Drainage Mills (Windpumps)
Steam Mills


Aslacton tower mill stood in Mill Lane at Mill House Farm, just to the north of Mill Farm House. The 4 storey tower was around 33 feet high and was built of tarred red brick, it was powered by 4 double shuttered sails, each with 8 bays of 3 shutters that were struck by rack and pinion via an endless chain. The Norfolk boat shaped cap had a scalloped petticoat and a six bladed fan. The stones were overdriven by the sails and underdriven by an oil engine in later years. The mill was probably built in 1834 and has a datestone cut into the brickwork. However, there are documented references to millers of Aslacton prior to this.

The tower brickwork has the appearance of having had an additional storey added at some point.

Whereas James Gook, Miller at Aslacton in the county of Norfolk made an elopement from his Wife the last Day of March, 1751 and has taken the Wife of John Jelley with him and three Children... the husband of this M. Jelley is in Gaol and has been there for two Years past... If any Person will give intelligence of this Man and Woman to his Wife at Aslacton so that she can talk with them, shall have reasonable Charges and a sufficient Reward from their humble Servant.
Norwich Mercury - 13th April 1751

Situations Vacant
To Millers
WANTED, a Single Young Man to Work in a WINDMILL.
Apply to B. Burroughes, Aslacton, Long Stratton

Norfolk News - 5th September 1874

BOURROUGHES. On the 29th ult. Helena Matilda, the dearly beloved child of Barnabas and Jane Bourroughes of Aslacton in this county, who was accidentally killed while on a visit to her grandfather at Kenninghall, aged 7 years and 10 months.
Norfolk Chronicle - 10th April 1875

Helen Burroughes was visiting her grandfather, Thomas Burroughes at Kenninghall_postmill and while playing in the mill yard with two other girls, she took hold of a stationery sail about four feet from the ground. The mill started off almost immediately and she was carried up about twenty feet before she fell to the ground and was killed.
Norfolk Corn Windmills - Harry Apling

c.1930 c.1930

re Leonard George Smith, labourer, late miller of Aslacton. Gross Liabilities £228. 0. 6., deficiency £209. 14.11. Debtor said his insolvency was due to insufficient business to meet expenses.
Norfolk Chronicle - 23rd March 1901

Two Miles from Forncett and one and a Half Miles from Tivetshall Railway Station.
ROBERT BORRETT is instructed by the Executors of Mrs. Jane Burroughes deceased, to Sell by Auction on Tuesday 25 August 1903 at the Railway Hotel, Tivetshall at 7 o'clock in the Evening to the minute, the following valuable Properties.
Lot 1. Comfortable DWELLING HOUSE with Meadow, Brick Tower Windmill, Granaries, Engine House and all other buildings necessary for the good of carrying on the good old established Business, the goodwill of which is included in the Sale.
Extent 1a. 2r. 19p. Possession at Michaelmas.
Lot 2. Five Freehold Cottages ...
Further Particulars of the Auctioneer, Pulham Market or from the Vendors' Solicitors, Messrs. Leathes Prior & Son, St. Giles, Norwich.

Norfolk Chronicle - 15th & 22nd August 1903

Mr. Robert Borrett acting under instructions from the Executors of Mrs. Jane Burroughes deceased, offered for sale by auction at the Railway Hotel, Tivetshall the following property:-
Lot 1. Modern residence, brick tower windmill, business premises, two gardens and meadow, the whole containing 1a. 2r. 19p. The goodwill of the old esablished business was included in the sale. Withdrawn at £350.
Lot 2. Five Freehold dwelling houses, withdrawn at £130.
Messrs. Leathes Prior & Son were the solicitors for the Vendors.
Norfolk Chronicle - 29th August 1903

9th April 1937
9th April 1937

... Aslacton, which boasts a typical Norfolk towermill, very dilapidated.
In Search of English Windmills - Hopkins & Freese 1931

On 28th October 1971, Harry Apling noted that the spur wheel was still on the upright shaft and the drive from the oil engine was still in situ but there was no access higher. The north door on the ground floor had been bricked up. French burr stones and Peak stones were still on the premises

14 miles Norwich
Attractive and well-maintained Period Farmhouse in rural position on village outskirts. 2 receptions, 3 bedrooms, bathroom, inside and outside w.c.s, walk-in larder, etc. extensive outbuildings including stabling and garage. Garden and 3 good paddocks. Just under 6 acres.
Ref. 36290. Offers in the region of £24,750.
SAVILLS, 8 & 10, Upper King Street, Norwich, NR3 1HB.
Eastern Daily Press - 22nd June 1977

Recently we have moved to the address above ... The long view is that we hope to restore the windmill as far as possible ...
Peter Harkett, Mill House, Aslacton - 17th September 1979


Small segmental-headed windows and doorway. The sails are missng and little remains of the machinery but includes a cogged wheel and upright shaft.
South Norfolk Council report - 1981

John Corben Colchester was born in 1901 in Depwade and died in 1992 in the Waveney area.  He first worked on his father's farms until his father assigned Yew Tree Farm to him in the 1920s, but this was sold in 1928.  He was a miller and purchased Aslacton Mill in 1929 and was there until 1938.  He rented Manor Farm, Tibenham in 1938 and then purchased it in 1953 and farmed it until at least 1963.
Giles Colchester - 11th June 2006


8th August 1990
8th August 1990

Gravestones in the east end of Aslacton churchyard:
Barnabas BURROUIGHES died 18th December 1899 aged 64
Jane BURROUGHES died 4 August 1903 aged 73

Gravestone in the wast end by the yew tree:
Helena Matilda BURROUGHES died 29 March 1875 aged 7 years

In October 1903 Herbert Ernest Burroughs and Mary Ann Elizabeth Jane Goldsmith sold the mill to Samuel Fickling - no purchase price is mentioned.  He died in March 1913 and his widow Florence Emma Fickling died in May 1913.  The mill devolved to their son Arthur Robinson Fickling and it was he who sold to Selina Herring in October 1915 for £400.  Incidentally, she's described as the wife of Charles William Herring of Aslacton, miller.  The mortgage effectively shows that Selina put down £200 and borrowed the other £200 from Arthur Robinson Fickling.  Attached to the mortgage is a note signed A. R. Fickling dated January 1918 to the effect that the £200 had been paid off with interest.
Bill Lloyd, Monmouthshire - 16th October 2007

12th July 2009 12th July 2009
12th July 2009

Henry and Horace Harry Burroughes appear in the 1881 Hoveton_St._John census. Henry was the brother of my wife's Great Grandfather Daniel Burroughes, as was Barnabus Burroughes of Aslacton Windmill. They were sons of Thomas Burroughes of Kenninghall_Post_Mill. The son of Barnabus Burroughes went on to sire the owners of Burroughes of Bressingham which went bankrupt a few years ago. One of the family is still alive.
Mike - 22nd March 2011

30th January 2018
30th January 2018

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

31st March 1751: James Gook, miller, left his wife and eloped with the wife of John Jelley

Poll Book 1802: Benjamin Boulton

1834: Mill built

O.S. map 1838: Windmill

Census 1841: Benjamin Gibson (40) miller
Eliza Gibson (35) 

David Haywood (17) miller, lodging with Ellis Culley, agricultural labourer

1845-1868: Benjamin Gibson, miller

White's 1845: Benjamin Gibson, miller

White's 1854: Benjamin Gibson, corn miller

White's 1864: Benjamin Gibson, corn miller

1867: Benjamin Gibson, miller, moved to Forncett St Peter smockmill

1872-1896: Barnabas Burroughes, miller and owner

1875: Barnabas Burroughes' daughter killed at Kenninghall postmill

Kelly's 1879: Barnaby Burroughes, miller

O.S. map 1883: Windmill

White's 1883: Barnaby Burroughes, miller & corn merchant

Kelly's 1896: Barnabas Burroughes, miller (wind & steam)

18th December 1899: Barnabas Burroughes died aged 64

Kelly's 1900: Jane Burroughes (Mrs) miller (wind & steam)

1900: Jane Burroughes let the mill to Leonard George Smith

1901: Leonard George Smith bankrupt

4th August 1903: Jane Burroughes died aged 73

Tuesday 25th August 1903: Mill offered for sale by auction but failed to meet its reserve

October 1903: Herbert Ernest Burroughes & Mary Ann Elizabeth Jane Goldsmith sold mill to Samuel Fickling

1904-1908: Robert William Drane

Kelly's 1904: Robert William Drane, miller (wind & steam)

Kelly's 1912: William Samuel Herring, miller (wind & steam)

March 1913: Samuel Fickling, mill owner, died leaving mill to wife Florence Emma Fickling

May 1913: Florence Emma Fickling died leaving mill to son Arthur Robinson Fickling

October 1915: Mill sold by Arthur Robinson Fickling to Mrs. Selina Herring for £400

Kelly's 1916: Selina Herring (Mrs) miller (wind & steam)

1922-1928: Charles William Herring

Kelly's 1922: Charles W. Herring, miller (wind & steam)

Kelly's 1925: Charles W. Herring, miller (wind & steam)

1929: Mill bought by John Colchester

Kelly's 1929: John C. Colchester, miller (wind & steam)

c.1930: Sails removed

Kelly's 1933: John C. Colchester, miller (steam)

Kelly's 1937: Samuel McMeakin, miller, cattle & poultry food merchant. Tel. Tivetshall 209

37: Mill with remnants of 4 sails and fantail still in situ

1938: John Colchester left the mill

October 1971: Some machinery remaining

June 1977: Mill and house advertised for sale for c.£24,750

1979: Peter Harkett, Mill House

c.1984: Upright shaft and great spur wheel still in situ

1992: John Colchester died

2009: Mill tower with no visible roof

2018: Mill tower with substantial conical roof

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 TM15759037
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Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2005