Little Melton


Drainage Mills (Windpumps)
Steam Mills


Little Melton tower windmill was built in the centre of the village in Mill Road and stood in the garden of the Mill House by the road. The 5 storey tarred red brick tower had offset windows; the Norfolk boat shaped cap had a petticoat, gallery and a 6 bladed fan. The four double shuttered patent sails, each had 8 bays of 3 shutters. By 1904 the mill was using auxiliary steam power.


There was a storm in November 1861. One of the casualties was Little Melton towermill. Smithdale's were asked to repair the mill. The evidence that this estimate is for Little Melton was that the miller in 1862 was Samuel Burrell and in its latter days the mill carried odd sails. One pair had four shutters per bay and the other had three shutters per bay. It is probable that the latter sails were the ones that Smithdale's supplied, as they would have had a smaller number of castings per sail and consequently would have been cheaper. The original estimate mentions repairing three sails whereas a subsequent estimate only mentions repairing two sails for the reduced sum of £135. 8s. 1d.
Michael Roots

16th July 1939
16th July 1939

St. Ann's Iron Works,
King Street, Norwich, Decr. 3/61.

Mr. Burrell,
Dear Sir,
Agreeable to your request I beg to hand you my price for the work necessary at Melton. viz. One New Cap complete, New Cast Iron Curble & Winding Tackle complete. 3 New Sails and one Sail repaired. One New Stock and one stock to be spliced. One Set of Striking Tackle at head and as many New Cast segments for Breake Wheel as required. One new Tail Gudgeon, all the above to be completed and fixed in your Mill in a Workman-like Manner for the sum of one hundred and fifty one pounds.
£151. -. -.
Waiting your reply,
I am,
Dear Sir,
Your Obt. Servt,
Thos. Smithdale.

23rd October 1970
23rd October 1970

Situations Vacant
WANTED, a steady Youth as APPRENTICE to the Milling and Baking Business.
Apply to Samuel Barrell, Little Melton, Wymondham.

Norfolk News - 31st May 1862

Situations Vacant
WANTED, a steady active Young Man as MILLER & BAKER. Good reference required.
Apply to Mr. Samuel Barrell, Little Melton.

Norfolk News - 12th September 1863

Situations Vacant
WANTED, a steady active Youth as an Apprentice to the MILLING & BAKING Business.
Apply to Mr. Samuel J. Barrell, Little Melton.

Norfolk News - 16th & 23rd April 1864


Situations Vacant
WANTED, a steady active Young Man as MILLER & BAKER. A good character required.
Apply to Samuel Barrell, Little Melton.

Norfolk News - 23rd & 30th July 1864

Situations Vacant
WANTED, a steady active Single Man as MILLER & BAKER. None need apply who cannot come well recommended.
Apply to Mr. Samuel Barrell, Little Melton, Wymondham.

Norfolk News - 23rd & 30th May & 13th June 1868

Auction Sale by SEWELL & BRERETON 19 December 1904.
Auctioneers' Sale Particulars discloses that sale is under '... instructions from the Trustee under Mr. Samuel Barrell's Deed of Assignment.'
Harry Apling - c. 1983

2nd February 2004
2nd February 2004

To Corn Merchants, Millers and Bakers
2 Miles from Hethersett Station and 4
½ from Norwich
SEWELL & BRERETON have received instructions to Sell by Auction at the Royal Hotel, Norwich on Saturday December 3, 1904 at 3.30 o'c in the afternoon precisely ...
a well built Brick Tower WIND MILL fitted with steam gear and a Brick and Stone Cart shed and Gig house, with a large granary over.
Particulars of the Auctioneers, 17 Prince of Wales Road, Norwich and of Herbert Goodchild, Esq. Castle Meadow, Norwich, Solicitor to the Vendor.
Norfolk Chronicle - 26th November 1904

The Mill, LITTLE MELTON, Norfolk
SEWELL & BRERETON have received instructions to Sell by Auction on Monday 19 December 1904
Milling Effects, including 500 Excellent Sacks and Bags, Scale and Weights, Bentalls Malt Mill, 13 Coombs White Oats, Deal Posts and Plank, Sack Barrows, Sheets of Galvanised Iron Roofing ...
covered Miller's cart and other Effects.
Catalogues of the Auctioneers, 17 Prince of Wales Road Norwich
Norfolk Chronicle - 3rd & 17th December 1904

4th May 2007 4th May 2007
Rear of mill 4th May 2007
Front of mill 4th May 2007

4th May 2007 4th May 2007
Mill interior 4th May 2007

31st March 2008
31st March 2008

Lt Melton Social Club
Peter Palmer's Lt Melton Social Club card

My father the late Peter Palmer told me stories of him and his family living there when the top of the mill blew off in a storm. He was born in Norwich in 1924. He also told a tale of leaving to join the RAF in the war and remembered his mother waving him off as he walked in to Norwich. He was demobbed and returned home as we have his social club card   We took him back in 2006 before his passing in 2010. 
Jan Brown - 29th January 2022

In 2012, the mill was given a shallow pitched octagonal roof which is set on uprights about a foot up from the curb, presumably to create an observation deck. It was also given a new coat of tar.
Sue Burden - 7th March 2022

O. S. Map 1881
O. S. Map 1881
Courtesy of NLS map images

White's 1836: Thomas Burrows, miller

O.S. map 1838: Windmill

White's 1845: John Yeoman, miller

1846: John Yeoman, miller

1853: John Wright Lovett, miller

White's 1854: John Wright Lovett, corn miller

1856: John Wright Lovett, miller

1862: Samuel Barrell, miller & baker

1858: Frederick Wright, miller

1859: Frederick Wright, miller

Census 1861: William Bussey (19) b.Hardingham, miller's man

1862: Samuel Barrell, miller, baker & farmer

White's 1864: Samuel Barrell, corn miller & baker

Kelly's 1879: Samuel Barrell, miller & baker

White's 1883: Samuel Barrell, miller & farmer

White's 1890: Samuel Barrell, miller & corn merchant & income tax collector

Kelly's 1892: Samuel Barrell, miller (wind & steam) & assessor & collector of taxes

Kelly's 1896: Samuel Barrell, miller (wind & steam) & assessor & collector of taxes

Kelly's 1900: Samuel Barrell, miller (wind & steam) & assessor of taxes

Kelly's 1904: Samuel Barrell, miller (wind & steam)

November 1904: Effects of Samuel Barrell advertised for sale by auction under Deed of Assignment

8th October 1910: Samuel Barrell died aged 86 and was buried in Little Melton churchyard

Karl Wood painting 1937: Sails and fantail gone but cap, petticoat and windshaft remained

1939: Mill tower with cap, part of petticoat and windshaft, no sails or fantail

1990: Mill tower an empty shell with no roof, doors or windows and significant ivy cover

August 2006: Mill and mill cottage advertised for sale by Fine & Country for c.£420,000

November 2006: Mill and house under new ownership

2008: Mill tower shell empty but in good condition

2012: Mill fitted with new roof and repainted with tar

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 TG15800685
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Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2004