Mill Lane towermill


Drainage Mills (Windpumps)
Steam Mills

3 Kenninghall mills
(Mill Lane towermill and postmill in foreground c.1900
(Banham Rd postmill far right in distance)
Photo taken from near Womack's farm

Kenninghall Mill Lane towermill stood at Church Farm in Mill Lane just to the south of the adjacent postmill. The cap of the 5 storey tower mill was turned to wind with an 8 bladed fan.

Frederick Pilgrim's towermill in Mill Lane stood opposite the Red Lion in Church Street.

Title of Robert Peverett of Kenninghall, miller to a freehold parcel of land (1r.) with windmill, house and outbuildings, all bounded to the west by Mill Lane in Kenninghall.

An abstract of title to the property recites that it was once part of the second allotment (1a 1r 13p) by the Kenninghall enclosure commissioners in 1799 to the executors of the will of John Hawes. The messuage and land (then copyhold of the Manor of Kenninghall) was sold in 1801 to its then existing tenant, Stephen Harvey. In 1821, Stephen Harvey of Kenninghall, farmer, died, leaving his copyhold and freehold real estate to his nephew, Charles Turner. Under the terms of Harvey's will, his housekeeper, Eunice Farrow, was entitled to an annuity of £20 from the income from 1r of land. Turner and Eunice later married, and in 1835, conveyed the land to Frederick Pilgrim, miller. Pilgrim was responsible for erecting a tower windmill on the premises, but needing capital, mortgaged the property to secure a loan of £163. In 1836, the mortgage was repaid, and the property sold to James Foster Palmer of Snetterton. He immediately leased it back to Pilgrim for £20 annual rent.
In 1850, Palmer sold the property to Robert Peverett of North Lopham, miller, but because Peverett couldn't afford to pay the full purchase price, Palmer agreed to become mortgagee to secure the eventual payment of the outstanding monies. By then, the property was described as being separated from the remainder of the allotment to Hawes' executors by a four feet high brick wall, apparently erected by Frederick Pilgrim some years before that date. In 1865, the property was enfranchised from its copyhold status by the payment of £45 and granted to Palmer, who was still the owner recorded on the manor court rolls. In 1870, and in acknowledgement that Peverett had long before paid the full purchase price for the property and had paid the enfranchisement fee in 1865, Palmer conveyed full title to Peverett. In his will, Peverett devised all his estate to his wife Lucy, and after her death, to his grandson, Robert Peverett.
Peverett senior died in 1875, and in 1889, Lucy also died. The grandson, Robert, inherited and carried on the milling business, but soon had occasion to mortgage the business and premises. In 1901, the mortgage was transferred to Edward Charles Walker of London. Peverett continued to occupy the property and operate the windmill.
Documents include extracts for the wills of John Hawes of Kenninghall, gentleman, proved 1801, and of Stephen Harvey of Kenninghall, farmer, proved 1821.

Norfolk Record Office

Tithe map 1840
Tithe map 1840 - as redrawn by Harry Apling

Tithe Award 1844
Map by Henry Calver, Surveyor, 1840
Owner: Leonard Palmer
Occupier: Thomas Sayer

No. 811

House, mill & premises


0a. 1r. 16p.


Attleborougth County Court
Monday, before his Honour Judge Mulligan, K.C. (24th Oct.)
Adjusting Scales & Weights
J. Fisher & Son, Banham, adjusters of weights & scales sued Henry Allen or Stanford, Kenninghall, miller for £2. 8s. for repairing and adjusting scales, weights and steelyards for the years 1909 and 1910 ...
The Judge said on the material before him he should give judgement for the plaintiff for 30s.

Dereham & Fakenham Times - 29th October 1910

Henry A. Stanford's tower mill. Owner Mrs. Bauly.
Sails removed by Mr. Collings of Kenninghall.
Pulled down by Cook of Attleborough about 1911 after being idle several years.

Millers:- Henry Long
Robert Peverett
Sub-let to David Bullock (of Mill Lane Post mill)
Henry Fysh
South Norfolk Windmills - H. E. S. Simmons
The Miller - 17th November 1947

On 11th November 1970, Mrs Kemp of the Mill House of the northern mill wrote to Harry Apling to say the incoming new owners, Fernee, are renaming Church Farm Mill House FERNWOOD.

Lovely to see that old wall with a view of the three Kenninghall mills over it. I think that wall was probably the front wall of the field at the front of my grandfather's farm, Grange Farm, Kenninghall - owned in the 50s by Tom Womack and later his son Geoffrey. It was demolished some time in the last 30 years and only ran half way down the field but I could probably draw its profile from memory, having run my fingers along it so many times walking from the village to the farm when we went to visit on the bus on Saturdays. It looked enormous to me in the 1950s!
The other side of the wall is still there, running along East Church Street and along my uncle Brian Womack's old house and now, since August, new house too!

Scilla Bunn - 21st December 2004

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

Kelly's 1912: Henry A. Stanford, coal merchant

1799: Executors of the will of John Hawes

1801: Copyhold of land sold to tenant, Stephen Harvey

1821: Stephen Harvey of Kenninghall, farmer, died, leaving copyhold & freehold to nephew, Charles Turner

1835: Charles Turner sold land to Frederick Pilgrim

c.1835: Frederick Pilgrim built mill and mortgaged property for £163


Frederick Pilgrim repaid loan & sold mill to James Foster Palmer of Snetterton, who immediately leased it back to Frederick Pilgrim for £20 annual rent.

O. S. map 1838: Windmill

Robson's 1839: Richard Lock, miller

Census 1841:

William Sayer (20) miller
Susan Sayer (20)
Henry Sayer (15)
Address: Mill Lane

Tithe Award 1844: Owner: Leonard Palmer; Occupier: Thomas Sayer

White's 1845: Henry Long, corn miller

1850: Henry Long, miller

1850: Leonard Palmer sold mill to Robert Peverett, miller of North Lopham

Census 1851:

Robert Peverett (44) b.South Lopham, master miller
Caroline Peverett (22) b.South Lopham, daughter employed at home
Robert Peverett (20) b.South Lopham, joirneyman carpenter
Stephen Peverett (17) b.South Lopham, son employed at home
David Bullock (7) b.Redgrave, Suffolk, scholar - visitor
Amelia Bullock (10) b.Redgrave, Suffolk, visitor
Address: Mill Lane

1853: Robert Peverett, miller

Kelly's 1854: Robert Peverett, miller

White's 1864: Robert Peverett, miller & farmer

1865: Leonard Palmer became outright owner by paying £45 to release copyhold

1870: Robert Pevertett snr took over title of the mill

1872: Robert Peverett snr, miller

22nd December 1875:
Robert Peverett snr died aged 70 and was buried in Kenninghall chuchyard

Kelly's 1879: Mrs. Lucy Peverett & Son, millers & farmers

O.S. map 1884:
Windmills (Corn)

Kelly's 1896: Robert Peveritt, miller (wind)

1889: Mrs. Lucy Peverett died leaving mill to grandson, Robert Peverett who shortly after took out a mortgage

Kelly's 1900: Robert Peveritt, miller (wind)

1901: Robert Peverett's mortgage transferred to Edward Charles Walker of London

Kelly's 1904: Henry Fysh, miller (wind & steam)

Kelly's 1908: Henry A. Stanford, miller (wind & steam)

1910: Henry Stanford, miller

1911: Mrs. Bauly, owner

1911: Mill pulled down by Cook of Attleborough

November 1970: New owners by the name of Fernee renamed Church Farm Mill house Fernwood

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 TM045258602

Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2004