Mill Lane towermill


Drainage Mills (Windpumps)
Steam Mills

Mill working - c.1909

Carbrooke tower mill stood in Mill Lane and was built for Richard Dewing J.P., D.L. of Carbrooke Hall in 1856, replacing an earlier postmill. The five storey mill had two pairs of double shuttered sails that did not match, the outer pair were from Little Cressingham and had 8 bays of 3 shutters and the inner pair had 10 pairs of 3 shutters, although the innermost bay was empty. The boat shaped cap had a petticoat and a gallery and supported a left handed 8 bladed fan. The ground floor and meal doors both faced west.

An date was inscribed in raised letter on a stone on the outside of the tower

A casting on the rear plate of the brakewheel read: W. H. WIGG & CO., EAST DEREHAM
The company ceased trading in August 1880.

The curb had a flange for the guide rollers to prevent the cap from lifting in high winds.
Flanged rollers automatically centred the cap.
Fan drive:- “Differential” drive with a double bevel reduction gear driving a horizontal spindle which terminated in a cluster of three bevel gears near the centre line of the cap, the final drive being by twin spur pinions to a rack on top of the curb.
An iron crane was used to lift the stones.

The original ironwork was said to have been manufactured in Belgium to a metric measurement system.
On 14th February 1984, millwright John Lawn confirmed that the measurements were indeed metric.

Mill working - c.1909

Boat-shaped cap
4 Double-shuttered sails. One pair 8 bays of 3 vanes came from Little Cressingham about 1920. Other pair 9 bays of 3. Brake mounting one windshaft is a hollow square iron box, on the rear end of which is cast

W.H. Wigg & Co. East Dereham

Which dates it to 1879/80. Keyed on to long flanges on windshaft.
Approximate length of windshaft – 12 ft.6 ins.:-
30 ins. approx.
52 ins. to front of brake wheel mounting
24 ins. length of do
44 ins. to tail bearing
150 ins.
Brake wheel diameter about cogs.
Curb has grooved inner half and vertical cogs on outer half.
Flanged rollers, 5 a side, run on outer rim of groove (centre of curb); 2 large wheels under weather beam with a small one in the centre run in the groove. No truck wheels.
8- bladed fan. Driving shaft to 2differential” to left of windshaft at centre of cap with small bevel pinion driving two larger bevel wheels on half shafts to each side of cap where small spur pinions engage cogs on rack on outer half of curb.
Gallery with iron railings
Brake chain had smaller links than striking chain.

Floor 14 ft. diameter
Wall is 4 ½ ins. thinner than corn and stone floor wall.
Floor to curb 8 ft. 6 ins.
Iron section of upright shaft
4 ft. all iron wallower, 41 cogs, bevelled underneath, 8 armed. On top of one arm cast
G.R. Cowen & Co. Nottingham
Approximate date – from 1871 (to 1925 at Beck Works, Brook St.)
Back hoist wooden frame with iron drum driven by a smooth wooden bevel wheel from underside of wallower.

Iron upright shaft
12 tread ladder

Wall narrower than meal floor wall.
3 pairs of underdriven stones. Mixed French burr and composition.
Octagonal vats with hoppers, horses, shoes and damsels.
Stones - N.W. 4 ft. 6 ins.
S.W. 4 ft.
S.E. 3 ft. 6 ins. (French burr bedstone only in situ.)
3 ft. 6 ins. composition stone freestanding against wall.
Wooden ‘A’ frame for levelling bedstones by plumb line.
Iron crane for lifting stones made locally.
2 mill thrifts on wall below east window (2 of 3)
Oat crusher, later engine driven
11 tread ladder.
One French burr runner stone – Garner, mark Lane, London.

Floor 16 ft. 3 ins. diameter. 12 ft. to ceiling.
2 leaf door to west with platform on chains.
Windows east and south.
Iron mortice great spur wheel on iron upright shaft. Supported by iron pillar and frame. 8 ft. 6 ins. diameter. 8 armed.
All one piece but two repairs ?. Cogs, 8 x 17 = 136 +/-
3 iron bridge trees each with separate governors and tentering gear. Governors driven from respective stones spindles by belt and pulleys.
All iron stone nuts of different sizes to match different sized stones:-
N.W. 25 cogs, 6 armed
S.W. 24 cogs, 6 armed
S.E. 20 cogs, 4 armed
Stone nuts on cones with rack and pinion gear for lifting up out of gear.
Smaller all iron ring of cogs (8 x 16 = 128+/-) on underneath of great spur wheel drove shaft east with pulley. Drive by belt to bolter.
3 bell alarms with trail sticks striking arms of great spur wheel.
Drive to stones from later outside engine came in on north side by shaft with bevel gear driving spindle with fourth pinion on great spur wheel.

Floor diameter 17 ft. Wall 2 ft. thick at base.
8 ft. to ceiling.
2 leaf door to west.
Sack hoist immediately inside door.
Central iron pillar with beam above cracked by lightning.
11 treat ladder.

Vertically above one another on south side.

Installed about 1885 drove one pair of stones in granary.

Installed 1932
Crossley 13/17 h.p. (at slow and fast speeds) No. 1416
Manchester (1911?)
Started by blow lamp and turning fly wheel
Maximum revs. 250 p.m.
Used to drive generator for searchlights in 1914/18 War.
Later at Hall Farm, Carbrooke.
Used at mill 1932/43 for grist work only.

Cap frame with windshaft, but no cap, stocks, sails, fantail or brake wheel.
Machinery from wallower and sack hoist to stones with vats.
Also noted:-
2 wooden proof staffs
2 wooden thrifts
Several mill bills
Sack scales and weights
Crossley engine back in its shed to within a foot or so of its original position.
Harry Apling 

Situations Vacant
To Millers
WANTED at Michaelmas, a steady active married man who thoroughly understands his business to work at a Tower Mill.
G. Goddard, Carbrooke near Watton.
Norfolk News - 16th September 1871

Situations Vacant
To Millers
WANTED a Young Man as MILLER. Good reference required.
Apply Mr. G. Goddard, Miller, Carbrooke.
Norfolk News - 18th October 1873

To be Let with possession at Michaelmas next. The MILL & 34 ACRES of LAND now in the occupation of Mr. S. Goddard.
For particulars apply to Mr. S. Goddard, Miller etc. Caston, Attleborough.
Lynn Advertiser - 6th March 1880

Mill working - c.1927

Governor - c.1927
Governor - c.1927

Carbrooke, West Norfolk
1 mile from Watton station …
Valuable Freehold (part Copyhold) Properties forming the Carbrooke Hall Estate
Lot 6. Mill, residence etc. Carbrooke, 5a. 3r. 2p.
Hampton & Sons
Will sell the above by Auction at the Mart, London, E.C., on Monday July 30 at 2 o’c precisely (unless previously sold by private treaty) in 21 Lots.
Particulars of … Messrs. Grigson & Robinson, Solicitors, Watton & of the Auctioneers, Hampton & Sons Ltd. 1 Cockspur St. London, S.W.
Lynn Advertiser - 22nd June to 20th July 1900

West Norfolk
One mile from Watton Station & Market Town on the Bury, Thetford & Lynn Branch of the G.E. Railway, 18 Miles from Norwich
The Valuable Freehold (part Copyhold) PROPERTIES forming the CARBROOKE HALL ESTATE, situate in the parishes of Carbrooke, Watton, Scoulton & Griston …
Lot 6. Mill, Residence etc. Carbrooke. 5a.3r.2p.
Hampton & Sons will sell the above by Auction at the Mart, London, E.C. on Monday July 30 at 2 o’c precisely (unless previously sold by private treaty) in 21 Lots. Particulars of the Vendor’s Solicitor, Maurice Dewing, Esq. Horsham, of Messrs. Grigson & Robinson, Solrs. Watton & of the Auctioneers, Hampton & Sons Ltd. Cockspur Street, London, S.W.

Lynn Advertiser - 21st July 1900

The Carbrooke Hall Estate
Messrs. Hampton & Sons of Cockspur St. S.W. offered for sale in 21 lots the Carbrooke Hall Estate:-
Lot 6. A brick windmill & house in Carbrooke, which fetched £375.
Norfolk Chronicle - 4th August 1900


Herbert Jeremiah Minns standing in the doorway of the mill. The sign on the cart reads
H. J. Minns Carbrooke.


From Conveyance 10 December 1900 and later Abstract

February 6 Mortgage

Richard Dewing of Carbrooke Hall to Benjamin Chaston
Freehold parts of his property for £1800

October 26 Mortgage

Richard Dewing to Alfred Chaston

Copyhold parts for £500

January 20 Further mortgage
Richard Dewing to Alfred Chaston
Copyhold parts £200

August 13 Will of Richard Dewing dated -
Exors. Edward May Dewing, J. Spurgin & E.R. Grigson

November 22
Richard Dewing died

December 30
Will proved at Norwich by E.M. Dewing, other exors. Renounced probate.

March 7
Richard Standley Dewing & Maurice Dewing appointed trustees in place of Spurgin & Grigson

October 29
Edward May Dewing died
Exors. Sons, E.J. Dewing and Richard Standley Dewing

November 21
Will proved

January 21) Above mortgages vested in E.J. Dewing

January 31)

December 10 Conveyance
Richard Standley Dewing & others to Herbert Jeremiah Minns of Carbrooke, miller
Messuage or Dwelling House, Windmill & Buildings & 1a.2r.9p.
Spring Pightle 1a.3r.30p.
Mill Field close 2a.0r.8p. Copyhold
(1a.1r. Manor of Carbrooke late Hospital of St. John
3r.8p. Manor of Carbrooke Woodhall)
£300 for Freehold
£40 . Copyhold (late Hospital)
£35 . do (Woodhall)

August 16
Herbert Jeremiah Minns died intestate
Herbert Willie Minns son & heir

September 30
Herbert Willie Minns admitted to Copyholds

November 5
Copyhold (late Hospital) enfranchised for £4.1s.

August 1 Conveyance
Herbert Willie Minns to Herbert Henry Minns
House, mill etc. and 36.392a.

16th July 1939 25th July 1939
16th July 1939
25th July 1939

1st September 1970
1st September 1970

Samuel Goddard was miller between 1879-1890 and by 1888 was using a steam engine for a separate set of additional stones. He then moved on to Little Cressingham wind/watermill where he and his wife unfortunately died.

18th May 1980
18th May 1980

In 1932 the sails were removed by Martins, the Beccles millwrights. Herbert Willie Minns continued with grist grinding using a Crossley 13/17 h.p. paraffin engine until 1943.

On 10th October 1979, millwright John Lawn removed the windshaft and the remains of the cap frame by crane.

1989 1990

In 1980 a four bladed propeller driven dynamo and a wind gauge were fitted to the top of the tower with the intention of producing electricity that would charge batteries for lighting. However, the project proved unsuccessful.

By 1985 the stone vats had been removed as the wood had rotted. Other wood work on the stone floor was renewed, the bells were replaced and the tentering gear was cleaned and greased. At this time it was envisaged that an electric motor might be used to drive the stones.

O. S. Map 1882
O. S. Map 1882
Courtesy of NLS map images

1856: Mill built for Richard Dewing to replace earlier postmill on the same site

6th February 1857: Richard Dewing of Carbrooke Hall mortgaged mill to Benjamin Chaston

1858: Henry Knights, miller

26th October 1860: Richard Dewing of Carbrooke Hall mortgaged mill to Alfred Chaston

1863: George Goddard, miller

White's 1864: George Goddard, corn miller

1871: George Goddard, miller

1873: George Goddard, miller

22nd November 1876: Richard Dewing died

1878: George Goddard, miller

Kelly's 1879: Samuel Goddard, miller

1880: Samuel Goddard, miller

March 1880: Mill advertised to be let

O. S. Map 1882: Windmill (Corn)

1888: Samuel Goddard, miller (wind & steam)

Michaelmas 1890: Samuel Goddard and wife Elizabeth moved to Lt. Cressingham towermill

Kelly's 1892: Herbert Jeremiah Minns, miller (wind & steam)

Kelly's 1896: Herbert Jeremiah Minns, miller (wind & steam)

Kelly's 1900: Herbert Jeremiah Minns, miller (wind & steam)

June 1900: Mill advertised for sale by private treaty or auction

July 30th 1900: Mill & house sold for £375

10th December 1900: Richard Standley Dewing conveyed mill & property to Herbert Jeremiah Minns, miller

Kelly's 1904: Herbert Jeremiah Minns, miller (wind & steam) & farmer

Kelly's 1912: Herbert Jeremiah Minns, miller (wind & steam) & farmer

Kelly's 1916: Herbert Jeremiah Minns, miller (wind & steam) & farmer

16th August 1921: Herbert Minns died intestate aged 52 and was buried in Carbrooke churchyard

Kelly's 1922: Herbert William Minns, miller (wind & steam) & farmer

Kelly's 1925: Herbert William Minns, miller (wind & steam) & farmer

30th September 1925: Herbert Willie Minns (son) admitted to Copyhold

Kelly's 1929: Herbert William Minns, miller (wind & steam) & farmer

1932: Sails removed by Martins of Beccles

25th August 1932: Mill derelict with no sails or fan

1932: Herbert Willie Minns, miller (paraffin engine)

Kelly's 1933: Herbert William Minns, miller (wind & steam), Carbrook mill, & farmer, Southmoor Farm

Kelly's 1937: Herbert William Minns, stone pits & c.; haulage contractor & miller (oil), Carbrook mill, & farmer, Southmoor Farm

1939: Mill tower with cap, petticoat, fanstage, gallery and windshaft, working with auxiliary power

1943: Mill ceased working

1st August 1967: Herbert Willie Minns conveyed mill & property to Herbert Henry Minns

10th October 1979: Windshaft and the remains of the cap frame removed by millwright John Lawn

c.1980: Small wind propeller drive fitted for producing electricity - unsuccessful project

March 1984: Bob (Robert Henry) Adcock, last journeyman miller at the mill died. Had helped restore the mill

1990: Mill tower in good condition

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 TF 95240096
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Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2004