Mill Farm


Drainage Mills (Windpumps)
Steam Mills

Mill Farm postmill c.1860
1860 sketch

Felthorpe Mill Farm postmill had a roundhouse and used patent sails to drive three pairs of French burr stones, a flour mill and jumper. The ladder was described as being attached to vertical fly staging from a tandem cartwheel carriage.

A plaque on Mill Farm farmhouse is inscribed JS 1793

Capital Wind Mill,
Lease of Water Mill, Dwelling House, Land, and Cottages.
On Saturday, the 11th September, 1830,
At Four o'clock in the Afternoon,
At the Maid's Head Inn, situate in Saint Simon's, in the city of Norwich.
THE following VALUABLE PROPERTY, situate in Felthorpe, in the county of Norfolk.
Lot 1. - All that substantial and recently built Freehold POST WINDMILL, with patent sails, round-house, two floors, three pair of excellent French stones, jumper, iron shaft, &c. &c. granary, cart lodge, and a piece of Land. - An excellent freehold Dwelling-house, in the occupation of Mr. Christopher West, a short distance from the mill, with a Retail Shop, barn, stable, gig-house, yards, and garden, containing altogether about four acres (including the site of the mill and buildings). Also the remaining term of a Lease of a Water-Mill, of which eleven years will be unexpired at Michaelmas next, with all the machinery, in complete repair, viz. three pair of stones, flour-mill, jumper, &c. &c. and two acres of land.
The Mills are now in full trade, and retail nearly fifty sacks of flour weekly. The whole having been in the occupation of Mr. West for many years, is exceedingly worthy the attention of the public.
The property may be viewed on application to Mr. West, at Felthorpe; and further particulars had of Mr. J. R. Staff, Solicitor, St. Andrew's, or of Mr. Spelman, Duke's Palace, Norwich..

Norfolk Chronicle - 28th August, 4th & 11th September 1830

Early 1800s sketch by Andrew Bryan
Artist's impression of early 1800s by Andrew Bryan

Christopher West probably built the mill and if so, would have erected it c.1820. He was also running Felthorpe watermill and was possibly running Felthorpe Mill Hill postmill prior to the building of the new postmill in the field opposite side of the road to his farmhouse. The older Mill Hill postmill would have had common sails and an older design, whereas the new mill was built using up to date technology.

Capital Windmill, Lease of Water_Mill, Dwelling House, Land & Cottages at FELTHORPE in Norfolk.
To be Sold by Auction by Wm. SPELMAN on Saturday 30 July 1831 at 4 o'c at the Angel Inn, Market Place, Norwich.
Lot 1. All that substantial & recently built Freehold POST WINDMILL with Patent Sails, Roundhouse, two floors, three pair of excellent French Stones, Flour Mill & Jumper, Iron Shaft etc. Granary, Cart Lodge & Piece of Land, an excellent Freehold Dwelling House in the occupation of Mr. Christopher WEST a short distance from the Mill with a Retail Shop, Barn, Stable, Gig house, Yards & Garden containing altogether about 4 acres. Also the Lease of a
Water Mill of which ten years will be unexpired at Michaelmas next ...
An Extensive Retail Trade has been carried on in the Mills nearly fifty years & the Lot is worthy the attention of the Public.
Land tax 7s.
The Property may be viewed on application to Mr. WEST of Felthorpe, further particulars of Mr. STAFF, Solr. St. Andrews, Mr. SPELMAN, Dukes Palace, & Mr._THOROLD, Engineer, St. Martin at Oak, Norwich.
Norfolk Chronicle - 16th, 23rd & 30th July 1831

To be let & entered upon at Michaelmas 1869
A WINDMILL & a WATERMILL with three pairs of stones in each, 33 acres of Land, a good House with Barn, Stables & all requisite Outbuildings.
Apply to Mr. Overman, Haverland Hall Farm, near Norwich.
Norfolk Chronicle - 24th April & 19 June & Lynn Advertiser 15th May & 19th June 1869

In the Matter of Thomas Nash of Felthorpe in the County of Norfolk, Miller & Farmer.
Notice is hereby given that all persons having any claims or demands against the Estate of Thomas Nash of Felthorpe in the County of Norfolk, Miller & Farmer, by whom a Deed of Conveyance & Assignment in Trust for Creditors was executed on the 10th day of September 1869 ... pursuant to the Bankruptcy Act 1861 & the Bankruptcy Amendment Act 1863 ...

Dated 1st March 1870 Blake, Keith & Blake
Solicitors for the Trustees
Norfolk News - 5th March 1870


Early 1830 sketch by Andrew Bryan
Artist's impression of 1830 by Andrew Bryan

I have a detailed map of Felthorpe printed in 1797, Mill Farm (built 1793) should be on that map but it’s not, the windmill on Mill Hill is shown very clearly, as it took several years from starting a survey to printing a map, I’m guessing that the survey was carried out before 1793. I know Elizabeth Springall married Christopher West in 1797 and then lived in Mill Farmhouse, Christopher West then became the miller at Felthorpe. It’s likely that Christopher West was using the Mill Hill windmill until the windmill on Mill Farm was built. I can’t find a date for the Mill Farm windmill being built but I would guess about 1820. I do know that the postmill was built at the peak of windmilling technology, it would have been a fine mill indeed but time was running out and the last date I can find for the windmill still working is 1908. That’s a very short working life for a windmill, it’s possible that it carried on in a limited way until the early 1900s.
Andrew Bryan - September 2005

13th September 2005
Mill site 13th September 2005

The son of Christopher (d.1847) emigrated to the US in 1833. He established himself in Baltimore, lived his entire life there, and never returned to England. Many of his family also stayed in Baltimore, as did mine. That is where I grew up.
Our family progressively moved south from Wells-next-the-Sea, where they had resided in the 1600s. I presume - but do not know for sure - that they fished there, as did much of the coastal population. I can understand how they might move thence into farming. But to buy (or build) and operate a mill must have taken some capital to begin with, and it is hard to imagine how a farmer might have accumulated such in the 1700s. Perhaps there were other means of entry of which I am unaware.
I do note from your website that in 1775 Robert Critoph advertised to "lett" the Felthorpe Mill Hill mill. It is possible that Christopher took upon this lease with the prospect that milling revenue would cover his lease costs. This seems a likely explanation.
Most of the descendants of Christopher (d.1847) moved to northern Pennsylvania and farmed there. Christopher was a successful farmer and miller himself, with much to pass on to his children. So, again, it is curious why these children would trade one lifestyle and assured livelihood for another of substantially similar nature of a riskier nature in an area of the world that was largely still wilderness (log cabin versus brick home, lean-to open air kitchen on a back porch, etc.). We have some evidence from preserved diaries that this next generation yearned for greater political freedom than they felt existed at the time in England.
The son Christopher (d. 1890), however, moved to the big city and involved himself very successfully in the oil lamp business and then later in the oil refining business. Quite a leap from the farm life in Felthorpe! Clearly, he was not particularly taken with farming as his life's path.

Page West - 29th April 2022

O. S. Map 1881-1882
O. S. Map 1881-1882
Courtesy of NLS map images

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

c.1820: Mill built

Bryant's map 1826: mill

August 1830: Mill advertised for sale by auction along with the watermill

July 1831: Mill advertised for sale by auction along with the watermill

White's 1836: Christopher West, corn miller and grocer

White's 1836: Christopher West, corn miller and grocer

White's 1845: Christopher West, corn miller and farmer

1847: Christopher West died

Norwich index of proved wills 1847: Christopher West

Norwich index of proved wills 1847: Christopher West, miller

1847: Thomas Nash, miller

Census 1851: Thomas Nash (38) b.Sprowston, miller and farmer 50 Acres 2 Men 
Jane Nash
(47) b.Felthorpe
Ann E. Nash
(12) b.Felthorpe, scholar
Thomas Nash
(9)  b.Felthorpe, scholar
Frederick Nash
(8) b.Felthorpe, scholar
Walter Nash
(6) b.Felthorpe, scholar
Elizabeth West
(75)  b.Felthorpe (mother in law) annuitant
Ruth Spelling
(22)  b.Felthorpe, dairy maid
Ann Larwood
(16) b.Haynford, house maid 

William Critoph (49) b.Sheringham, journeyman miller
Charlotte Critoph (47) b.Haynford (wife) working at paper mills (Taverham)
Elizabeth Critoph (16) b.Felthorpe, ag lab 
Rachel Prea. Critoph (14)  b.Felthorpe, ag lab 
William Critoph (12) b.Felthorpe, scholar
Susan Critoph (9) b.Felthorpe, scholar
Celia Critoph (6) b.Felthorpe, scholar
Anna Critoph (4) b.Felthorpe, scholar

William Fuller (46) miller's carter

Craven's 1856: Thomas Nash

Census 1861: Samuel Bush, journeyman miller, living with wife Maria and 2 children in Attlebridge Road, Felthorpe. Samuel grandfather of Samuel Bush at Bintry mill in 1950s

White's 1864: Thomas Nash, miller and farmer

1869: Thomas Nash, miller & farmer - bankrupt

April 1869: Mill advertised to be let along with the watermill

Kelly's 1879: William T. Shreeve, farmer & miller

O.S. map 1883-91: Corn mill

Kelly's 1883: T. William Shreeve, steam & water

White's 1888: Thomas William Shreeve, miller & farmer

1908: Believed to be the last date mill known to be working

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 TG 16211775
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Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2005