Tide Mill
River Stiffkey


Drainage Mills (Windpumps)
Steam Mills

Stiffkey was originally pronounced Stewkey and still is by some locals. A watermill was working in Stiffkey in the 1200s and was probably rebuilt several times over the centuries. This was the older of the two watermills known to have been in the village and was almost certainly a tide mill as the river Stiffkey was tidal upstream for some distance northwest of the road bridge. The 1586 map below depicts the mill with an external wheel.

In the first volume of the Papers of Nathaniel Bacon he discusses in a letter to his father the possibility of building a mill with some of the money from the sale of property. He bemoans the fact that the other towns on the river Stiffkey all have watermills but Stiffkey does not. By 1579 there are estate books and accounts showing that Stiffkey by then had its own mill.

The 3 arch bridge once adjoining the mill 12th October 2003
The 3 arch bridge upstream from the mill 12th October 2003

A few years ago an old Terrier of Stiffkey came into my possession on the purchase of a collection of early Norfolk charters. It dates from the reign of Edward the First, 1272-1307 ...
tempe E pm f Henr terij
(Henry reigned 1216-1272)
Wyllm Turtevyll and Wyllm Hevynhgm heldeth in the towne of Styfkey ...
And j watermyll and Anoder Wyndemyll
Norfolk Archaeology, H. L. Bradfer-Lawrence - 1928

Map 1586

Map 1586
Mill shown with an external wheel

Map 1886

O. S. Map 1886
Red dot indicates possible mill site
Courtesy of NLS map images

c.1216 - 1272: Windmill & watermill

c.1578: Nathaniel Bacon

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 TF97004305 approx
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