Drainage Mills (Windpumps)
Steam Mills

Drawing of upper half of postmill c.1790
Drawing of upper half of postmill c.1790

Letheringsett postmill stood on the east side of the village just to the northwest of the village hall. The mill was worked in conjunction with the nearby watermill and a faint drawing of the upper half of the postmill using common sails was still just discernable on the internal east wall of the watermill in 2008.

Letheringsett. Wind grist mill erected about 1754 for John Priest a Sheringham miller, who bought the water-mill estate and brewery. In 1757 his bankruptcy trustees sold the estate to William Colls, a Quaker.
Philip Unwin - 1972

To be Sold Extraordinarily cheap
An excellent STRIPPING CYLINDER, Case & going Geers. A Very strong 7 ft. pit & 3 Counter Wheels, Bridge Trees etc. an 8 ft. head Windmill - a small lot of French Burr Stones ...
Apply to Thomas Dunn, Letheringsett, near Holt.
December 30, 1797

Norfolk Chronicle - 30 December 1797

Jonathan Cobb, flour dresser
1770 (aged 19) Jonathan Cobb bound "himself" apprentice to John Withers of North Walsham flour dresser by indenture for 6 years and served three."  [Settlement Examination of Jonathan Cobb 1783 by Magistrate in North Walsham.]

1773 Jonathan left John Withers to finish his apprenticeship in Great Yarmouth, thereby losing his right to Settlement at North Walsham.

1773-75 Jonathan served the remainder of his 5 year apprenticeship in Great Yarmouth [Settlement Examination of Jonathan Cobb 1783 by Magistrate in North Walsham]  R. H. Clarke Ltd, millers of Great Yarmouth have records at NRO GB/NNAF/C181322    (Former ISAAR ref: GB/NNAF/B33452)

1775 (aged 24) Jonathan managed to move back to North Walsham when he "Let himself to William Colls, then of North Walsham, flour dresser and served a term with him."   William Colls, a Quaker Miller in North Walsham, also bought a wind grist mill at Letheringsett in 1757 (erected around 1764 and possibly still running) from the  bankruptcy trustees of John Priest a Sheringham miller.  Around that time William Colls took two apprentices; Thomas Siely in 1775, and John Chertney in 1778 (duty was paid for their indentures)

1781 Jonathan (aged 30) seems to have been living at Gorleston

1782 Feb 12 (aged 31) Jonathan Cobb single man married Elizabeth Lacey single woman (both of North Walsham at the time)  at St Nicholas, North Walsham, Co Norfolk.  By banns, witnesses Samuel Cobb & Richard Scott.

1783 Jan 26 John Lacey Cobb [surprisingly?] baptised at Yarmouth

1784 Susannah Cobb baptised at North Walsham

1787 Jonathan Cobb Junior baptised at Yarmouth

1791 Jonathan aged 40 living in North Walsham

1794 Mary baptised at North Walsham

1796 John, son of Jonathan Cobb of North Walsham, Miller, apprenticed to Bakers in Great Yarmouth.  Yarmouth Borough Freeholders list for 1802 includes Thomas King Baker  [Eldest son not a Miller, but no doubt Thomas King bought flour from Jonathan]

1798 Daughter Diana baptised and buried at Mundham

1799 Son Samuel baptised at North Walsham and 1800 buried at North Walsham
Wife Elizabeth died around this time.  No burial found for her yet in any local parish.

On 20 Oct 1800 [aged 50] at Loddon Parish Church (Holy Trinity) Jonathan Cobb (widower) married Anne Clarke (single) by banns.  Witnesses Robert Stone and Robert Ward.  (from Brian Forder, Cobb rootsweb) 

More children baptised in Loddon, and Ashby near Loddon

1808 Jul 19 TO BE SOLD BY AUCTION by Mr Athow on Tuesday 19 July at 5 pm at the Swan Inn, Loddon, Norfolk.  Several contiguous freehold cottages ...  situate in the Mill Street of that town, now in the distinct occupations of George Leggett, Elizabeth Ellis, William White, Elizabeth Bales, Samuel Kerrison and Jonathan Cobb.  Subject to such conditions of sale as will then and there be produced. For further particulars apply to Mr Wm Utting, Thurlton, Norfolk

c.1814 Family returned to North Walsham where Jonathan was at various times described as a husbandman.

1820 Charlotte, daughter of Jonathan and Ann Cobb, miller of North Walsham, born 18th Nov, baptised 7th December

1829 Jonathan Cobb died and was buried at North Walsham aged 79

Judy Buckley - 24th June 2014

By William Chase from Norwich
On Tuesday 28th Day of September next between the Hours of Three & Six of the Clock in the Afternoon, at the Feathers in Holt, in the county of Norfolk.
The several ESTATES of JOHN PRIEST of Letheringsett in the said County, a Bankrupt.
Lot 1. A Dwelling House, Watermill & eleven Acres of Land in Letheringsett aforesaid, as also a Windmill thereto belonging, part Freehold, & part Copyhold. The Mills are new built & all in the Premises in good Repair. (The said Premises were in the Bankrupt's Occupation)
Lot 2. Dwelling House etc. in Letheringsett ... Brewing office ...
For further Particulars Enquire of Mr. Thomas Paul of Felbridge, Mr. Nicholas Downing of Holt or Mr. John Beeston of Langham, the Assignees to the Estate & Effects of the said Bankrupt, or to Mr. William Stuart Hawys, Attorney at Law in Fakenham.
Norwich Mercury - 18th September 1756

For Sale:-
Estate of John Priest of Letheringsett, a Bankrupt.
Brewing house, Malthouse etc. ... Public House ...
Norwich Mercury - 29th January 1757

Map of Letheringsett showing details of the village c.1760
Map of Letheringsett showing details of the village c.1760

Map c.1760
Details of above map

... John Priest, of Sheringham, miller ... (rebuilt water-mill between 1744 & 1754) ... In addition, Priest built a wind grist mill near where is now the Village Hall.
Re lane to north of Village Hall:-
At the south end of this lane once called Townhouse Lane, where is now Hill House, John Priest, miller erected a wind grist mill.
On the Breretons leaving Letheringsett John Priest, a Sheringham miller bought the mill estate & the brewery as well. He had also a wind grist mill just north of where Hill House now is, a good position for a windmill as there were no trees nearby to mask it.
History of Letheringsett - Basil Cozens-Hardy, 1957

1791: Thomas Youngman, millwright, Letheringsett

1839: Thomas Youngman, millwright, Letheringsett

c.1750: Mill built by John Priest

1756: John Priest, miller (educated at Free School, Holt) bankrupt due to extravagance

September 1756: Mill advertised for sale by auction along with the watermill

January 1757: Mill advertised for sale by bankruptcy trustees of John Priest

1757: Mill bought by William Colls jnr jnr

1770: William Colls jnr jnr died and his son William jnr jnr jnr inherited the mill

1772: William Colls jnr. died; Solomon Colls (brother and minor) inherited

December 1797: Mill advertised for sale

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 2007