Drainage Mills (Windpumps)
Steam Mills

Aldeby Waterheath postmill stood on to the northwest of the village. By 1827, two of the mill's common sails had been replaced by patent sails and together these powered two pairs of abreast stones and a flour mill.

The mill went out of use when Burgh St Peter towermill was built to replace it.

To be Sold by Auction by Robert OSWALD. At the Kinds Head Inn, Beccles, Suffolk on Sunday 14 May 1827 at 6 o’c
A capital POST WINDMILL with two new patent & two cloth sails & a newly erected roundhouse.
The above Mill is situated in the best possible elevation at Toft Monks in the county of Norfolk & within a very short distance from the river Waveney, drives two pair of stones breasted, has a flour mill & every other requisite appurtenance for carrying on the trade, the whole of which are nearly new. The present occupier, Mr. ALLISON will give possession on the 6th July next.
Apply either on the premises, to Mr. E.R. Palmer, Solr. Regent Street, Great Yarmouth or to the Auctioneer at Beccles.
Norfolk Chronicle - 12th May 1827

Insolvent Debtor. Prisoner for debt.
Robert Francis ALLISON, late of Toft Monks in the county of Norfolk, General Shopkeeper & Miller.
Norfolk Chronicle - 16th June 1827

Notice re Insolvent Debtors. (Imprisoned for debt)
Robert Francis ALLISON, late of Aldeby in the county of Norfolk, Miller (sued as & described as Robert ALLISON of Tofts in the county of Norfolk)
Norfolk Chronicle - 25th June 1836

Robert Francis Allison, late of Aldeby in the county of Norfolk, Miller.
London Gazette - 28th June 1836

To Millers & Capitalists

To be Sold by Auction by Robert OSWALD on Saturday 21 July 1838 at the Kinds Head Inn, Beccles at 5 o’c
A Highly Desirable FREEHOLD ESTATE …. DWELLING house …
Also a capital POST WINDMILL lately erected, with brick Roundhouse & all her Going Gears complete & in the best condition & commanding an excellent Trade, & a 20 ft. Studded, Boarded & Tiles Building upon brick pinning part of which is used as a stable & gig house & and the residue for offals, brick & tiled Piggery with Cart shed, Fowlhouse etc.
The above Buildings are standing upon a piece of excellent Land situate in Aldeby in the county of Norfolk containing about 1a. 2r. 0p. part of which is a garden wall planted with choice fruit trees & bushes & the remainder rich Pasture.
The Property may be viewed upon application to Mr. R.F. ALLISON the Proprietor & further particulars obtained of Messrs. SHARPIN, Solrs. Beccles or the Auctioneer.
Norfolk Chronicle - 7th, 13th & 21st July 1838


Map – PRATT & SON, Norwich 1841
Owner William WOODTHORPE
Occupier do

No. 196 House & Garden
No. 197 Mill & Yard





By Mr Oswald,
At The King's Head Inn, Beccles on Monday, 27th October, 1845, at Five o'clock,
At Aldeby, near Beccles
With Brick Round-house and going gears complete, and a very comfortable and substantial Brick and Slated dwelling-house, Stable, Gig-house, and other convenient Out-buildings, well-planted garden, and Paddock, the whole comprising about 1A 2R 0P of land
The Estate is Freehold, and subject to no Out-goings.
Immediate possession may be had.
The Mill and Premises are of recent erection, and the Situation well adapted for Business.
The Property may be viewed on application to Mr Wm Woodthorpe, the proprietor and occupier, and particulars, with conditions of sale, may be had on application to the auctioneer, or to Messrs Bohun and Rix, Solicitors, Beccles.

Norwich Mercury - 18th October 1845

As October 1845 but
To be SOLD by Private Contract.
Norfolk Chronicle - 15th November 1845

As October 1845 but
To be Sold by Auction by Mr. OSWALD at the Star Inn, Great Yarmouth
On Thursday 5 February 1846 at 5 o’c
A capital POST WINDMILL at Aldeby …
… premises of modern erection …

Norfolk Chronicle - 24th & 31st January 1846

As October 1845 & 1846 but
... at the Kings Head Inn, Beccles, Tuesday 30 November 1847 at 5 for 6 o’c.
Norfolk Chronicle - 20th & 27th November 1847


SUDDEN DEATH - On Wednesday last Mr. Robt. Beckett, proprietor of the windmill, in this parish, was found dead. He appeared to be in his usual health the previous night. On account of the high wind he had to get up very early to attend to his mill, and when his son, James Beckett, got up, about ten minutes afterwards, to assist his father, he saw him lying on the ground near the mill quite dead. The deceased had been suffering from heart disease lately, and no doubt this was the cause of his death.
Norwich Mercury - 19th December 1883

The thunderstorm of the 24th. Ult. Caused general damage throughout Essex and Suffolk. Lightning struck the windmill at Waterheath, Aldeby, near Beccles, and it was soon wrapped in flames from cap to base, together with the adjacent out-buildings. The fire brigade was sent for, but on its arrival nothing could be done except to save the traction engine and the engine shed. The mill itself was utterly consumed. It was the property of Mr. James Meen and, curiously enough, had been advertised to be sold by auction upon the following day.
The Miller - 5th July 1897

O.S. Map 1883
O.S. Map 1883
Courtesy of NLS map images

1827: Robert Frances Allison, miller

May 1827: Mill advertised for sale by auction

June 1836: Robert Allison imprisoned for debt

June 1836: Robert Allison declared bankrupt

White's 1836: Robert Ellison, miller

1838: Mill advertised for dale with Robert Allison as occupier

Tithe Award 1843: William Woodthorpe, owner and occupier

1845: William Woodthorpe, miller, owner and occupier

White's 1845: William Woodthorpe, corn miller

1845 - 1847: Mill advertised to be sold by auction on several occasions

Census 1851: Robert Beckett (29) b.Thurlton, miller 
Charlotte Beckett (26) b.Blundeston, Suffolk
David Crowfoot (19) b.Aldeby, millers servant
Address: Watterheath

White's 1854: Robert Beckett, corn miller

White's 1864: Robert Beckett, corn miller

Kelly's 1879: Robert Beckett, miller

White's 1883: Robert Beckett, miller

Wednesday 12th December 1883: Robert Beckett died

O.S. map 1884: Windmill (Corn)

1888: James Beckett, miller

1890: Wiliam George Meen, miller

Kelly's 1896: William Meen, miller (wind) & builder

24th June 1897: Mill struck by lightning and burnt out

25th June 1897: Date previously set for mill to be sold at auction

Kelly's 1900: William Meen, miller (wind) & builder

2010: Mill House still standing

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 TM44039420
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Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2006