Drainage Mills (Windpumps)
Steam Mills

19th May 1979
19th May 1979

Fakenham towermill was a five storey mill that stood just to the north of the Holt Road quite near to the town centre. The top three storeys were built onto the existing two storey octagonal base of a smockmill that had been demolished to make way for the new towermill, possibly as a result of a fire. The mill used 4 patent sails to power 2 pairs of 4ft French burr stones, a 20 inch flour mill, a bean crusher and a grindstone. A bake office was also run on the site.

To be offered for Sale by Auction by Robert Ansell at the Crown Inn, Fakenham on Thursday 23 August 1849 at 5 o’c
Lot 1. In Fakenham
A capital brick built Tower Windmill
Containing a Basement & Four Floors, with patent sails & 20 inch Flour Mill, also a Cart lodge with Granary over & Stables & Straw-house near.
Also two Dwelling Houses (to one of which a good Baking office is attached, & ELEVEN … Cottages … containing with the sites of the Mill, Houses & Buildings 1a. 3r. 33p.
The above Lot is situate near the Holt Road in Fakenham & is Copyhold of the Manor of Faken Lancaster. Fine certain. The Mill & the Dwelling house with Baking office attached & the Cart lodge, Stables & Strawhouse & one Plot of Garden Ground part thereof being under lease to Mr. John Brett for a term which will expire on Old Michaelmas day 1853 & the remainder thereof being occupied by yearly tenants & the rents amount in the aggregate to £116. 8s.
The property has lately been put into a thorough state of repair & offers an eligible investment.

Apply to Messrs. Kent & Watson, Solrs. Fakenham or the Auctioneer.
Norfolk Chronicle & Norwich Gazette - 11th & 18th August 1849

To be Sold by Private Contract.
All that substantially built Brick TOWER WINDMILL driving two pairs of Stones; with Stable & other Outbuildings & a small piece of Garden Ground situate in Fakenham in Norfolk & now in the occupation of Henry Wyer.

Apply to Messrs. Wilkinson & Slann, Solrs. Holt.
Norfolk Chronicle - 11th & 18th June 1864

To be Sold by Private Contract.
All that substantially built Brick TOWER WINDMILL driving two pairs of Stones, with Stable & other Outbuildings & a small piece of Garden Ground situate in Fakenham in Norfolk & now in the occupation of Henry Wyer.

For price & particulars apply to Messrs. Wilkinson & Slan, Solicitors, Holt.
Norfolk News - 11th June 1864

To Millers & others
Mr. R. Spicer will Sell by Auction on September 28, 1864 a part of the FIXTURES & other EFFECTS in the Mill the property of Mr. Wyer who is declining the Milling Business.
Comprising Pair of very superior 4 ft. French burr stones in excellent condition, large flour scales & beam, excellent bean crusher, large grindstone, 100 sacks, small flour scales & beam, 2 peck measures, 3 sack barrows, rope & pulley, bushel & strike, flour mill straps, power chain & weights, stone saddle, 10-stave bladder, sack chain, 6 ft. iron fly wheel, quantity of flour cloths, nine stone bills, seven 4-stone weights, two 2-stone ditto, also a quantity of small weights, 2 iron spindles with fittings complete with hoppers, bearing shoe, flat boards & stone nut

The sale to commence at half past two o’clock at the Mill on the road leading from Fakenham to Holt.
Norfolk News - 17th & 24th September 1864


ABSTRACT of Title of William Youard

Manor Court
12 July 1819

George Butler takes property under sale by the Commissioners
under a Commission of Bankruptcy against Richard Catton (previous owner)
(possibly earlier postmill on same site)

10 July 1822

George Butler, Brisley, Shopkeeper sells property for £210 to Richard King Readwin
(possibly earlier postmill on same site)

Deed dated8 Dec. 1849 Manor Court
? Mar. 1850

Richard King Readwin, then of Basingstoke, Hants., Carpenter
having erected a number of houses sells for £1600 property including
“Brick built Tower Wind Mill with Cart Lodge,
Stable & Outbuildings” to John Angell Youard of North Creake, Gent.
? Feb. 1861

John Angell Youard died having by Will dated 24th January 1861 left Mill to his son William Youard

? Nov. 1861

William Youard of Holt, Harnessmaker mortgages Mill now in occupation of Henry Atherton for £180 to William Johnson Jennis Bolding, Weybourne, Gent.
William Youard (not having been able to sell Mill as advertised in June 1864) defaults asregards repayment of Mortgage money & William Johnson Jennis Bolding forecloses & acquires the Mill.

5 July 1882

William Johnson Jennis Bolding
sells Mill for £70 to James Stone of Fakenham, Miller

? Dec. 1887

James Stone died leaving Mill to his widow Priscilla Stone

?0 Oct. 1910

William Wretham Stone (having inherited Mill) sells Mill now dismantled for £75 to
William Osborne Miller, Fakenham, Earthenware Merchant

?4 May 1920

William Osborne Miller sells Mill for £250 to Thomas Brown of 15 Queen Anne’s Gate, London

Mark Jarvis, miller from 1872 - 1879 eventually left and by 1892 was a flour dealer at Little Snoring and died on 20th February 1893.

To be Sold by Auction By George S. Andrews At the Crown
Hotel, Fakenham on Friday 24 th June 1910 at 4 p.m. precisely the undermentioned
Properties in Fakenham
Lot 1. Dwelling House & Shop
Lot 2. 3 Cottages
Lot 3. A Piece of LAND, with an old dilapidated TOWER WINDMILL, stables, sheds and other outbuildings near the Holt Road. This Lot would form an excellent Building Site. Now let to the District Council and Mr. A. Johnson at Rents amounting to £9 per annum. Possession at Michaelmas next. Tenure of all the Lots – Freehold.

Further Particulars and Conditions of Sale of the Auctioneer, Wells next the Sea or of Messrs. Cates, Butcher And Andrews, Vendors’ Solicitors, Fakenham & Holt.
Dereham & Fakenham Times - 11th & 18th June 1910

O. S. Map 1885
O. S. Map 1885
Courtesy of NLS map images

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

The towermill had been converted into a house by the end of the 1970s, with the addition of a small red brick extension. The tower had been taken down to just leave the ground and first two upper floors, the top of the mill having blown off in a gale.

1849: Mill built on the 10 sided brick base of Fakenham smockmill

8th December 1849: Richard King Readwin

1849: John Brett, miller under lease until Old Michaelmas 1853

August 1849: Mill advertised for sale by auction

8th December 1849: Richard King Readwin sells mill property to John Angell Youard

1851: John Brett, miller & baker

Census 1851:

John Brett (33) b.Fakenham, miller & baker
Susanna Brett (26) b.Old Walsingham
John Brett (3) b.Fakenham
William Brett (1) b.Fakenham
Susanna Morgan (23) b.Little Snoring, dress maker (lodger)
Samuel C. Morgan (3) b.Fakenham
Mary A. Nichols (13) b.Little Snoring, apprentice (sister)
Mary A. Moy (15) b.Little Snoring, servant
Address: Holt Road

Census 1851:

John Pearson (31) b.Holt, journeyman miller
Mary Ann Pearson (35) b.Edgefield
William Pearson (4) b.Fakenham
Address: White Horse St

White's 1854: John Brett, miller

1856: R. F. Cole, miller

1858: Henry Atherton, miller & flour factor

February 1861: John Angell Youard, owner, died leaving mill to son William Youard

1861: Henry Atherton, miller

November 1861: William Youard mortgages mill to William Johnson Jennis Bolding of Weybourne for £180

1863: Henry Wyer, miller

1864: Henry Wyer, miller

June 1864: Mill advertised for sale by private contract

1864: William Johnson Jennis Bolding acquires mill due to William Youard defaulting on mortgage repayments

September 1864: Business effects of Henry Wyer, miller, advertised for sale by auction due to him leaving

1872: Mark Jarvis, miller

Kelly's 1879: Mark Jarvis, miller, Wells road

5th July 1882: William Johnson Jennis Bolding sells mill to James Stone, miller for £70

O. S. Map 1885: Old Windmill

December 1887: James Stone, miller, died leaving mill to his wife Priscilla Stone

June 1910: Derelict mill and site advertised for sale by auction

October 1910: Wiliam Wretham Stone (son of James Stone) sold mill to William Osborne Miller for £75

May 1920: William Osborne Miller sold mill to Thomas Brown of London for £250

1952: Mill tower still remaining

1974: Alfred John Brown, Tower House, Holt Road

1979: Ground floor and two storeys remaining, converted into residential accommodation

1990: Mill accommodation looking somewhat shabby

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 TF 92242987
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Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2005