Downham Market


Drainage Mills (Windpumps)
Steam Mills

Downham Market Howdale postmill had a two storey roundhouse and in 1793 at least one pair of common sails were powering two pairs of French burr stones.

To be SOLD at Downham in Norfolk
A Good accustomed WINDMILL in very good Repair, with Two Pair of Stones & all the Running & Going Gears.
For Particulars enquire of Mr. John Box of Downham aforesaid.
N. B. The Purchaser may have Possession immediately.

Norfolk Chronicle - 21st & 28th May & 4th June 1774

To Millers To be SOLD by AUCTION
On Thursday 28 th Day of March 1782 at the House of Mr. George Smith being the Queens Head Inn in Downham Market, between the Hours of 5 & 7 in the Evening, subject to such Conditions of Sale as will be there produced.
A Good-accustomed WIND CORN MILL situate in Downham Market aforesaid in an eligible Place for carrying on an extensive Trade, with a Dressing Mill & Furniture, in compleat Repair, now in the Occupation of Alexander Shelton.

For Particulars enquire of Mr. B. Ramsey at Stow, near Downham.
Norfolk Chronicle - 18th & 23rd March 1782

Downham Market
To be Sold by Auction
By Benjamin Bird
On Saturday 29 June instant between the hours of 5 & 7 o’c in the evening, at the Crown Inn in Downham Market in the county of Norfolk.
Lot 1. All that piece of Freehold Land containing one acre (more or less) with a capital WINDMILL thereon standing, situate in Downham Market aforesaid, now in the occupation of Mr. Richard Overton, with two pair of good French Stones & all other the going gears thereunto belonging, likewise an exceeding good Roundhouse with two floors to the same.
Possession may be had immediately & £100 part of the purchase money may remain on the premises.
The scales, beams, weight & sailcloths to be taken at a fair appraisement.

The tenants will shew the premises & for further particulars apply to Mr. William Townshend, Attorney at Law, Downham Market aforesaid.
Norfolk Chronicle - 8th, 15th, 22nd & 29th June 1793

East Anglian Riots of 1816
In Southery a crowd assembled to march to Downham Market where, on 20th May, a crowd of 1,500 gathered "to confront magistrates and overseers of the poor at their weekly meeting at The Crown Hotel". They raided local bakeries and then William Baldwin's flour mill. Detachments of the Yeomanry Cavalry were sent to restore order and the magistrates read the 'Riot Act'.

Riot 1816
Norfolk Chronicle - 24th August 1816

Downham Market
Post Wind-Mill, Blacksmith’s Shop etc. to be Sold by Auction by D. Browne on Friday 22 April 1836 at 3 o’c at the Coffee Pot Inn, Downham Market (Unless sooner disposed of by Private Contract)
The following Valuable Property
Lot 1. A Capital POST WIND MILL with excellent brick & tiled Roundhouse & 1½ acres (or thereabouts) of Arable Land adjoining in Downham Market in Norfolk, nearly 40 years in the occupation of Mr. William Baldwin deceased & now occupied by Mr. Samuel Edison.
Lot 2. Four Cottages & Blacksmith’s Shop …

Apply to Mr. T. W. Cary, London Road, Lynn.
Norfolk Chronicle - 16th April 1836

On 10th May 1971, Mrs. Neave of the bungalow Hilltop at Howdale, wrote to Harry Apling to say she remembered the circular foundations of the mill roundhouse, which were only one brick thick, being removed from the mound to the south of her bungalow. She also mentioned that the old mill house was then known as Woodlands.

O.S. Map 2007
O.S. Map 2007
Image produced with permission of Ordnance Survey

Ogilvy Plate 43, London to Kings Lynn 1675: Windmill

May 1774: Mill advertised for sale

1782: Alexander Shelton, miller

March 1782: Mill advertised for sale by auction

Will dated 30th August 1792: Richard Overton, miller & baker. Will proved 19th August 1796

1793: Richard Overton, miller

June 1793: Mill advertised for sale by auction

Faden's map 1797: Windmill

Poll Book 1802: Alexander Shelton, miller

20th May 1816: William Balwin's mill raided by a militant crowd as part of the East Anglian Riots

1822: William Baldwin, miller

O.S. map 1824: Windmill

c.1836: William Baldwin, miller, died after nearly 40 years at the mill

1836: Samuel Edison, miller

April 1836: Mill advertised for sale by auction

1846: William Chaplin, miller, Houdle Mill

1850: James Andrews, miller, Parsonage Mill

Census 1851:

Blades Foster (67) b.Claythorp, Lincolnshire, annuitant
Elizabeth Foster (58) b.Saltby, Leicestershire
John Foster (24) b.Old Lynn, journeyman miller & baker
Clarissa Foster (21) b.Old Lynn, bonnett & dress maker
Thirza Foster (15) b.Wimbotsham, bonnett & dress maker
Elizabeth Jane Long (6) b.Downham, visitor (granddaughter)
Address: Paradise Lane

1853: Edmund Andrews, miller

White's 1864: Edmund Andrews, corn miller, Paradise Ln

Kelly's 1879: Edmund Andrews, miller, Parson's lane

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 TF61500295
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Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2006