Worthing Mill
River Blackwater
(trib of River Wensum)


The site of Worthing watermill dates back to at least Saxon days and in about 1100 A.D. Hubert-de-Rye gave the mill and its miller Turstan, to the monks at Castle Acre.
Although the mill is in the parish of Worthing, its adjoining mill house is in the parish of North Elmham.
Both the mill and house were constructed entirely out of brick with a Norfolk pantiled roof. Both the mill and house have been painted white at various times throughtout their history.

Curiously, there does not appear to be any evidence of a lucum, although it is possible that one was once located on the upper level of the gable end.


Manors of Swanton Morley and Worthing; messuage; two water corn mills; a fulling mill and 24a.; dilapidated tenement; 3a. called Bradbury's tenement; the Lizard, 153a.; 104a. of meadow and pasture; 80a. of land; 40a. of other land; foldcourse of 800a.
Title Deeds: Swanton Morley, Hoe, and Worthing 1662 - 1881 - Norfolk Record Office


The iron wheel was 14 feet in diameter and 8 feet wide and drove up to 4 pairs of stones. It was manufactured by Hetherington & Parker of Alton and was installed in 1876 as a replacement of an earler wheel.

A diagram of Worthing Mill's machinery can be seen on the Mill Machinery page.

Otter hounds hunting the millpool in 1955

Henry de Rie, by will without date,. gave to the monks of Castleacre, the mill of Worthing, with Thruston, the miller, his mother, and brothers, with all their substance.
Whites 1854

April 1967 April 1967
Mill dam April 1967
April 1967

Notice re:-
Sale of Watermill
Occupied by A. DEWING, the proprietor
Norfolk Chronicle - 10th February 1827

May 1972 May 1977
May 1972
1st May 1977

May 1972
Mill dam May 1972

Water Mill, Residence, Gardens, Land etc.
CLOWES & FLOWERDEW are favoured with instructions from the Executors of the late Mr. Thomas WEST to Sell by Auction at the Norfolk Hotel, Norwich on Saturday June 1st 1861 at 3 for 4 o'clock the undermentioned lots.
LOT 1. That nearly new and very capital WATER CORN MILL known as Worthing Mill, with the excellent Family Residence, Stables, Barn, Yards and Outbuildings, prolific Garden and 15a. 3r. 13p. of productive Land adjoining: the whole forming one of the most complete Milling and Agricultural Properties in the Eastern Counties and lying within half-a-mile of Elmham Railway Station.
Norfolk Chronicle - 18th & 25th May 1861

September 2003 September 2003
Gable end of the mill September 2003
7th September 2003

The centre first floor window of the mill house (to the right of the white painted mill on the above right hand photo) is false and merely painted onto the brickwork.

September 2003 September 2003
The wheel September 2003
Wallower, pitwheel and vertical shaft base September 2003

Mr. Thomas William MERRISON, decd.
All persons having any claims or demands upon the estate of Thomas William MERRISON, late of North Elmham, county of Norfolk, miller, who died on the 9th day of November 1885... to send particulars to Mrs. Anne Elisabeth Breeze MERRISON of Broome Green, North Elmham, the sole executrix of the above...
COOPER & NORGATE, Solicitors to the said Executrix, Dereham, Dated 3 December 1885
Lynn Advertiser - 5th December 1885

September 2003 September 2003
The crown wheel and pulleys September 2003
Old French burr millstones 7th September 2003


Quarter-mile from North Elham station on the G.E.R. and 4 miles from East Dereham
Lot 1
The CORN WATER-MILL known as "Worthing Mill" with substantially-erected and pleasantly situated Residence, a small attractive Garden, stabling,and Farm Premises, together with various ENCLOSURES, of excellent PASTURE LANDS, ABUTTING ON THE RIVER, AND CONTAINING ABOUT 12a - 0r - 20p; in the parish of North Elham.
Messrs. IRELAND are favoured with instructions from the Executors of the late Mrs. Merrison to Sell by Auction at the King's Head hotel, East Dereham, on Friday September 20th, 1907, at 3.30 p.m.
Lynn Advertiser - 30th August 1907

O. S. Map 1881-83

O. S. Map 1881-83
Worthing mill to the south
North Elmham mill marked as Grint Mill to northeast
Courtesy of NLS map images

O. S. Map 1883

O. S. Map 1883
Courtesy of NLS map images

OS map 2003
O.S. Map 2003
Image reproduced under licence from Ordnance Survey

c.1100: Thurstan, miller

c.1100: Henry de Rie, Baron of Hingham, gave the mill, its miller and family to the monks of Castleacre

Faden's map 1797: Mill

White's 1836: Augustin Dewing

Norwich Index of wills 1844: Joshua Mayston

White's 1845: Joshua Mayston

White's 1854: Robert Norton, corn miller, Worthing and Elmham Grint, Water Mills

c.1860: Mill rebuilt. 'Nearly new' in 1861

White's 1864: Thomas Merrison also at Foxley towermill

Kelly's 1883: Thomas William Merrison, wind & water

9th December 1885: Thomas Merrison died

White's 1892: Mrs. Anne Breeze Merrison, water

White's 1904: Mrs. Anne Breeze Merrison

August 1907: Mill advertised for sale by auction after the death of Mrs. Anne Breeze Merrison

White's 1908: Edgar Merrison

White's 1912: George Milk

c.1920: Mill ceased operation

2014: Karen Clare

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 TF9977 2005
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Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2003