Trowse Mill
River Yare


Drainage Mills (Windpumps)
Steam Mills

Thomas Lound painting
Thomas Lound painting

Trowse watermill, in it's later years, was one of the larger mills in the county and was built of brick and weatherboard with a Norfolk pantile roof. An even older mill on the site burnt down in 1792 causing £2,000 worth of damage and at some point this mill was further rebuilt from that depicted in the above painting. The left hand section of the building was built of Norfolk red brick and the right hand section was white weatherboard over a brick base.

Due to the large volume of water available, at one time two waterwheels were used. It also had two large chimneys for steam or diesel power.

Trowse watermill was the Highest Point to which Ordinary Tides flow.



Pippa Miller's copy of Claude Messent's 1938 original
Pippa Miller's copy of Claude Messent's 1938 original

On Sunday night last the flour mills at Trowfe, near the City, belonging to Mr. John Sayer & Co were entirely burnt down, and a large quantity of wheat, meal and flour consumed.
Ipswich Journal - 11th December 1762

Ink sketch by Henry James Starling c.1945

On Monday last Mr Daniel Bloom, of Trowse Mills, was chosen a Common-Councilman for Conisford ward, in the room of Mr Thomas Nasmith, deceased.
Norfolk Chronicle - 25th August 1781


1953 May 1966
May 1966

Pit wheel and wallower July 1965
Pit wheel and wallower July 1965

Twin headraces and twin chimneys July 1965 July 1965
Twin headraces and twin chimneys July 1965
July 1965

Left hand wheel channel July 1965 Right hand wheel channel July 1965
Left hand wheel channel July 1965
Right hand wheel channel July 1965

Mill dam 1977
Mill dam 1977

In the 1780s Parson James Woodforde of Weston Longville often sold grain from his glebeland to Mr. Bloome, the miller at Trowse watermill and Trowse_windmill. Ben Leggett, 'my farming man' would be despatched to take the grain by horse and cart, which would often be a full day's work as can be seen from the following excerpts from Parson Woodforde's famous diary:

Oct 9th 1784
Sent ben with a Sample of Wheat to shew at Norwich to the Millers the Millers that come to the Market after Wheat,
and he returned in the Evening, and told me that he had sold it to Mr Bloom of Trowse Mills near Norwich for 26s : 6d per Coomb, to be carried to Norwich and which I think a very good Price for it - It was very good Wheat & weighed 18 Stone and half per Coomb -

Oct 13th 1784
Ben went to Norwich this Morning very early with 10 Coomb of Wheat - and he returned by 4 in the afternoon, time enough for Dinner - and brought back half a Chaldron of Coal from Locks -
He brought me also the Mony for the Wheat, at
twenty six and sixpence Pr Coomb - in all 13 : 5 : 0

Nov 3rd 1787
Sent Ben very early this Morning to Norwich with 10 Coomb of Barley full measure, that is 10 Coomb and 2 Bushels; he is to sell it for me Ben returned after 5 this Aft: with half a Chldrn of Coal - He sold my Barley to Mr Bloome who has taken the business late Mr Lock’s - he offered 10s/0d per Coomb, but Ben would not take that, but however left it with him and therefore I shall expect half guineas for the same - He received for me for the Wheat last Week from the Marlingford Miller at 18s/9d - 9 : 7 : 6 which he paid to me on his return

March 15th 1788
Sent Ben to Norwich with a sample of Wheat to Shew and likewise to get the Newspapers &c.....
Ben returned to Dinner, he sold my Wheat for 23s/6d per Coomb - to Mr Bloome of Trowse Mill nr Norwich

March 18th 1788
Sent ben early this Morning with 10 Coomb of Wheat to Trowse Mills about a mile beyond Norwich to Mr Bloom sold to him last Saturday.... Ben returned about 4 o’clock this Afternoon with 1/2 Chaldron of Coal from Mr Blooms...

Nov 12th 1791
Sent Ben very early to Norwich this Morning with 10 Coomb 2 Bshls of Wheat to Mr Bloome. He returned about 4 this Afternoon with News 7c. He brought no Coal, tho’ ordered, there being none. He sold my Wheat at 23s/0d per Coomb and brought me home in Paper and Cash for the same ,
11 : 10 : 0. It was 6d per Coomb more than was mentioned in the Norwich Paper for this day. It was very fine Wheat.

Dec 22nd 1792
Sent Ben early this Morning to Norwich with ten Coomb of Wheat, new measure, to Mr Bloome’s, did not return till near six o’clock this Evening, the Axle-tree breaking of the Cart at Easton as he was going to Norwich but Ben’s applying to a Person of Easton by name Hammond a farmer, for a Cart or Waggon he readily lent him a Waggon which was exceeding kind of him indeed. My Cart was left on the road till Monday. Thank God! no accident happened to either Man or horse, Ben having some notice of it. Recd for my Wheat, only 10 : 0 : 0.

Dec 14th 1793
Sent Ben this Morning to Norwich with 10 Coomb of Barley, he went away before a quarter before 4.......Mr Bloome sent me a Corn Note for my Barley instead of Cash, he is to pay me 16s/0d pr Coomb which makes the 10 Coombs 8 Pounds, a very great price indeed, also new Measure. It is the dearest Barley I ever sold I think, but it was very bright and good of the kind....

[ The only occasion when JW himself visited Trowse Mill appears to have been 15 June, 1796 ]

June 15th 1796
....immediately after breakfast abt 8 o’clock , I got my little cart and drove off for Norwich, taking Briton with me, We got thither before ten o’clock. I got out of my Cart just before we entered the City, and walked down to trowse Mill to speak to Mr Bloome whom I found at home. He promised to call on me at the king’s head and settle all accounts at 3 o’clock this Afternoon.......At three this Afternoon, I went to the King’s Head and there waited till near 4 o’clock before Mr Bloome came. When he was come we soon settled Accounts. I paid him for Coals 15. 13. 6And i received of him for Corn 43. 10. 0. So that I recieved of him on balance 27. 16. 0.

[ The last vol. - Vol. 5 - of the Beresford edition of the Diary contains 43 refs. to Bloome - most concern transactions of corn and coal. ]

June 21st 1797
Sent ben early this Morning to Norwich with 10 Coomb of barley to Mr Bloome.................He brought me.. a Note from Mr Bloome of the Barley sent him at 9s/6d per Coomb only, which ought to have been at least 10/6 - and as such I intend to account with him for it.

Jan 31st 1801
Sent ben this Morning to Norwich with 8 Coomb of Wheat to Mr Bloome......Ben....brought me Cash for my Wheat from Mr Bloome at 3 : 15 : 0 pr Coomb an enormous Price I must confess indeed and sincerely wish that it might be cheaper e’er long for the benefit of the Poor who are distressed on that account...

Invoice 17th November 1842
Invoice 17th November 1842

Accident. – On Monday, about twelve o'clock, as the waggon of Mr. Read, miller, of Trowse, was going down Thorn-lane, the wheel by some means got out of the sledge, the waggon went against the wall of one of the squares, and the man was jammed so completely against the wall, that part of it had to be cut away in order to extricate him. When extricated, he was taken to a shop opposite. Mr. Dashwood attended, and by his direction, he was conveyed to the hospital, where he was found to be seriously injured.
Norfolk Chronicle - 29th September 1849

Mill dam in 1965 Mill dam in February 2003
Mill dam in 1965
Mill dam in February 2003

James Bell took Trowse mills in 1815; having moved from the Steam mill in St. Andrews, which was the first in the city, having been built in 1804 and which was then being dismantled. It is not known whether or not he ran Trowse postmill.

Mrs Fulcher  Bought of Thos. W. Read & Co. ½ Sack of Superfine White at 44 shillings (per sack) £1/2/-  Signed as paid by D. Bulstrude.
Andrew Bell - 8th May 2009

Thomas William Read was working Trowse watermill by 1839 having taken over the running of Lakenham Bracondale towermill in 1836.

In the spring of 1967, amazingly, Trowse mill was demolished, despite being in good condition. It went along with its two waterwheels and complete set of gearing and stones. Eventually Anglia Office Equipment built their showroom on the site.

Later AOE's structure was also demolished and the site was redeveloped as part of a luxury home complex. The new building was sympathetically designed along similar lines to the old mill.

15th February 2003 Tailrace and millpool in February 2003
15th February 2003
Tailrace and millpool in February 2003

4th February 2004 Headrace 4th February 2004
4th February 2004
Headrace 4th February 2004

9th May 2007 9th May 2007
9th May 2007
9th May 2007

O. S. Map 1880

O. S. Map 1880
Courtesy of NLS map images

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

Index of Wills (Norwich) 1573: John Fayercliff

1762: John Sayer & Co

5th December 1762: Mill burnt down

Poll Book 1768: Daniel Bloom

Poll Book 1784: Daniel Bloom, also at Trowse postmill

Poll Book 1786: Daniel Bloom,
miller at Trowse

1792: Mill burnt down causing £2,000 worth of damage

1794: Daniel Bloom, miller

1795: Daniel Bloom, miller

Poll Book 1802: Daniel Bloom, miller

1815: James Bell moved from St Andrew's steam mill

Pigot's 1830: James Bell & Co., millers, WATER MILLS, Trowse

White's 1836: James Bell & Co., millers

Pigot's 1839: Thomas William Read & Co., millers

Robson's 1839: T. William Read & Co., millers Trowse & Bracondale Mills

1842: Thomas W. Read & Co., millers

White's 1845: Thomas William Read, miller

1849: Thomas Read, miller, seriously injured in road accident

Index of Wills (Norwich) 1852: Daniel Mear, miller

White's 1864: Thomas William Read, miller

Kelly's 1883: Henry Mower, miller

Kelly's 1896: Henry Mower, steam & water. Telegraphic address: Mower, Trowse

Kelly's 1900: Henry Mower, miller

Kelly's 1904: Harry William Mower, miller

Kelly's 1912: Harry William Mower, miller

Kelly's 1922: George Baker & Sons

Kelly's 1937: George Baker & Sons

Yates 1966: Baker & Sons, Trowse Mills, Trowse Newton, NOR 63B. Ph. Norwich 21151

1967: Mill demolished complete with all machinery

1971: Mill site converted into showroom for Anglia Office Equipment

2003: Mill site rebuilt in similar style to the original mill exterior and redeveloped into luxury homes

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 TG2432 0684
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Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2003