Gt Walsingham


Drainage Mills (Windpumps)
Steam Mills


Gt Walsingham towermill was built by John Wright in 1852 although he had been a baker and flour dealer since 1845. During construction he inserted a tablet containing his initials and the date 1852 over the door on the ground floor:


A steam mill was built on the north side of the mill c.1873 and by 1895 a roller mill was also working on the south side of the mill.

The tarred brick 6 storey mill was quite tall and had a stage set around the 3rd floor.
The distinctive tall domed cap had a gallery and a deep petticoat.The mill was turned to wind by a 6 bladed fantail.

c.1936 29th August 1936
29th August 1936

Unusually for a large mill, the milling business remained in the one family for the entire working life of the mill. John Wright carried on the business he started until about 1872 when he was joined by his son George as a partner in the business of milling, baking and farming. George took over the business when his father died.


A MAN IN HIS TIME - Mr. F. Beck, who is in his 90th year, still gets about his village of Great Walsingham. He is seen at the Old Mill at Great Walsingham pointing with stick to the old granary. Mr. Beck worked on the land from the age of seven until he was 70. Then he took another job in the wood trade.
Local newspaper - c.1950


Wanted, a man in the above line. Character required.
J & G Wright, Walsingham Mills.
Norfolk News - 20th September 1873

O.S. map redrawn by Harry Apling
O.S. map redrawn by Harry Apling

... mill sails carried away ...
Lynn Advertiser - 30th March 1895

On 24th March 1895 the mill's sails were torn off by a gale that severely damaged many windmills around the county. The sails were probably replaced but the roller mill certainly remained in full production.

19th May 1981
19th May 1981

Some time between 1900 and 1904 George was joined in the business by his two sons, Walter and Herbert and the three then worked in partnership until production ceased.


In January 1981, Harry Apling reported that Mrs. Olive Garner aged approx. 85, the widow of William Robert Garner, had a photo of the mill in full sail - see top of page. The roller mill was to the left and the steam mill and granaries to the right. The Miller's cart bore the name GEO ... The photo was probably taken between c.1892 and 1895 before the mill lost its sails in the March gale.
Olive Garner was the great grand daughter of John Wright and George Wright was her grandfather. Walter Wright was her uncle and Herbert Wright his younger brother.


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

Kelly's 1922: Herbert Wright, merchant & baker

Kelly's 1925: Herbert Wright, merchant

Kelly's 1929: Herbert Wright, merchant

1852: Mill built by John Wright, miller & baker

White's 1854: John Wright, corn miller & baker

1858: John Wright, miller & baker

1863: John Wright, miller & baker

White's 1864: John Wright, miller, baker & parish clerk

1868: John Wright, miller & baker

c.1872: John Wright enters into partnership with his son George

1875: John & George Wright, millers, bakers & farmers

Kelly's 1879: John & George Wright, millers, bakers & farmers

White's 1883: John & George Wright, millers & bakers

Kelly's 1892: John & George Wright, millers (steam & wind), bakers & farmers

24th March 1895: Gale tore of the mill's sails

Kelly's 1896: George Wright, miller, (steam roller, & wind), baker & farmer

Kelly's 1900: George Wright, miller, (steam roller, & wind), baker & farmer

O.S. map 1891: Windmill

1904: George Wright working in partnership with sons Walter and Herbert

Kelly's 1904: Walter & Herbert Wright, millers (steam roller), bakers & farmers

Kelly's 1908: Walter & Herbert Wright, millers (steam roller), merchants, bakers & farmers

Kelly's 1912: Walter & Herbert Wright, millers (steam roller), merchants, bakers & farmers

Kelly's 1916: Walter & Herbert Wright, millers (steam roller), merchants, bakers & farmers

Kelly's 1922: Walter Wright, miller (steam roller)

Kelly's 1925: Walter Wright, miller (steam roller)

Karl Wood painting 1934: Sails removed but mill tower still complete with cap, gallery, petticoat and stage

1936: Mill tower still complete with cap, gallery, petticoat and stage

c.1945: Top three floors removed although the cap had gone some time before

O.S. map 1955: Windmill

1981: Mill remains and surrounding site derelict

1984: Mill used as a store and the roller mill converted to residential use

2000: Greenwood Construction Ltd bought the mill, roller mill, steam engine house and granary

2004: Only lower 3 floors of tower remaining

2004: Mill complex used as holiday lets with the mill sleeping up to 12 people

October 2004: Mill and roller mill offered for sale by Bidwells at a guide price of £575,000

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 94453752
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Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2004