Hoveton St John


Drainage Mills (Windpumps)
Steam Mills

Artist's impression
Artist's impression by Nick Walmsley 1998

Hoveton St John post mill stood to the north of the village and was also known as Belaugh Mill. The parish boundary ran through the mill site but the mill was on the Hoveton side. The mill had a two storey roundhouse and a twin fantail. The sails powered two pairs of stones and a steam engine ran a further pair of 4ft stones. When the machinery was advertised for sale after the fire, items for sale included a cast iron windshaft indicating the mill was probably using patent sails. The wallower was also made from cast iron.

A newspaper advert of 1872 indicated that William Cadge had been using the mill for salt manufacture and John Martin was using it for manufacturing artificial manure.

Wright, Edward (of Postwick)
Will. Norwich Consistory Court. Dated 17 June 1761

Elizabeth Bunton, wife of John Bunton of Thorp, near Norwich
Martha Thaxter, sister of said Elizabeth Bunton.
Windmill commonly called Belaugh Mill and land wheron it stands containing about a Rood in Hoveton St. John
and also Windmill in Postwick
to Elizabeth Bunton aand Martha Thaxter to be equially divided between them.
Died at Thorp
Will proved March 11, 1765

Michael Cadge snr married Elizabeth Goulder at Woodbastwick on 14th March 1815

Charles Davy of Wroxham, Farmer, having assigneds his Estate & Effects to Mr. Michael Cadge of Hoveton, Miller ...
Norfolk Chronicle - 1st March 1823

Hoveton St. John & Belaugh
To Millers & Merchants. To Let with possession at Michaelmas next
A large & powerful POST WINDMILL with Roundhouse & Chamber over & Granaries, a comfortable Residence, Barn, Stables & other requisite Out-houses, Yards, Garden & about 10 acres of superior Arable Land, situate at Hoveton St. John & Belaugh, near Wroxham Bridge & about 7 miles from Norwich, now in the occupation of Mr. E. Scales & where a good Trade has been carried on for many years. Apply to Mr. C.C. Calder, Loddon or to Messrs. Hutson & Furness, Solrs. Long Stratton.
Norfolk Chronicle - 23rd & 30th April 1864 & Norfolk News - 23rd April 1864
Also a short advertisement on 18th June 1864

William Chapman’s affairs
Notice is hereby given that William Chapman of Hoveton St. John in Norfolk, Miller & Merchant has by Deed bearing date 10 th day of August 1867 conveyed all his Estate & Effects to Christopher Goulder Cadge of Loddon in Norfolk, Farmer, for the benefit of the Creditors of the said William Chapman

Dated 12 August 1867

Hotson & Furness

Of Long Stratton

Solicitors to the Trustee

Norfolk News - 17th August 1867

Hoveton Mill Near Wroxham Bridge
Clowes & Cooper
Beg to announce that they are favoured with directions to Sell by Auction at Hoveton Mill
Excellent Miller’s Horses ……
On Wednesday September 18
Commencing on the Premises at Eleven o’c
The MILL, HOUSE & LAND to LET with immediate possession.
Norfolk Chronicle & Norfolk News - 7th & 14th September 1867

Situations Vacant
Wanted immediately, a steady active Single Young Man in a WINDMILL, from 25 to 35 years of age. References required. Address, A.B., Post Office, Hoveton, Wroxham, Norwich.
Norfolk News - 26th December 1868

Situations Vacant
Millers & Bakers
Wanted at Michaelmas next, a Man to work a Post Windmill and thoroughly understand the Baking Business as well.
Address, A.B., Post Office, Hoveton St. John, Norwich.
Norfolk News - 26th August 1871

To Millers & Bakers
WANTED at Michaelmas next, a MAN to work a Post Windmill. He must also thoroughly understand the Baking Business as well.
Address, A. B. Wroxham Castle near Norwich, Norfolk

Norfolk News - 16th September 1871

WANTED to purchase, a Four-horse-power STEAM ENGINE to drive a pair of Millstones, in good working order. A Portable Engine off the carriages or one to take up little room most suitable.
Address stating price etc. to A. B., Post Office, Hoveton St. John, Norwich.

Norfolk News - 25th November 1871

Belaugh Mill
John Martin begs to inform his Friends & the Public that he continues Manufacturing ARTIFICIAL MANURE in all its Branches …
He also trusts by supplying good articles to revive the extensive Salt Trade so many years carried on at Belaugh Mill by W. Cadge. Oats always in Stock & Grinding done on the shortest Notice.
General Commission Agent.
Norfolk News - 3rd February 1872

Henry Paddle's business card c.1880
Henry Paddle's business card c.1880

Mill site plan c.1880
Mill site plan c.1880 redrawn by Nick Walmsley

Henry Paddle c.1880
Henry Paddle c.1880

Hoveton St. John, Norfolk
Two Minutes walk from the Wroxham Station
To Millwrights, Blacksmiths & Others
The costly Machinery of a Mill, being the Salvage from a fire. Messrs. Hunter have received instructions from Mr. Henry Paddle to Sell by Auction upon his premises, Hoveton St. John, Norfolk, the above valuable Machinery etc. on Monday June 20 1881.
Further particulars next week.
Norfolk Chronicle - 11th June 1881

Most of the information about Hoveton Mill came from Harry Apling (what a remarkable researcher he was!) but being Hoveton born and bred I 'adopted' it about 30 years and more ago when I was a young teenager. My late uncle recalled that the roundhouse of the mill was still in existence in the 1930s, and some of the buildings of the 'artificial fertilizer factory' that the Cadges tried to make money from were existence as late as the 1970s. About five years ago I spoke to an elderly lady who was descended from the Cadges and she confirmed that the last miller was a real old rogue. Of course, the mill was burnt down on purpose shortly after the big new steam mill was built on the Hoveton river bank at Wroxham Bridge, and Norwich Union paid up rather than there be a scandal. It is pretty obvious from the list of items and equipment that were auctioned after the fire that anything of any value was removed from the mill before the fire! 
My own subsequent researches into Hoveton Mill based on what records we still have lead me to think it was very similar to the post mill at nearby Horning probably built around the same time and by the same millwright. the only difference was the fact that Hoveton Mill had twin fantails - and that suggests that it was built by the same millwright who built Happisburgh_Mill. The strange thing about all the post mills in NE Norfolk is their remarkable similarity, and unique features like the wide 'verandah' porches: the last of the mills to survive was that at Catfield, built in 1774 by the millwright John Bowen, and I'd reckon that he built Hoveton, Horning and Happisburg as well. 
Funnily enough, like Hoveton Mill, Horning_Mill was demolished in the year a steam mill was built on the staithe below it. "The Story of a Norfolk Village" published in 1941 records that even in 1879 there was a movement in Horning to save the mill from demolition - if this had happened it would have been the earliest case of 'preservation' in this country, predating the preservation of Bidston Mill in Cheshire by 15 years. 
My family has had quite a lot of mill connections: we've been in Norfolk over 700 years (we did keep importing new blood I hasten to add!). My great great grandfather built the surviving drainage mill on the Horning marshes which is still called "Old Neave's Mill" after him, and he may have had something to do with the Turf Fen Mill as well. My grandfather's cousin, Roy Worts, was the last miller at Sutton_Mill when it stopped work by wind after being struck by lightning in 1942.
 My original 'artists impression' of Hoveton Mill with the 'artificial fertilizer works' now hangs in Mill Farm at Hoveton, but it also featured on a calendar seven or so years ago.
Nick Walmsley - 26th July 2007

I am a direct descendent of the rogue who burned the mill !! My elderly cousin Marsley Grinter who still lives in Lowestoft told me the story of my great, great granddad Harry Paddle some time ago. My name was Heather Ann Paddle and I am descended from Harry Paddle who's son Walter Thurtle Paddle was my grandfather's father. My Granddad was Reginald Paddle  from Beccles and my father was Edward James Paddle. Thanks so much for giving me some great info for my genealogy research.  I am always looking for anything regarding the family such as postcards showing the Mill or the Little Billingsgate Fish market in Beccles that Harry Paddle also owned.
Heather Paddle Olney, Canada - 17th May 2009

Sad news I'm afraid. A month ago the miller's house at Hoveton was demolished. Planning permission has been granted for a 'farmhouse-style' replacement. This means that the entire site is now flat, apart from Mill Farm which survives next door. I alerted Hoveton Parish Council that an archaeological dig should be undertaken before building commenced as it is an historic site. They agreed and it will come up for discussion at the next Council Meeting in a weeks time. Meanwhile North Norfolk District Council have, so I believe, put a stop on the development going ahead until investigations can be undertaken.
Nick Walmsley - 17th June 2010

1761: Edward Wright, miller

Faden's map 1797: Belaugh Mill

Poll Book 1802: William Cadge, miller

1818: Michael Cadge snr, miller

Bryant's map 1826: Windmill

White's 1836: Michael Cadge, corn miller

O.S. map 1838: Windmill

Index of Wills 1841: Michael Cadge snr, miller & farmer

Census 1841:
Elizabeth Cadge (55) independent
Michael Cadge jnr (20) miller
Mary Ann Cadge (20) (Michael's sister)
Frances Archer (75) independent
Elizabeth  Hotson (25)
Eleanor Storey (20) servant
Moses Crisp (20) journeyman miller
All born in Norfolk

White's 1845: Michael Cadge, corn miller

Census 1851:
Michael Cadge jnr (20) b.Hoveton St John, miller employing 1 boy
Elizabeth Cadge (66) b.Cantley
Mary Ann Cadge (20) (Michael's sister)
Hannah Hales (28) b.Smallburgh, dairy servant
Elizabeth  Hubbard (15) b.Salhouse, house servant
William Wolsten (18) b.Buxton, journeyman miller
All living at Belaugh Mill, Hoveton St John

White's 1854: Michael Cadge, miller & seed merchant

1856: Matthew Cadge, miller

1861: William Chapman bankrupt

1863: E.S.M. & W. Scales, millers & merchants

White's 1864: Edmund Scott Mann & William Scales, corn millers & seedsmen

April 1864: Mill advertised to be let

1865: Edmund Scales, miller

1865: William Chapman, miller

1867: William Chapman, miller

September 1867: Mill advertised to be let

1868: Isaac Page, miller & merchant

1872: John Martin, miller

1875: Henry Paddle, miller

1881: Henry Paddle, miller

1881: Mill destroyed by fire

June 1881: Mill machinery "salvaged" from fire advertised for sale by auction

1932: Roundhouse still standing

May 2010: Mill house demolished to make way for a 'farmhouse style' replacement

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 30011882
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Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2007