White postmill


Drainage Mills (Windpumps)
Steam Mills


Corpusty White mill was an open trestle postmill with low piers. Two pairs of stones and a flour mill were powered by 2 pairs of double shuttered patent sails each with 7 bays of 3 shutters. The six bladed fantail was on the ladder and the blades were sequentially painted red, white and blue. The tail pole was cut off to accommodate the new fantail. In 1812 a horse mill was being operated on the premises and the business also included a bake office.

Samuel Goldsmith's grandson, also Samuel, is standing on the steps of the mill in the above photograph, although this figure has also been identified as Fred Faircloth, who was manager of the watermill by 1908. The mill house standing behind the mill was built in 1862 and at the time of the photograph was occupied by Henry Stimpson & Sarah Platten. The photo shows two ladders set against the mill under the lower sail, so presumably repairs were underway.

The first known record of a windmill in Corpusty was in a deed dated 1671, where the mill was referred to as being in Saxthorpe. The White mill on Windmill, Hill was referred to by name in a deed of 1746.

The creditors of William Lake od Saxthorpe in the County of Norfolk, Miller, are earnestly requested to meet at the House of James Simmons known by the Sign of the Half Moon, situate in Briston in the said County on Wednesday 5 October 1783 about 10 o'c in the Forenoon that a state of his affairs may be laid before them & Assignees appointed to dispose of his effects for their equal benefit ...

Thomas Mendham
of Briston

Norfolk Chronicle - 27th September 1783

Corpusty, January 14, 1784
Notice to William Lake’s Creditors

The Assignees of the Estate & Effects of William Lake of Corpusty in the County of Norfolk, Miller, do hereby give notice that they intend to pay for his first & final dividend at the House of James Simmons known by the Sign of the Half Moon, in Briston, on Monday 26 January Instant about 10 o’c in the Forenoon … but such as cannot conveniently be present at the said meeting may be paid any Wednesday by applying to Mr. John Barber at Oulton or Mr. John Parlett Starling at Wood Dalling.
Norfolk Chronicle - 17th January 1784

In 1818 the mill was owned by Revd. Suckling of Edgefield who in that year sold it to Samuel Goldsmith, owner of Corpusty_watermill for £450. The mill was later sold out of the Goldsmith family but was bought back during the last quarter of the 1800s before being sold once more a few months before its destruction. By 1845, Samuel Goldsmith snr. owned Corpusty_watermill and two of the windmills in Corpusty - the White Mill and the Black_Mill. In 1896 at the age of 61 he was described in Kelly's directory as a miller and merchant, although the Black_Mill had gone by this time. Samuel Goldsmith died in 1899 and his widow carried on the business for about 2 years before selling the White Mill to a Mr. Stackwood

To Millers & Bakers
To be Sold by Private Contract
A Good & substantial POST WIND MILL with two pair of French stones & all going gears complete being in excellent repair.
Also a complete Horse Mill & House for dressing flour, very conveniently situated for carrying on the above trade, with about an acre, more or less, of good Land, on which the Mill etc. stand. The above premises are situate at Corpusty near Aylsham, Norfolk & the purchaser may be accommodated with a Baking Office & about 10 or 12 acres of excellent Land on a lease very near the above premises.

Enquire of Mrs. Blog of Corpusty aforesaid or the Printers of this paper.
Norfolk Chronicle - 29th February, 21st & 28th March 1812

Corpusty near Aylsham, Norfolk.
To be Sold or Let With early Possession
A Capital POST WINDMILL in full trade, with two pair of stones, flour mill etc. Also an excellent granary, stable, cart lodge & one acre of land on which the premises stand.
A purchaser may be accommodated with a neat house & 2 acres of superior pasture near the mill for a term of years. The property is freehold in the occupation of Mr. Edmund Starling & particulars may be had by applying to Mr. Kendle, Auctioneer, Edgefield, if by letter post paid.

Norfolk Chronicle - 22nd November 1817

1838 Tithe Award Map
1838 Tithe Award Map

Tithe Award 1839
Owner & Occupier Samuel Goldsmith Snr.

No. 1: Water Mill & Premises. Pasture 0a. 1r. 39p.
No. 2: Home Meadow. Pasture 1a. 3r. 32p.
No. 113: Black Mill. Pasture 0a. 1r. 0p.
No. 118 White Mill. Pasture 1a. 0r. 7p.
  3a. 2r. 38p. = 16s.

North of the railway bridge & on the west side of the road to the village were MILL VILLAS built by Samuel Goldsmith for mill workers. A tablet was inscribed S. G. 1898
Harry Apling - 14th July 1972

Corpusty gravestones:
Samuel Goldsmith snr, born 1777, died 9th January 1851 aged 74
nearly 50 years resident in this Parish
Frances Goldsmith, died 27th January 1851 aged 64
Samuel Goldsmith jnr, born 1835, died 15th April 1899 aged 64
Elizabeth Sayer Goldsmith, died 15th September 1904 aged 65

Saxthorpe & Corpusty

Compact Watermill...two watermills (error for two windmills corrected 18th August)
CLOWES & FLOWERDEW are favoured with instructions to Sell by Auction at the Norfolk Hotel, Norwich on Saturday 25th August 1860 at 3 for 4 o'c.

Lot 1. That excellant Watermill, Residence
, Stable, Warehouse, Meadow Land, & Post_Windmill all in Corpusty doing a capital home trade.

Lot 2. The White Post Windmill, Warehouse & Arable Land near Lot 1. etc...

8 lots with the exception of about half an acre in Corpusty.
The above is all Freehold & occupied by Mr. Goldsmith who will give possession at Michaelmas.
Particulars of J. H. Tillett Esq. or at the Auctioneers' offices, Bank Chambers, Norwich

Norfolk Chronicle & Norfolk News - 11th, 18th & 25th August 1860

Corpusty sale Aug1860

Messrs. Butcher have received instructions to Sell by Auction at Corpusty ...
(under a Deed of Assignment)
on Wednesday September 26, 1860 at 11 o'c on the premises at Corpusty, Live & Dead Stock of Mr. Samuel Goldsmith.

Norfolk Chronicle - 22nd September 1860

The Lots remaining Unsold of Mr. Goldsmith's Property including the MILLS, PIECE OF PASTURE LAND & BAKE OFFICE & PREMISES will be offered FOR SALE BY PUBLIC AUCTION by Mr. Hickling at the Castle, Saxthorpe on Tuesday 30 November next.
Apply to the Auctioneer or Mr. Tillett, Norwich.

Norfolk Chronicle & Norfolk News - 13th, 20th & 27th October 1860

From 1890 to 1892 Samuel Goldsmith also had the lease for Foulsham towermill

Not long after Mr. Stackwood of Corpusty_Sygate bought the mill from the Goldsmith family, there was a heavy gale and the White Mill was severely damaged.

In October 1902, the mill was dismantled. The stones were taken out by Geoffrey Winterbourn of Aylsham assisted by Richard and George Hill.

Albert Lawrence Hill was born at Mill Hill in 1905 and his father Richard Hill, worked for Samuel Goldsmith who lived at the Mill House at the watermill.

O. S. Map 1885

O. S. Map 1885
Courtesy of NLS map images

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

There were two other postmills in Corpusty, one known as the Black_Mill, that lay the the east of the White Mill and another postmill that lay to the southeast of the village near the river. All three appeared on Bryant's map of 1826.

Norwich Consistory Court Will 1730: John Leake, miller

Deed of 1746: White Mill

Index of Wills 1777: John Lake, miller

1783: William Lake, miller, insolvent

1784: William Lake, miller, insolvent

Faden's map 1797: Windmill

Poll Book 1802: Wiliam Leak, miller

February 1812: Mill advertised for sale by private contract

1817: Edmund Starling, miller

November 1817: Mill advertised for sale or let

1818: Mill sold by Revd. Suckling of Edgefield to Samuel Goldsmith miller at Corpusty watermill for £450

Bryant's map 1826: Windmill

White's 1836: Samuel Goldsmith, miller

White's 1845: Samuel Goldsmith, miller

9th January 1851: Samuel Goldsmith snr died

Index of Wills 1851: Samuel Goldsmith snr

White's 1851: Samuel Goldsmith jnr (aged 16)

The 1851 census lists the miller as being Henry A. Massingham (38), who was a master miller employing 2 men and two boys. One of those boys was his nephew Samuel Goldsmith, who at the age of 16 in the 1851 census was already described as a miller. Samuel was living with his uncle in Corpusty. Robert Richmond was also working there with his son John, who was 12 years old.

White's 1854: Samuel Goldsmith, farmer & miller

1860: Samuel Goldsmith - Insolvent Deed of Assignment

Saturday 25th August 1860: White Mill sold along with Corpusty watermill and the Black postmill

September 1860: Live & dead stock of Samuel Goldsmith advertised for sale by auction

October 1860: Unsold lots including White Mill, Black Mill & bake office etc advertised for sale by auction

Harrod's 1863: William Bruce, miller

White's 1864: William Bruce, corn miller, Corpusty Mills

Harrod's 1872: William Bruce, miller

Kelly's 1879: Samuel Goldsmith, miller, corn & coal merchant & c.

White's 1883: Samuel Goldsmith, miller & merchant

Kelly's 1892: Samuel Goldsmith, miller (wind & water)

Kelly's 1896: Samuel Goldsmith, miller (wind & water) & merchant

15th April 1899: Samuel Goldsmith died

Kelly's 1900: Mrs. Eliza Sayer Goldsmith, miller (wind & water) & corn & coal merchant

1902: Mill sold to Mr. Stackwood of Corpusty Sygate

October 1902: White Mill was dismantled after a serious gale had damaged its sails

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 TG11093018
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Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2005