Drainage Mills (Windpumps)
Steam Mills


Dersingham post mill stood to the northwest of the village adjacent to Lyng Row Farm. The mill buck had a gallery around the eaves and stood on a single storey, tiled roundhouse. The 4 double shuttered sails drove 2 pairs of French burr stones and a flour mill. The fantail was on the tail pole. A horse mill on the premises drove a further two flour mills.

Over the front door of the mill house was a datestone tablet that possibly related the dates when the mill was built and dismantled:


fituated in Darfingham, with two pair French ftones, flour mill, and going gears, and horfe mill, with two flour mills, fituated on more lefs than one acre of land, all in capital repair - a moft defirable . . .
Norfolk Chronicle - 4th June 1808

To be Let or Sold by Private Contract
A Capital Post WINDMILL & an Acre of Land situate in Dersingham in Norfolk, with two pair of French Stones, Flour Mill & going Gears & a Horse Mill with two Flour Mills. The premises are all in good repair & there is a valuable trade connected with them, the situation is desirable & well worthy of attention.
Apply personally to Mr. William Hall of Gatesend. Mr. Wm. Smith senior, Dersingham, will shew the premises of which immediate possession may be had.

November 27, 1811.
Norfolk Chronicle - 30th November 1811

To be Sold or Let
A Capital Post WINDMILL with two pairs of French Stones & two flour Mills, a newly built Dwelling house & other necessary buildings, situate at Dersingham, near Lynn, Norfolk.

Enquire of Mr. Silcock on the premises.
Norfolk Chronicle - 15th, 22nd & 29th May & 12th June 1819

Notice re
GEORGE SILCOCK of Darsingham, Miller
Deed of Assignment 20 July 1826

Norfolk Chronicle - 29th July 1826

Notice re
GEORGE SILCOCK of Darsingham, Miller
Deed of Assignment 20 July 1826

Norfolk Chronicle - 16th September 1826

By W. STURLEY On Friday 29 September 1826 at 11 o'c
All the FARMING STOCK, Implements, Household Furniture ... and other effects of Mr. G. Silcock of Dersingham Mill in the county of Norfolk under a Deed of Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors.

Norfolk Chronicle - 23rd September 1826

To Millers

To be Let

A Capital POST WINDMILL driving two pairs of French stones, with roundhouse under the same, a good dwelling house with barn, stable, piggeries & other outbuildings. Also six acres of excellent arable land lying contiguous thereto, situated in the parish of Dersingham In the county of Norfolk, within nine miles of the Port of Kings Lynn, in the midst of a good corn district.

Possession of which may be had at Lady day next or sooner if requested.

Enquire of Mr. R. Stanton (by Church) or Mr. W. Sturley, Auctioneer, both of Dersingham, if by letter post paid.

Norfolk Chronicle - 23rd February & 1st March 1828

To Maltsters, Millers & others

To be Sold by Auction by Geo. Silcock at the Dun Cow, Dersingham in the county of Norfolk on Thursday 26 March 1835 at 4 o’c (Unless sooner disposed of by Private Contract)

The following Valuable Estates in Dersingham

Lot 3. A Good Dwelling house with Corn Windmill, Barn, Stables, Granary, Piggeries & other convenient outbuildings in good repair, Yards, Garden & seven acres (more or less) of excellent Land now in the occupation of Mr. R. Sherwood. This Lot is Freehold. Possession may be had on the 11 th October next if required.

Apply to Messrs. Jarvis, Attornies, Lynn.

Norfolk Chronicle - 14th & 21st March 1835

Tithe map 1839
Tithe map 1839 - as redrawn by Harry Apling

Tithe Award 1839
Map by Newton & Woodrow, Norwich.
Owner: Vicar of Sherbourne
Occupier: James Fitt

No. 101

Mill Pightle


0a. 2r. 12p.

Pt. of 6/6d

Owner: Mary Ann Brett
Occupier: James Fitt

No. 102

House, millyard & garden

0a. 2r. 13p.

The mill was erroneously shown as a towermill
No. 103, Barn & Yard and No. 104, Mill Close were on the other side of the road

Marriage of Matthew Fitt and Susannah Engledow at St Faith's church in Gaywood:

28 Oct 1852 Matthew FITT  full age bach Miller Dersingham
son of James Fitt Miller.
Susannah Emily ENGLEDOW full age spin Gaywood
dau of Edward Engledow Farmer & Innkeeper
In pres of John Williamson & Elizabeth Ann Fitt

Under Deaths:
On the 28th ult., Mr. James Fitt, Miller, Dersingham, aged 77 years; and on Febraury the 6th, Mary wife of the above aged 71 years.

Lynn Advertiser & West Norfolk Herald - 12th February 1859

Situations Vacant

WANTED immediately, a Man that understands his Business as a MILLER & BAKER.

Apply by letter or personally to Matthew Fitt, Dersingham near Lynn.

Norfolk News - 2nd September 1865

The Mill House
And about Six Acres of Land at Dersingham
In the occupation of Mr. Matthew Fitt, will be Sold by Auction in the month of May, unless previously disposed of by private contract.

Application to Mr. Jarvis or Messrs. Partridge & Edwards, Lynn. March 26 1866.
Lynn Advertiser & Norfolk News - 31st March & 28th April 1866

The Mill, House & about 6 acres of land at Dersingham in the occupation of Mr. Matthew Fitt will be Sold by Auction in May.
Apply to Mr. Jarvis or Messrs. Partridge & Edwards, Solrs. Lynn. April 1866.
  Norfolk Chronicle - 28th April 1866


Freehold Mill, House & Land at Dersingham

To be Sold by Auction by Messrs. Cruso & Son at the Globe Hotel, Kings Lynn on Tuesday 3 July 1866 at 4 for 5 o’c. Either together or in lots. The following valuable FREEHOLD PROPERTY situate at Dersingham.

All that WIND CORN MILL with the Dwelling house, Bakehouse, Outbuildings & the Yard & Garden & Land adjoining & belonging thereto, containing (including the site of the said Mill, House & Premises) 2 roods 15 perches, be the same more or less, lying next the Mill Road north & west, Ingoldisthorpe Glebe Land east & land belonging to Mrs. Rouses Trustees south.

Arable Land 3a.3r.18p. …

Arable Land 1a.2r.28p. …

The whole of the above Property is now in the occupation of Mr. Matthew Fitt. Possession may be had at Michaelmas next.

Apply to Mr. Jarvis or Messrs. Partridge & Edwards, Solrs. Lynn
Lynn Advertiser - 16th, 23rd & 30th June & Norfolk Chronicle & Norfolk News - 23rd June 1866

To Millers & Bakers
Wanted a steady man who thoroughly understands his business. Good references required.
Apply to Mr. Fitt, Dersingham.

Lynn Advertiser - 14th November 1874

To Bakers
Wanted a thorough good man, one who has been accustomed to a country trade. Liberal wages, with cottage. Apply to Mr. W. Fitt, Dersingham, Norfolk.

Lynn Advertiser - 28th November 1874

To Millers & Bakers
Wanted, a man who well understands his business as Miller etc.
Apply to Mr. M. Fitt, Miller etc. Dersingham, Norfolk.

Lynn Advertiser - 1st & 15th December 1883

WANTED at once a good Miller & Baker; one who understands driving cart.
Apply to M. Fitt, Dersingham Mill.

Lynn Advertiser - 11th January 1890

Matthew Fitt occupied the mill along with an undertenant

Preliminary Notice

Dersingham, Norfolk

The MILL HOUSE & a COTTAGE & WINDMILL, Outbuildings, yard, Garden & Land comprising 4a.1r.31p. all freehold, lately in the occupation of Mr. Matthew Fitt & 3a. 1r. 25p. of freehold Land on the west side of the road from Ingoldisthorpe to West Newton, also lately in the occupation of Mr. Fitt, will be offered for sale by auction by

Messrs. Cruso & Wilkin

At the latter end of June 1890

Further particulars in future papers.

In the meantime apply to the Auctioneers, Kings Lynn or to

Partridge & Co.,

Solrs. Kings Lynn.
Lynn Advertiser - 7th June 1890

Dersingham, Norfolk


To be Sold by Auction by Messrs. Cruso & Wilkin

At the White Horse Inn, on Thursday 26 th day of June 1890 at 6 o’c in the Evening for 7 precisely, in the following or such other lots as may be determined at the Auction

Lot 1. A WIND CORN-MILL with a good roomy Dwelling House, Bake House, Stable, Cow House, Yard, Garden & Land adjoining & a newly erected & well built four roomed COTTAGE thereon, including a piece of very fine ARABLE LAND called “The Mill Close”, containing altogether 4a.1r.31p. or thereabouts, situated on the hill at Dersingham, lately in the occupation of Mr. Matthew Fitt deceased & his under-tenant. The Windmill, which stands on a hill & drives two pairs of French stones, is in good going order & in good repair. And there is a good baking business connected with the Property.

There is a wall of excellent water on this lot.

Lot 2. 3a.1r.25p. FREEHOLD ARABLE LAND … also lately in the occupation of Mr. Fitt.

Possession at Michaelmas next.

The wheat straw which will be on Lot 2 at the time fixed for completion of the purchase will have to be taken by the purchaser of that lot at a valuation price to be ascertained in the usual way.

For further particulars & to view the property apply to Mr. Matthew James Fitt on the premises or to Partridge & Co. Solrs. Kings Lynn.
Lynn Advertiser - 14th & 21st June 1890

Are favoured with instructions from the representitives of the late Mr. Matthew Fitt to Sell by Auction on Thursday July 10, 1890 the Household Furniture & Effects, the contents of the above house.
Sale to commence at 11 o'c prompt.
The Valuation, Auction & Agency Offices, Hunstanton
Lynn Advertiser - 28th June & 5th July 1890

at Southgate Farm, Snettisham
on instructions from Executors of the late Matthew Fitt.
LIVE & DEAD FARMING STOCK etc from the Dersingham & Snettisham Farms ...
Together with a quantity of Milling Effects ...

Lynn Advertiser - 20th September 1890

Miller & Baker wanted, a single young man with good reference.
H. Playford, Dersingham.

Lynn Advertiser - 15th October 1897

District News    -    Dersingham
FITT'S MILL.  An interesting landmark, for many years known as "Fitt's mill," has disappeared during the past few weeks.  Standing on top of the hill to the north of the village, it commanded a wider stretch of sea and country than even the famous Snettisham spire.  About 200 years old, it was owned for many years by the late Mr. Matthew Fitt, a well known farmer, miller and baker; who brought up a very large family under it's sheltering wings.  Mr. Herbert Playford recently sold the property to take up his residence in the business part of the village.
Lynn Advertiser - 15th February 1907

Photo of mill with Herbert Playford
A West Norfolk Camera - Gordon Anckorn - 1981

Remains of roundhouse, sunk several steps down from top of a slight mound. Inside now a goldfish pond.
Several courses of brick above ground together with 4 piers a little higher. Also in flowerbed - a peak millstone with right hand furrows.

Harry Apling - 23rd June 1972

O. S. Map 1904
O. S. Map 1904
Courtesy of NLS map images

c.1667: Mill built

Faden's map 1797: Darsingham Mill

1808: William Smith, miller

May 1808: Mill advertised for sale by private contract

June 1808: Mil advertised for sale along with horse mill

1811: William Smith, miller

October 1811: Mill advertised for sale by private contract

1819: ? Silcock, miller

May 1819: Mill advertised for sale or let

1822: Richard Johnson, miller

Bryant's map 1826: Dersingham Mill

1826: George Silcock, miller

September 1826: Effects of George Silcock advertised for auction under a Deed of Assignment

February 1828: Mill advertised to be let

1835: Robert Sherwood, miller

March 1835: Mill advertised for sale. Auctioneer George Silcock and in occupation of Robert Sherwood

White's 1836: Robert Sherwood, corn miller

Tithe Award 1839: Owner: Vicar of Sherbourne; Occupier: James Fitt, miller

Census 1841: James Fitt (55) miller
Mary Fitt (50)
James Fitt (25) miller
Ann Fitt (20)
Matthew Fitt (17) miller
Michael Fitt (13)
Charlotte Williamson (2) visitor
Address: Lyng Holm Farm

Stephen Softly (30) journeyman miller
Frances Softly (30)
William Softly (14)
Stephen Softly (12)
Obehiah Softly (6)
John Softly (3 mths)
Address: Dods Mill

Whites 1845: James Fitt, corn miller

Census 1851: James Fitt (69) b.Gt Hautboys, miller Post Wind Mill, employing 1 journeyman
Mary H. Fitt (63) b.Horstead
Matthew Fitt (27) b.Tunstead, millers son
Michael Fitt (23) b.Tunstead, millers son
Elizabeth A. Fitt (19) b.Tunstead, millers daughter (visiting Williamson family at Sherborne)
Alfred Lee (18) b.Horstead, farmers son 
Ann Hancock (18) b.Snettisham, house servant
Thomas Dyball (15) b.Harpley, miller apprentice

Stephen Softly (42) b,Stanhoe journeyman miller
Frances Softly (42) b.Dersingham
Obediah Softly (16) b.Dersingham, agricultural labourer
John Softly (10 mnths) b.Dersingham
Ann Wales (4) niece

28th October 1852: Matthew Fitt married Susannah Engledow at Gaywood

Kelly's 1854: James Fitt, miller

1858: James Fitt, miller

28th January 1859: James Fitt died

2th Februay 1859: Mary Hammond Fitt (née Hilling) wife of James Fitt, died

Census 1861:

Matthew Fitt (37) b.Tunstead, miller employing 1 man & 1 boy
Susannah E. Fitt (30) b.Gaywood
Matthew J. Fitt (7) b.Dersingham, scholar
Harry Fitt (4) b.Dersingham
James Fitt (1) b.Dersingham
Michael Fitt (33) b.Tunstead, assistant in the mill (brother)

Charles Brooke (18) b.West Dereham, apprentice
Emily Cooper (19) b.Stalham, nurse maid
Rebecca Drew (24) b.Gaywood, house servant

White's 1864: Matthew Fitt, baker & miller

1865: Matthew Fitt, miller & baker

March 1866: Mill advertised for sale by auction or private contract in the occupation of Matthew Fitt

Census 1871:

Matthew Fitt (48) b.Tunstead, miller & farmer of 96 acres employing 1 miller & 2
Susannah Emily Fitt (40) b.Gaywood
Matthew Fitt (17) b.Dersingham
Jessie L. Fitt (16)
Fitt (9) scholar
John Elliot Fitt (7)
Mary Fitt (3)
Christmas Herbert Fitt (2)
Bessie Fitt (1)
Sarah Anne Johnson (16) b.Sherbourne, general servant
Eliza Rumbelow (18) b.Downham, nurse maid
Address: 49 Mill Road

1874: Matthew Fitt, miller & baker

Kelly's 1879: Matthew Fitt, farmer, baker & corn miller, Dersingham mill

1st qtr 1880: Susannah Emily Fitt (née Engledow) wife of Matthew Fitt, died aged 49

Census 1871:

Matthew Fitt (56) b.Tunstead, miller & farmer of 100 acres employing 3 men, 1 miller, 1 baker & 1 carter
Jessie L. Fitt (26) housekeeper
James Fitt (21) draper & c
Fitt (19) apprentice to harness maker
John Elliot Fitt (17) apprentice to plumber & glazier
Mary Fitt (3)
Christmas Herbert Fitt (13) scholar
Mary Fitt (13) scholar
Bessie Fitt (11) scholar
Thomas Fitt (9) scholar
Susannah E. Fitt (4)
Louisa Dawes (16) b.Gayton, servant of all works
Address: 49 Mill Road

White's 1883: Matthew Fitt, corn miller & baker, farmer & tax collector

O.S. map 1888: Windmill (Corn)

January 1890: Matthew Fitt, miller & baker

1890: Matthew Fitt died

June 1890: Mill advertised for sale by auction

July 1890: Personal effects of Matthew Fitt advertised for sale by auction

September 1890: Business effects of Matthew Fitt advertised for sale by auction

Kelly's 1892: John Whitrod, miller (wind)

Kelly's 1896: Herbert Playford, baker & miller (wind)

Kelly's 1900: Herbert Playford, baker & miller (wind)

Kelly's 1904: Herbert Playford, baker & miller (wind)

February 1907: Mill pulled down

c.1968: Mill bought by Mr. Lindley of Sandringham

1972: Remains of roundhouse converted into goldfish pond

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 TF69553143
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Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2006