aunt who took over the running of the house for his mother.
When his father Joseph died in 1826, Samuel jnr would hae only been 13 yrs old so that is probably why everything was left to his mother Elizabeth Priest.  She then possibly leased the mill out until Samuel jnr was old enough to take over.

June 1968 June 1968
June 1968
June 1968

May 1972 24th April 1977
May 1972
24th April 1977

The pictures above show the original mill house joined onto the gable end of the mill but by 1977 the mill house had gone and other housing had appeared behind the mill. However, by 2003 the mill house had been rebuilt, albeit with a significant amount of additional flint facing.

7th September 2003 The new mill house September 2003
7th September 2003
The new mill house September 2003

Although the wheel had not turned in years, it was intact in 2003 and other machinery was still on the site.
The position of then stone nut shows that the stones were driven from above.

Stone nut and spur wheel 1994 Spur wheel 1994
Stone nut and spur wheel 1994
Spur wheel 1994

Sackhoist 1994
Sackhoist 1994

During the 1990s Dick Joice, the celebrated Norfolk historian, owned the site and rebuilt the millhouse.

Mill dam and overgrown wheelrace 7th September 2003 The iron wheel September 2003
Mill dam and overgrown wheelrace 7th September 2003
The iron wheel September 2003

A watermill restored by a Norfolk TV presenter has gone up for sale

The property is now separated into two and is available to buy with Savills for £795,000. It sits on the site of the original Newton by Castle Acre Mill, which was first recorded in the Domesday Book in 1086.
Stone from the nearby Castle Acre Priory was used in its construction, and it continued to operate until the 1930s when it was used for gristing corn for animal feed.
In 1967, TV presenter Dick Joice, well-known for his local documentary series Bygones, purchased the property from the Holkham Estate. He restored the mill and in 1990, rebuilt The Mill House - the main dwelling - in the style of the original.
The current owners acquired the property in 1994 and, although they have carried out various renovations during their ownership, it still retains much of its original character, with the mill's original water wheel providing an interesting focal point in the main reception room.

Inlet to wheel partially filled in and overgrown - 2019
Auction house photo

Millpond with wheelrace arch almost obscured - 2019
Auction house photo
Today, the house comprises an entrance hall, reception room, kitchen, sitting room, cloakroom, utility room, office, boiler room, bathroom and three well-proportioned bedrooms.
The Mill Studio, sold as part of the property, is an entirely separate dwelling although with the correct planning permission in place, this could easily be reinstated as part of the main house. It currently has a kitchen, living room and bathroom.
The property also offers well-established gardens and lovely views which look out over the River Nar Valley.
For more information about this property, contact Savills on 01603 229229.

Eastern Daily Press - 12th July 2019

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

Faden's map 1797: Mill

1799: Samuel Priest, miller

1801: Samuel Priest, miller

1804: Samuel Priest snr, miller, died

Index of Wills (Norwich) 1833: William Powley

White's 1836: Powley, widow

Census 1841:
Mary Powley (50)
Samuel Priest (30) miller & farmer
Frances Priest (40)
Paul Priest (21)
Phoebe Hudson (85)
Mary Balding (20)  servant
James Bonns (17)

White's 1845: Samuel Priest jnr

Kelly's 1883: William Devas Everington

1972: Mill restored

1994: Owned by Dick Joice

2003: Private dwelling

March 2005: Mill advertised for sale by estate agents Barry L. Hawkins at a guide price of £700,000

July 2019: Mill advertised for sale by estate agents Savills at a guide price of £795,000

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 TF83131624
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Pippa Miller