Mill Road east postmill


Drainage Mills (Windpumps)
Steam Mills


Hardwick Mill Road east postmill stood just to the south of the village and during the early 1800s was the easterly one of a pair of mills a few yards apart. The mill had a 3 storey roundhouse and power was supplied via 4 double shuttered sails, each with 8 bays of 3 shutters. The 6 bladed fantail was on the ladder.

Tithe map 1838
Tithe map 1838 - as redrawn by Harry Apling

Tithe Award 1838
Map, Newton & Woodrow, Norwich
Owner: James Goodson
Occupier: do

No. 136

House; mill & yards

0a. 1r. 30p.

7s. 6d.

Samuel Copping of Hardwick, yeoman, died on 20th May 1851. His son Benjamin Copping, miller of Hardwick and nephew Samuel Copping of Islington, Middx, gentleman, were his executors. 

Samuel Copping married Mary Branch and had a son, Benjamin Copping, who was born in 1813. In 1841 Benjamin was living with Southall Copping and his family at Hardwick, where he was working as a carpenter. In 1844, Benjamin Copping married Hannah Goodswen daughter of James Goodswen, owner of Hardwick mill.
Hannah was born c.1823 and died in 1899. In 1841, Hannah was living on her father's farm next to the mill and by 1891, she was living by her own means in Mill Street with two daughters and a lodger, next door to her son Henry Copping, miller. At around the time Bemnjamin Copping married Hannah Goodswen, he became miller Copping at his father in law's mill and his wife later inherited the mill from her father, James Goodswen.

Henry Copping (August 1850 - 1895) was the son of Benjamin and Hannah Copping and he married Harriett Lloyd in 1879.

James Goodswen miller, of Stratton St. Michael, appoints Mary his wife, and his two sons in law, William Field of Pulham St. Mary Magdalen and Benjamin Coppings of Hardwick in the said County, Millers as executors.

  • Everything to his wife Mary, for her lifetime apart from the 3 WINDMILLS, situated in Pulham St. Mary Magdalen, Hardwick, and the one is own occupation in Stratton St. Michael. Wife to receive an annuity from the mills profits etc, and something provided for the daughter Julia Goodswen.
  • 2. I give devise and bequeath all my messuages, cottages, lands, tenements and hereditaments with the windmill thereupon built and the tackle and going gears thereof complete, situate and lying in the parish of Pulham St. Mary Magdalen aforesaid copyhold of the Manor of Pulham, as the same now in the occupation of my daughter Mary Ann, the wife of William Field. To hold the same etc for Mary Ann and her heirs and assigns.
  • Give and devise and bequeath, [practically identical to the above paragraph] for the windmill built, complete etc in the parish of Hardwick, now in the occupation of Benjamin Copping to my daughter Hannah, wife of Benjamin Copping, to hold the same for Hannah and heirs etc…
  • The windmill in Stratton St. Michael, now in my own occupation I give and bequeath to my daughter Elizabeth Goodswen.

Extract from will of James Goodswen, miller of Stratton St. Michael - written 12th February 1852
Value £450.00

Situations Vacant
To Millers
Wanted immediately, a single man.
Apply to Mr. Copping, Hardwick Mill.

Norfolk News - 22nd November 1862

Situations Vacant
Wanted, a steady active Young Man to work a Windmill.
Apply B. Copping, Hardwick Mill.

Norfolk News - 27th August 1864

Situations Vacant
Wanted a YOUNG MAN who can Grinnd assist in a Wind Mill..
Apply to B. Copping, Hardwick, Long Stratton.

Norfolk News - 17th April 1875

Situations Vacant
WANTED, a steady strong active Young Man to assist in a WIND MILL
Apply Mr. B. Copping, Hardwick, Long Stratton.

Norfolk News - 28th August 1875

Bryant's Map 1826
Bryant's Map 1826
Image produced with permission of The Lark Press, Guist Bottom, Dereham, Norfolk

O.S. Map 1883
O.S. Map 1883
Courtesy of NLS map images

According to Philip Unwin, the mill was taken over by Robert Hanner & sold by Vout to Thompson.

Robert Hanner who had married Helen Kate Vout was already running Hempnall_Mill_Rd_towermill.
Cecil Thompson was also a millwright and he dismantled the wind machinery of the Hempnall_mill when it finished working c.1939.

Vout's mill was a post mill with roundhouse & fantail on carriage.
He was born in the Mill House & also worked in the mill.
Vout died in 1929.
Mrs. Hanner, Park Farm, Starston has photo
Cecil Alden, 1 Wood Lane, Starston - 1974

My grandfather Walter William Vout owned & lived in Hardwick Mill and my mother was born there in 1911.
Rita Dye - 8th September 2006

I am descended from a Benjamin Copping born in Hardwick born c.1788 and married to Hannah born c.1789 in St Georges, Hanover Square, London.
In both 1841 & 1851 Benjamin was living with his family in London - in Shoreditch & Islington. His occupation is listed in 1851 as 'Clerk to a Cornfactor', so it seems he was linked to milling also.
One of their sons was Samuel, a Solicitors managing clerk and it seems likely he is the nephew and executor you mention (of Islington in 1851).
I had noted Samuel Copping, yeoman of Hardwick, in a census and assuemd he must have been a brother to my ancestor Benjamin, so it is interesting that your information seems to confirm this. I'd be interested to know if the description of 'nephew' is stated in Samuel's will?

Rosie Rust - 4th March 2008

I was at School with Rita Hanner.  My late father is also mentioned - Cecil Alden.  Mr Thompson was my maternal grandfather.
Meryl Butcher née Alden - 23rd December 2021

Bryant's map 1826: Windmills (east & west)

Greenwood's map 1834: Windmill

White's 1836: James Goodswen, corn miller

Tithe Award 1838: James Goodson, owner & occupier

Census 1841:

Jonas Goodsen (45) miller
Mary Goodswen (45)
Julia Goodswen (5)
John Gennings (20) miller
Samuel Gennings (15) miller

White's 1845: Jonas Goodswen, corn miller (mill owner)

1845: Jonas Goodswen, miller

Census 1851:

Benjamin Copping (37) b.Hardwick, master miller employing 1 man & 1 apprentice
Hannah Copping (28) b.Hardwick
James Copping (5) b.Hardwick
Henry Copping (7) b.Hardwick
Elizabeth Goodrum (10) b.Hardwick, (sister)
Henry Kent (22) b.Stanton, journeyman miller

Census 1861:

Benjamin Copping (47) b.Hardwick, miller employing 1 man
Hannah Copping (38) b.Hardwick
Henry Copping (10) b.Hardwick
Mary Ann Copping (3 mnths) b.Hardwick
Mary Goodswen (64) b.Hardwick, widow (mother in law)
Thomas Barber (20) b.Walberswick, Suffolk, miller

White's 1854: Benjamin Copping, corn miller

Craven's 1856: Benjamin Copping, miller

Kelly''s 1858: Benjamin Copping, miller

1862: Benjamin Copping, miller

White's 1864: Benjamin Copping, miller

Census 1871:

Benjamin Copping (57) b.Hardwick, miller & farmer of 40 acres
Hannah Copping (48) b.Hardwick
James Copping (25) b.Hardwick, draper
Henry Copping (20) b.Hardwick, miller
Mary Ann Copping (13) b.Hardwick, scholar (lame)
Hester Copping (8) b.Hardwick, scholar

1875: Benjamin Copping, miller

1878: Benjamin Copping, miller

Kelly's 1879: Henry Copping, miller (Benjamin Copping, farmer)

Census 1881:

Henry Copping (30) b.Hardwick, corn miller
Harriet Copping (26) b.Wacton, wife
Henry Lerit (20) b.Needham, millers man

O.S. Map 1887-1888: Windmill (Corn)

White's 1888: Henry Copping, corn miller

Census 1891:

Henry Copping (40) b.Hardwick, corn miller & farmer (employer)
Amelia Copping (40) b.Stepney, Middx., wife
Alfred W. Copping (10) b.Hardwick
Charles S. Copping (8) b.Hardwick, scholar
James B. Copping (2) b.Hardwick
John W. Copping (2 mnths) b.Hardwick

1889: Benjamin Copping died

Kelly's 1892: Henry Copping, miller (wind) & farmer

Kelly's 1896: Walter William Vout, miller (wind & steam) Hardwick mill

Kelly's 1900: Walter William Vout, miller (wind & steam) Hardwick mill

Kelly's 1904: Walter William Vout, miller (wind & steam) Hardwick mill

Kelly's 1908: Walter William Vout, miller (wind & steam) Hardwick mill; & at Hempnall

Kelly's 1912: Walter William Vout, miller (wind & steam) Hardwick mill; & at Hempnall

Kelly's 1916: Walter William Vout, miller (wind & steam) Hardwick mill

October 1919: Mill burnt down & new steam mill built by Roopes of Pulham

Kelly's 1922: Walter William Vout, miller (wind & steam) Hardwick mill

Kelly's 1925: Walter William Vout, miller (steam) Hardwick mill

Kelly's 1929: Walter William Vout, miller (steam) Hardwick mill

1929: Walter William Vout died at the age of 56

1933: C. A. & A. E. Thompson, millers (oil) & coal merchants

1937: C. A. & A. E. Thompson, millers (oil)

1956: Steam & oil mill ceased to work

1970: Cecil Albert Thompson of Mill House, died

1972: Steam & oil mllls demolished

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

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Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2006