Drainage Mills (Windpumps)
Steam Mills

Marsham mill was a large self winding postmill with a three storey roundhouse. The mill had patent sails, an iron shaft and a fantail. The mill house was adjacent and a bakehouse was run from the premises.

To be SOLD a POST WINDMILL situate in Marsham Field near Aylsham in Norfolk, erected about twelve months since.
For Particulars enqiuire of Mr. George Hunt Holley, in Aylsham aforesaid.
Norfolk Chronicle - 22nd & 29th January & 5th February 1780

William Elvin's cousin James, ran Swanton Abbot postmill until he became insolvent in 1831.

William Elvin was born in 1790 and married Hannah on 9th August 1817 at Marsham. Hannah died on 14th August 1838 and William died in 1858.

St. Ann's Foundry, King St. Norwich, Jan 13/57.
Mr. Elvin, Marsham Mill.
Sir, I will undertake to Cast a Wind Shaft 27Cwt. to turn & fit Tail gudgeon finding all bolts for same ready for fixing for the sum of Nineteen pounds.
£19. 0. 0.
Thos. Smithdale.

To be Sold by Auction by Mr. G.E. BURRELL, on Tuesday 25 June 1861 at 3 for 4 o'c at the Black Boys Inn, Aylsham in one lot. An excellent POST WINDMILL with patent Sails & Iron Shaft with a spacious Round House containing three floors.
Also a Dwelling House, Bake Office, small Barn Stable, & outbuildings, Garden & Pieces of Land containing with the site of the buildings 2 acres. Partly Freehold & partly Copyhold of the Manor of Hevingham with Marsham.
The above Property is now in the occupation of Mr. David ELWIN. Possession will be given on the 11th October, next.
Also to the Auctioneer, Aylsham or to Mr. FORSTER, Solr. Aylsham.
Norfolk Chronicle & Norfolk News - 8th, 15th & 22nd June 1861

To be let from 11 October 1861.
The Windmill at Marsham with Bake Office, a good Dwelling House and Outbuildings and about 2 acres of Land.
Apply to Mr. HOWLETT, Marsham near Norwich.
Norfolk Chronicle - 17th August 1861

To Millers, Merchants, Bakers etc.
MARSHAM near Aylsham

To be sold by Auction by
G. E. BURRELL on Wednesday 9 October 1861, all the Household Furniture Effects in Bake Office & Mill, Horses, Carts & other effects of Mr. David ELVEN who has sold his Mill & Premises & is leaving the country, full particulars of which will appear in Catalogues in due time.
Sale to commence at 11 o'c
Norfolk Chronicle - 28th September 1861

MARSHAM Within 2 miles of Aylsham
Messrs. IRELAND are favoured with instructions from the Proprietor JOHN HOWLETT Esq. to SELL by AUCTION in 9 Lots at the Royal Hotel Norwich on Saturday 5 July 1873 at 2 for 3 o'c
A powerful self winding POST WINDMILL with Brick Round House standing in a most commanding position with Bake Office & well built Residence.
Particulars of Vendor's Solicitor T. FORSTER Esq. or of the Auctioneers, Wood Dalling, Guestwick & Norwich.
Norfolk Chronicle - 14th June 1873

MARSHAM Within 2 miles of Aylsham
Messrs. IRELAND are favoured with instructions from the Proprietor JOHN HOWLETT Esq. to SELL by AUCTION in 9 Lots at the Royal Hotel Norwich on Saturday 5 July 1873 at 2 for 3 o'c

Lot 4. A large self-winding POST WINDMILL with Brick Round house detached Bake Office & Premises & capital Dwelling House in the occupation of Mr. SHREEVE & his undertenant Mr. PYE.
Norfolk Chronicle & Norfolk News - 21st & 28th June 1873

Transfer of Business in the Milling & Corn Trades.
The Executors of the late George SHREEVE beg to inform the Public that the Business for many years conducted on their behalf by Mr. Thomas SHREEVE, as Manager at Marsham & Aylsham, will on and after the 5th day of April instant, be carried only the said Thomas SHREEVE on his own account, as Proprietor, for whom they solicit a continuance of the support so generously accorded to them during the past 21 years.
Dated this 2nd April 1880.
(Aylsham Steam & Water Mills)
Norfolk Chronicle - 3rd & 10th April 1880

It would appear that Thomas Shreeve went on to run the much larger Buxton_Mill and was there by at least 1890. Thomas' nephew Charles Robert Shreeve (1854-1932) took over at Bolwick_mill and Marsham postmill and was possibly still there when his farming business became insolvent in 1897.

Robert Thomas Melton milled at Marsham postmill and when it was demolished c.1900, he moved to Bolwick watermill, taking over from his father. When that ceased, he moved back to the windmill site and ran a steam engine with a single pair of stones. Robert Thomas Melton's grandson, Robert still farms in Marsham today (2002).

A cousin has a decanter with a windmill etched on to it, attached, with W & HE. We assumed it was a tower mill, but William & David Elvin were at Marsham post mill. A cousin of theirs (we also assume as stated in censuses) was James Elvin at Swanton_Abbott_post_mill.  But the earliest of our ancestors were Jonathan & Ann Elvin of Swanton Abbott, whose tower_mill is 'about 1845' - too late for any Elvins. The decanter also has W&HE for William (1790-1858) & Hannah (1792/3-1838) Elvin. who married in 1817. These dates suggest the decanter is between 1817 and 1838, when William was definitely at Marsham!
William's father was David, son of Jonathan.  In c.1841, he is with William, his son also David and James! William & James both 'Miller'; David senior 'Independant aged 80' and young David 'Apprentice aged 15.'  Hannah had died but Eliza Boult, Hannah's older sister was 'housekeeper'. William then married her that July.

Mark Roberts - 30th April 2013

O. S. Map 1885

O. S. Map 1885
Courtesy of NLS map images

O. S. Map 1905

O. S. Map 1905
Courtesy of NLS map images

O.S. map 2005
O.S. Map 2005
Image reproduced under licence from Ordnance Survey

White's 1864: Edward Shreeve, farmer

White's 1883: Edward Shreeve, farmer

White's 1890: Mrs. E. Shreeve, farmer

Kelly's 1892: A. E. Shreeve & Son, farmers

Kelly's 1896: Mrs. Ann Eliza Shreeve, farmer

c.1779: Mill built

January 1780: Mill advertised for sale

Poll Book 1802: John Gaze, miller

Bryant's map 1826: Windmill

White's 1836: William Elvin, corn miller

O.S. map 1838: Windmill

White's 1845: William Elvin, corn miller

White's 1854: David Elvin, corn miller

1858: William Elvin died (b.1790)

1858: David Elvin, miller

1859: George Shreeve died aged 33 - wife Matilda then co-habited with brother Thomas Shreeve

June 1861: Mill advertised for sale by auction

August 1861: Mill adverrtised to be let

9th October 1861: Mill effects sold by auction on behalf of David Elven (emigrating)

1863: Samuel Pye, tenant miller

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

White's 1864: Thomas Shreeve (1833 - 1909), manager, also at Bolwick watermill

1868: Samuel Pye, tenant miller

June 1873: Mill advertised for sale by auction on behalf of owner, John Howlett

1873: Executors of George Shreeve with undertenant Mr. Pye

Kelly's 1879:
Thomas Shreeve, farmer, miller & coal & cake & manure merchant, Bolwick mill; & at Aylsham & Burgh Staithes

c.1861 - 1880 George Shreeve, miller (managed by Thomas Shreeve)

1880: Thomas Shreeve took over the business from executors George Shreeve who died in 1859

White's 1883: Charles Robert Shreeve, miller & farmer - also at Bolwick watermill

1888: Edward George Melton, miller

1889: Robert Thomas Melton, miller

O.S. map 1890: Windmill

White's 1890: George Edward Melton, corn miller

Kelly's 1892: Edward George Melton, miller (wind)

1897: Farming business of Charles Robert Shreeve became insolvent

c.1897: Mill dismantled

Kelly's 1900: James Randall, farmer, 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 TG20532334
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Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2004