Drainage Mills (Windpumps)
Steam Mills

Cranworth smockmill was an 8 sided mill with a boat shaped cap, one pair of common sails, one pair of patent sails and a fantail, that stood on High Common to the north of the village.

The following melancholy accident happened during the late high wind; Mr. John Greef, of Cranworth, being in his mill at the time it was blown down, was unfortunately killed by its fall.
A mill at Aldeby, and Mr. Chasteney’s mill at Brissingham (the third within three years) were also blown down. – The sails from Cringleford, Mulbarton, New Buckenham, Poringland, and several other mills in the county, were also swept off.
Norfolk Chronicle - 14th November 1795

The old mill rocked to and fro, but is still standing; while that at Cranworth belonging to
Mr. Littleproud was overturned.

Dereham & Fakenham Times - 30th March 1895

Littleproud family

John  and Mary Littleproud of Attleborough appear to have had at least two sons who became millers. William Littleproud (bap. 1761 in Attleborough) was miller at Attleborough Hargham Rd postmill in 1813 and James snr (bap. 1770, Attleborough)  who was miller Shipdham Mill Road postmill in 1841. James snr also had Cranworth smockmill that his son Robert snr took over some time before 1836. James and his wife Mary had 4 sons: James jnr, William, Robert and Thomas. was succeeded by his wife Mary at Shipdham Mill Road postmill when he died in 1850.
James Littleproud's son Robert Littleproud snr (born c.1801 Southbergh) married Ann Jessup and they had eight sons: Robert jnr, James, John, William, Thomas, Jesse, Frederick and Alfred along with a least one daughter, Sophia.
Robert jnr became miller at Shipdham Market St. postmill, James (b.1832, in Shipdham); John Littleproud (b.1845 in Cranworth) worked at one of the Sporle towermills; William emigrated to Canada, where he became a miller;
Thomas became inkeeper & corn dealer at the Mill Inn, Stow Bedon; Jesse became miller at Shipdham, Frederick became the innkeeper at the Cattle Market Inn, Timber Hill, Norwich, while Alfred worked at and took over Cranworth smockmill when their father died c.1883.

After the mill blew down, Alfred Littleproud carried on with the baking business.

A blacksmith's shop also once stood on the site

O. S. Map 1882
O. S. Map 1882
Mill within Plot 13
Courtesy of NLS map images

Faden's map 1797: Mill

Poll book 1802: James Littleproud, miller

Bryant's map 1826: Mill

White's 1836: Robert Littleproud, corn miller

Census 1841: Robert Littleproud, miller

White's 1845: Robert Littleproud, corn miller

Census 1851: Robert Littleproud, miller

White's 1854: Robert Littleproud, corn miller

White's 1864: Robert Littleproud, miller & baker

Kelly's 1879: Robert Littleproud, miller

1883: Robert Littleproud, mi
ller & baker

White's 1883: Alfred Littleproud, miller & baker

O.S. map 1882: Mill outline shown but not labelled

Kelly's 1892: Alfred Littleproud, miller (wind)

24th March 1895: Mill blown over in a gale

May 1970: Stanley Harold Carter, Hill House

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 TF99450580
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Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2005