Drainage Mills (Windpumps)
Steam Mills

1834 watercolour painting by Edmund Girling
1834 watercolour painting by Edmund Girling

Dilham smockmill was probably originally brought down from Lincolnshire where it was being used as a drainage mill on land adjoing the River Humber, before being re-erected as a corn mill short distance from Dilham_watermill. The mill stood on a 12 foot brick base and had a fantail. The two pairs of patent sails drove 3 pairs of stones.

The above painting was subject to a degree of artistic licence as the windmill was not as close to the watermill or in the position shown.

To Millers, Millwrights and others

A very Superior OAK WIND SHAFT quite equal to new having been made within the last six years, measuring 20½ feet in length, 2ft. 3ins. diameter at the neck and containing about 100 solid feet of Timber. It is ironed up in a most substantial manner and has an excellent winged gudgeon.
The above shaft is now carrying a set of Patent Sails with Stocks of large dimensions, may be viewed at any time and would if required be delivered on board a Craft free of any additional expense to the purchaser.

Also for Sale four very powerful double motion Lifting Jacks, nearly new.
Norfolk Chronicle - 11th March 1837

The above advert probably related to a new iron windshaft having been fitted to the mill.

Tithe map 1840
Tithe map 1840 - as redrawn by Harry Apling
Smockmill top right at the end of the track

Dilham Wind & Water_Mills - Tithe Award 1841
Owner William Howe Whindham & Occupier William Harrison Wells

No. 5: Water Mill etc. Water 16a. 0r. 11p.
No. 6: Mill Rand. Pasture 0a. 1r. 30p.
No. 7: Windmill Meadow. Pasture 5a. 2r. 2p.
No. 8: Mill Pightle. 1a. 0r. 7p.
No. 11: Little Mill Meadow  
No. 12: Great Mill Meadow  
No. 16: Windmill Pightle. Arable 1a. 3r. 29p.
No. 56: House, Farm Premises & Garden 1a. 0r. 8p.
53a. 3r. 38p.
£3. 13s to Vicar
£6 17s to Appropriators

The mill had probably already been sold to John Cann of Wymondham by the time the advert below appeared.

To Millers
To be Sold (A BARGAIN)
Nearly all the entire MACHINERY & GOING GEARS of a TOWER WINDMILL comprising sails, 3 pairs of stones, spur wheel 8 feet diameter fine pitch, windshaft cast iron, winding tackle complete etc. etc. most of which are nearly new or equal thereto,
Apply to Mr. John Cann, Wymondham
Norfolk Chronicle & Norfolk News - 18th September 1858

To be Sold by Auction by WILLIAM POPE
On Friday October 1st, 1858
The Live and Dead FARMING STOCK, Implements, Mill Carriages, Utensils in Trade... by direction of Mr. W. D. Gardiner, who gives up possession of the Dilham Mills at Michaelmas...
in the Mill (watermill)...
The LOWER FLOOR OF THE WINDMILL, about 12 feet high, containing 30 to 40 thousand bricks.
Catalogues may be had on the Premises and of the Auctioneer, North Walsham.

Norfolk Chronicle - 25th September 1858

In 1858 the mill was dismantled and moved to Wymondham via the Great Eastern Railway by Tom Brown and his father. Once there, according to the date stone over the doorway, the mill was rebuilt for miller, farmer and corn merchant John Cann on 7th October 1858.

The mill, then became known as Wymondham North Mill and was the tallest smockmill in Norfolk.

After the mill had been demolished an old piece of gravestone was discoverd bearing the inscription:
...Memory of... Reynolds...died February...1834, Aged 72 Years

Unusually, quite a lot of technical information for this mill has survived and is listed on the page for Wymondham North Mill

Bryant's map 1826: Windmill

Edmund Girling watercolour 1834: Depicts mill and wherry bearing initials WHW - William Harrison Wells

White's 1836: William Harrison Wells - wind & water; also Bacton Wood

March 1837: Oak windshaft advertised for sale

O.S. map 1838: Windmill

Tithe Award map 1840: Mill

Tithe Award 1841: William Howe Whindham, owner; William Harrison Wells
, occupier

White's 1845: William Harrison Wells; also Bacton Wood

Hunt's 1850: William Harrison Wells (later moved to New Mills in Norwich)

Census 1851: William Harrison Wells (45), Harriette Wells (39) wife + 7 children, Sarah Wells (73) mother

Craven's 1856: William Drake Gardiner

Craven's 1858: William Drake Gardiner, also smock mill at Wymondham

September 1858: Mill machinery advertised for sale

September 1858: Business effects of William Drake Gardiner and mill base advertised for sale by auction

1858: Mill dismantled and moved to Wymondham

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 TG33252680
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Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2004