Field Lane


Drainage Mills (Windpumps)
Steam Mills

Hempnall Field Lane towermill was a four storey mill that stood to the south of the village. The Mill House stood end on to the road on the west side of the mill. The mill used four patent sails set on an iron windshaft to drive 2 pairs of French burr stones, a flour mill and jumper. The cap was turned by a fantail.

To Millers & Bakers
To be Sold or Let
A Capital Brick built TOWER WINDMILL with patent sails, two pair of French Stones, flour mill & all necessary machinery in good repair.
Also a Cottage standing near the mill
And (with or without the Mill) a range of newly erected Brick & Tile Cottages containing six Tenements at a short distance from the Mill & adjoining a good road.
Part of the Cottages might very easily and advantageously be converted into a Baking Office. The above Premises which comprise more than three Roods of land are situate in Hempnall in Norfolk in a populous & respectable neighbourhood, are Freehold & now in the occupation of Mr. John Cooper, the Proprietor & his tenants.
Possession of the Mill may be had immediately.
Apply to Messrs. Brooke & Calver, Solrs. Kenninghall & Long Stratton, Norfolk.

Norfolk Chronicle - 26th January 1828

To Millers & Bakers
To be Sold by Auction by John Sharpe At the Swan Inn, Hempnall, Norfolk on Thursday 17 December 1829 at 3 o’c
A Capital Brick built TOWER WINDMILL with patent Sails, two pair of French Stones, Flour Mill & all necessary Machinery in good repair & a Cottage standing near the Mill with a large Millyard. The above are in the occupation of Mr. Abraham Robinson as tenant from year to year.
Also a Range of newly erected brick & tiled Cottages containing six Tenements occupied by Tenants from year to year, a short distance from the Mill & adjoining the Road. Part of the Cottages might very easily & advantageously be converted into a Baking Office. The premises which comprise altogether more than three Roods of Land are situate at Hempnall in Norfolk in a populous & respectable Neighbourhood & are all Freehold.
Apply to Messrs. Brooke & Calver, Solrs. Kenninghall & Long Stratton, Norfolk.
Norfolk Chronicle - 5th & 12th December 1829

Capital Tower Windmill at HEMPNALL, Norfolk
To be Let with Possession at Old Michaelmas next
A substantial Brick built TOWER WINDMILL with patent Sails & all necessary Going Gears & Machinery very complete & in excellent repair & condition.
Also a convenient Dwelling House standing near the Mill.
The above Property is advantageously situated for Trade at Hempnall in Norfolk in a populous & respectable neighbourhood & is in the occupation of the Proprietor who is carrying on an extensive Business which he will relinquish at Michaelmas next, in consequence of having hired a Farm.
Apply to Mr. Evered, the Proprietor at Wacton, Norfolk or to Mr. Calver, Solr. At Long Stratton or Kenninghall, Norfolk.
Norfolk Chronicle - 13th September 1834

Tithe map 1842
Tithe map 1842 - as redrawn by Harry Apling

Tithe Award 1842, Pratt & Son, Surveyors, Norwich
Map 1838
Owner: John Evered
Occupier: Robert Baxter

No. 378

Mill & yard


0a. 2r. 11p.

2s. 6d.

Hempnall near Long Stratton, Norfolk.
TOWER WIND-MILL & PREMISES, Pightle of grass Land & Six Cottages
To be Sold by Auction by John Fenton & Son on Tuesday 5 March 1850 at the Kings Head Inn, Hempnall at 5 for 6 o’c in one or more lots
A most Desirable FREEHOLD ESTATE consisting of a capital substantially built tower Windmill, with Dwelling House & Premises & Pightle of Grass Land in the occupation of Robert Baxter a most respectable tenant.
The Mill drives two pair of French burr stones, with wind tackle & machinery in perfect order & upon the best construction. There is also a good flour & grist trade attached to the estate which is surrounded by a populous neighbourhood & fine corn district, Hempnall being within 4 miles of Long Stratton, 8 of Bungay & 9 of Norwich.
Likewise six exceeding good Cottages & Gardens occupied by Robert Fryer & others at a rental of £23.10s. per annum.
Particulars of Mr. John Evered of Wacton, & of John Fenton & Son, Great Whelnetham Hall, Bury St. Edmunds.
Norfolk Chronicle - 16th & 23rd February & 2nd March 1850

Robert Baxter died on 13th March 1856 leaving an estate valued at £450 to be shared between 5 people:
1/5 to his son John Baxter who was also an executor
1/5 to the children of his late son, James Baxter
1/5 to his daughter Lucy, the wife of William Bailey
1/5 to his son Thomas Baxter
1/5 to his daughter Elizabeth, wife of William Smith

Situations Vacant
WANTED, a respectable youth as an APPRENTICE to a Miller, to be treated as one of the family.
Apply to A.B., Post Office, Hempnall, Norfolk.
Norfolk News - 9th May 1857

Situations Vacant
WANTED, a steady youth as an APPRENTICE to the Milling Business.
A small premium required.
GENERAL MILLER, to Live in or out of the House.
Apply to Mr. Samuel Freestone, Miller, Hempnall, Norfolk.

Norfolk News - 7th November 1857

Situations Vacant
To Millers
WANTED, a Steady Active MAN in a WINDMILL.
Apply to Mr. Freestone, Hempnall.

Norfolk News - 15th May 1865

Situations Vacant
To Millers
Wanted, a Single or Married Man, one who understands his business.
Good references required.
Apply S. Freestone, Hempnall, Long Stratton.

Norfolk News - 2nd September 1865

Capital & admirably situate Brick Tower Windmill with about 10a.2r.0p. of Arable & Pasture Land; 9 Cottages; a very desirable small Farm of about 26a.2r.30p. with House & Premises in Spring Lane; & another very compact Farm of about 62a.3r.2p. with House & Premises in the occupation of Mr. John Smith on the road leading from Hempnall to Woodton. Possession of Mill & Land together with Spring Lane Farm will be given at Michaelmas next. Fras. Clowes is favoured with direction to Sell the above by Auction in lots at the Norfolk Hotel, Norwich on Saturday 24 July 1869 at 12 for 1 o’c.
Apply to Messrs. Fosters, Burroughes & Robberds, Solrs. Bank St. or at the Auctioneer’s office, Bank Chambers, Norwich.
Norfolk Chronicle & Norfolk News - 3rd, 10th, 17th & 31st July 1869

As before … in the following lots.
Lot 1. A Freehold Brick Tower WINDMILL, Dwelling House, Garden, Premises & Pasture Land near Hempnall Street in the occupation of Mr. S. Freestone
Lots 2 to 7, 9 Cottages & 9a. 3r. 32p. Arable Land.
All the above lots adjoin.
Norfolk Chronicle - 24th & 31st July 1869

Norfolk News - 9th May 1870
Norfolk News - 9th May 1870

Situations Vacant
WANTED, a Married Man as MILLER to take the entire charge of a Windmill. No Sunday work. Good character.
Apply S. Freestone, Hempnall Mills, Long Stratton.

Norfolk News - 28th September 1872

Situations Vacant
Wanted, a Single Man to live in the house, well acquainted with a Windmill.
Apply W. Beverly, Hempnall Mill, Long Stratton or at the Boar's Head, Norwich on Saturday between One & Two.

Norfolk News - 24th October 1874

Situations Vacant
Wanted, a steady Young Man as GENERAL MILLER, to Live in or out of the House.
Apply W. Beverley, Hempnall Mill, Norwich or at the Board's Head, Norwich on Saturday between One & Two o'c on Saturday.

Norfolk News - 4th September 1875

HEMPNALL. Small Farm & Windmill
Messrs. Spelman are instructed to Sell by Auction
On Saturday July 1, 1876 at 12 for 1 o'c at the Norfolk Hotel, Norwich
A compact small FARM containing 62a. 3r. 38p. in the occupation of Mr. John Smith, who is under notice to quit at Michaelmas.
A Brick Tower WINDMIILL, HOUSE & LAND, occupied by Mr. Beverley, also several COTTAGES, all Freehold.
Particulars of Messrs. Foster, Burroughes & Robberds, Solrs. Norwich & of Messrs. Spelman, Norwich & Yarmouth.

Norfolk Chronicle - 13th & 27th May & Lynn Advertiser - 3rd June 1876

Hempnall. Small Farm & Windmill
Messrs. Spelman are instructed to sell by Auction on Saturday July 1, 1876 at 12 for 1 o’c at the Norfolk Hotel, Norwich, the excellent WINDMILL, HOUSE, COTTAGE & LAND & a most compact FARM containing altogether about 64 Acres.
Lot 1. An excellent & Well situate Brick TOWER WINDMILL, with newly erected & suitable Dwelling house, Garden, Orchard, Stable, Cart house & Granary, also a piece of excellent Pasture LAND, situate at Hempnall, Norfolk, within a short distance of the street, in the occupation of Mr. Beverley, a yearly tenant, at the annual rent of £17. the Mill, which winds herself, contains four Floors inclusive of the Ground Floor, is fitted with four powerful patent Sails & iron wind shaft, driving two pairs of French burr stones, flour mill, jumper & other machinery.
Three Cottages …
The Lot is Freehold & contains 1a. 0r. 18p.
Outgoings Apportioned Land tax 25s. rent charge in lieu of Tithes 2s.4d.
Particulars of Fosters, Burroughes & Robberds, Solrs. Norwich,
At the Estate Exchange, Tokenhouse Yard, E.C. & of Messrs. Spelman,
Norwich & Yarmouth.
Norfolk Chronicle - 10th, 17th & 24th June 1876

ESTATES FOR SALE Norfolk & Suffolk
Messrs. Spelman will Sell by Auction during the present season the undermentioned ESTATES presenting sound & profitable investments to traders, capitalists & others ...
On July 1. Norfolk, HEMPNALL
A Compact FARM with Wind Mill & Cottages, containing altogether 64 acres in Lots.
Vendors Solicitors Fosters & Co., Norwich.

Lynn Advertiser - 17th June 1876

Slightly different was a case in 1877 when the seducer was a 47 years old miller and farmer of 112 acres, Samuel Freestone , of Hempnall . As well as employing 4 men and 2 boys on the farm he also had a man employed at the mill and in 1871 his wife, then aged 40, declared herself to be a 'farmer's wife' as well as the mother of his, then, six children.
Not too surprisingly in 1876, the family had employed some extra help in the house, Alice Staff who was still only 15 when her year's employment ended in 11 th Oct '77.  She then agreed to an extra week's work, after which, on the 18 th Oct, Freestone drove her to the Cap where she was met by her step grandmother and taken to the 'Registry Office' (equivalent of an employment agency). Alice then pootled round town for a few hours having told her step grandma that she would be home that evening.  As it happened, she bumped into Freestone at the Cap; claiming she thought he was going to drive her home, she hopped into his wagon and instead he took her to Bungay, which she consented to.  Staying at the White Rose for a week, Freestone eventually took her to Ditchingham station, gave her 5s and off she trotted to an Aunt's in Yarmouth, possibly dodging the frurore that awaited her at home.  Her father came to collect her and then brought the case against Freestone.
The land lady of the White Rose, acknowledging she had seen the defendant before, admitted she did not ask Alice, claiming 18 years of age, if she were married to Freestone at which point the Judge said
You ought to be ashamed of yourself.  You are a vile old woman
Hmm, not pulling many punches there, the inference was that she was knowingly allowing her house to be used for immoral purposes and was thus hardly better than a madam.  The nub of the case against  Freestone was not that he co-erced a fifteen year old into absconding with him and lived with her for a week in the greatest profligacy (Alice admitted she once before had an improper intimacy with the opposite sex) but in so doing he removed her from the possession of her father.  If the incident had occurred whilst Alice had still been in his employ - no case, as it was, Freestone was found guilty and given three months imprisonment; a reduced sentence due to Alice not being perfectly innocent previous to this.
In 1881 Freestone's wife Susannah was living with four of her children in Burgh Castle whilst a fifth was working as a servant next door. Her husband, Samuel, was lodging in a pub in Norwich, if this was temporary or due to his indiscretion a few years before we cannot tell but at the end of the day his wife stuck with him. Although he appears to have been a prosperous farmer and miller for many years, by the 1901 census they were living in Norwich and he was a 74 years old Fish Hawker!

Kate Chenneour - 1st February 2019

The Mill was demolished at some time between World War I and World War II by Alfred Seaman who was living at Rose Cottage in Field Lane.

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

Unallocated miller:

Census 1851: Aaron Sadd (30) b.Broom, miller
Milicent Sadd (29) b.St Nicholas, Suffolk
Catherine Sadd (7) b.St Nicholas, Suffolk
Eliza Sadd (6) b.Dilham, scholar
Rachael Sadd (4) b.Hempnall
Mary A. Sadd  (2) b.Hempnall
Sarah Sadd (1) b.Hempnall
Address: Street

1828: John Cooper, miller

January 1828: Mill advertised for sale or let

1829: Abraham Robinson, tenant miller (moved to Mill Road towermill by 1836)

December 1829: Mill advertised for sale by auction

1834: John Evered, miller

September 1834: Mill advertised to be let

White's 1836: Robert Baxter, corn miller

O.S. map 1838: Windmill

Census 1841:

Robert Baxter (59) miller
Elizabeth Nudds (75) housekeeper
Address: Field

Robert Alexander (52) labourer
Thomas Baxter (16) miller (lodger)
Address: Field

White's 1845: Robert Baxter, corn miller

1850: Robert Baxter, miller

February 1850: Mill advertised for sale by auction

Census 1851:

Robert Baxter (70) b.Morningthorpe, miller employing 1 labourer (widower)
Hannah Dennett (62) b.Kirstead, housekeeper (widow)
Thomas Baxter (10) b.London, scholar (nephew)
Address: Field

1853: Robert Baxter, miller
1853: Samuel Freestone, miller

White's 1854: Robert Baxter, corn miller
White's 1854: Samuel Freestone, corn miller

13th March 1856: Robert Baxter died

Index of Wills 1856: Robert Baxter, miller

1858: Samuel Freestone, miller

Census 1861: Samuel Freestone, miller; apprentice Charles Marston, later to work Bungay watermill

White's 1864: Samuel Freestone, corn miller & farmer

July 1869: Mill advertised for sale by auction

1870: Samuel Freestone, miller

1872: Samuel Freestone, miller

1874: William Beverly, miller

1875: William Beverley, miller

1876: William Beverley, tenant miller with a rent of £17 p.a.

May 1876: Mill advertised for sale by auction along with 64 acres of farm and cottages

White's 1883: George Muskett, miller & baker

O.S. map 1891: Windmill

Kelly's 1892: George Muskett, miller (wind)

Kelly's 1896: George Muskett, miller (wind) & corn dealer

O.S. map 1901: Windmill

c.1929: Mill said to have been struck by lightning

c.1930: Mill demolished by Alfred Seaman

1981: Mr. & Mrs. Edgeley, Mill House

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 TM23889380
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Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2007