Drainage Mills (Windpumps)
Steam Mills


Necton tower windmill stood in Mill Street. The 5 storey mill had a Norfolk boat shaped cap with a petticoat, gallery and a 6 bladed fan. Four double shuttered sails, each with 9 bays of 3 shutters, powered 3 pairs of stones, a flour mill and jumper. By 1868 a bake office was being run on the site and auxiliary steam power had been installed.

The above photograph at the top of the page shows the mill tower as having been newly tarred and alternate boards of the petticoat have been painted in a different colour.


It would appear that William Trundle, the new owner of Necton towermill from Little Cressingham, probably moved there during 1782, however he had not managed to sell Little_Cressingham_watermill and smockmill during the course of that year.

Mill working - c.1900
Mill working - c.1900

To be Sold, or Lett,
(And entered upon immediately)
A Water-Mill and Windmill, with a new House adjoining, together with six Acres of exceeding good Land, Part Freehold, Part Copyhold, with a Right of Common thereunto belonging, situate in Little Cressingham, in the County of Norfolk. -- Cressingham is within two Miles of Watton, and six of Swaffham. For further Particulars enquire of Mr. Trundle, of Necton, the Owner, Mr. John Farrow, in Little Cressingham aforesaid, who will shew the Premises, or of William Townshend, Attorney, Downham, Norfolk.
Norfolk Chronicle - 22nd February 1783

To be SOLD
A WATER-MILL and WIND-MILL, and about Six Acres of Land, in Little Creffingham. Alfo to be fold in Necton, a WIND-MILL and House, with Four Acres of Land, with a good Right of Common to both Places; if not fold, to be lett immediately.
For further Particulars enquire of William Trundle, in Necton.
 N.B. Any Perfon inclinable to enter into Partnerfhip in the Trade, he will be inftructed in the Bufinefs.
Norfolk Chronicle - 28th June 1783

William Trundle, miller of Necton, to daur. Ann Rushithe ? 3 Pounds within 1 yr after my death.
To William my son all real estate, hereditaments etc etc.,  for him and his heirs and assingns. 
To Wife Mary annuity of 20 Pounds a year from the yearly rent etc, all else to the son William
Précis of will of William Trundle - written 14th November 1808 and proved 5th April 1809.

Tithe map 1839 - as redrawn by Harry Apling
Tithe map 1839 - as redrawn by Harry Apling

Tithe Award 1840
Map W. S. Millard & Son, Norwich. 1839
Owner: John Trundle
Occupier: do

No. 492a

Mill, Stable etc.

part of

0a. 0r. 34p.
3a. 0r. 36p.

£1. 4s. 6d.

Mill tower remains with Hovis signage - 21st April 1939
Mill tower remains with Hovis signage - 21st April 1939

To be Let at Michaelmas next
A TOWER WINDMILL with Patent Sails, driving three pairs of Stones, Flour Mill and Jumper, Bake office and Dwelling house, with 4 Acres of Arable Land.
The mill is now in full trade and altogether a desirable occupation.
For particulars inquire of the proprietor, Mr. J. D. Trundle.
Norfolk News - 5th September 1857

To Millers
A FINE TOWER WINDMILL driving three pairs of Stones, with appliances for Steam Power, together with comfortable Dwelling house, Bake Office, Granaries, Barn, Stable, Piggeries etc., a large and unusually productive Orchard, walled-in Garden and about 3 Acres Land, situated in a populous village between Dereham and Swaffham, within two miles or two of the Great Eastern Railway Stations. No other mill in the place, nor within miles except one small windmill in an adjoining parish. The proprietor of the said Property would treat with a respectable Tenant on reasonable terms for a yearly rent, by Lease or for a Life Interest.
Apply to Mr. B. Giles, Necton, Norfolk.
Norfolk News - 25th July & 15th August 1868

Situations Vacant
WANTED, a steady Single Man as BAKER; reference required from last employer.
Apply to Mr. Nelson, Miller, Necton.
Norfolk News - 21st November 1868

26th May 1970
26th May 1970

To be Let
With possession at Michaelmas next, in Necton, a capital WINDMILL. With the Mill will be let a good DWELLING HOUSE, Stable and other Outbuildings, orchard and 3 acres of excellent Arable LAND.
Apply to Robert Alpe, Swaffham or to John Nelson, Builder, Necton.
Lynn Advertiser - 27th May 1871

To Let With Immediate Possession
A Windmill, with Outbuildings, 3 acres of Land and Orchard (with or without a dwelling house) at Necton.
Inquire of Mr. R. Alpe, Swaffham or Mr. John Nelson, Builder, Necton.
Lynn Advertiser - 5th August 1871


Situations Vacant
WANTED, a respectable Young Man to ASSIST in a BAKE OFFICE and MILL.
Board and Lodging provided.
Apply to Mr. Dunn, Necton Mill, Shipdham.
Norfolk News - 26th December 1874

To Let at Necton, Norfolk, a brick tower Wind-mill, with about 3 acres of Land. Possession at Michaelmas.
Apply to F. D. Trundle, Snettisham, Lynn.
Lynn Advertiser - 13th July 1889

On 21st November 1972, Mrs. A. Mitchell, daughter of John Nelson, wrote to Philip Unwin to say her father took over as miller in 1896.

Necton towermill had been converted into a single storey dwelling with a flat roof by 1970. It was then standing close to the road near a shop and petrol pumps.

John & George Nelson c.1919
George Nelson & grandfather John Nelson c.1919

My ancestors were living in  Necton in the 1770s.  My direct ancestors William Nelson and Mary Bones were married in the Church and their 11 children baptised in Necton.  I noticed that the first names of the various Nelson millers were George, Francis, John & William and whilst there are many Nelson families in Norfolk and the first names are in no way uncommon, these are also names which have been handed down over the generations.
I had no knowledge of any millers in the family but co-incidentally found some millwrights on another ancestral line and, before knowing that, I had occasion to get involved with the local Mill.  Although I am not now helping with the mill (I am 80) I was at one time Chairman of the Mill Trust.  It seems to be a strange co-incidence that I should be so interested in Mills when to my own knowledge I had no known connections with any mill or millers. I would be most interested in hearing about the ancestors of the Necton millers.
David Nelson Picton - 12th April 2015


O. S. Map 1883
O. S. Map 1883
The mill is the large dot above the two Ms of Common Row
Courtesy of NLS map images

Census 1851: Simon Wyer (62) b.Saham, Mill Right
Susan Baldwin (62) b.E. Dereham, housekeeper
Address: East End

White's 1864: John Nelson, beerhouse
Whites 1864: Edward Nelson, farmer
Whites 1864: Francis Nelson, farmer
Whites 1864: William Nelson, farmer

Kelly's 1879: Edward Nelson, farmer
Kelly's 1879: Francis Nelson, farmer
Kelly's 1879: William Nelson, farmer & seedsman

White's 1883: Edward Nelson, farmer
White's 1883: William Nelson, farmer & seedsman

White's 1890: Revd. Edward Hamilton Nelson, M.A. rector, The Rectory

White's 1890: William Nelson, butcher
White's 1890: William Nelson, farmer & seedsman, Rust farm

Kelly's 1892: William Nelson, butcher
Kelly's 1892: William Nelson, farmer & seedsman

Kelly's 1896: William Nelson, butcher
Kelly's 1896: William Nelson, farmer & seedsman

Kelly's 1900: William Nelson, butcher
Kelly's 1900: William Nelson, farmer & seedsman

Kelly's 1904: Haze Howlett, baker
Kelly's 1904: William Nelson, butcher
Kelly's 1904: William Nelson, farmer & seedsman

Kelly's 1908: William Nelson, butcher
Kelly's 1908: William Nelson, farmer & seedsman

Kelly's 1912: William Nelson, butcher
Kelly's 1912: William Nelson, farmer

Kelly's 1916: William Nelson, butcher

Kelly's 1922: William Nelson, butcher

Kelly's 1925: Frederick Nelson, shopkeeper
Kelly's 1925: William Nelson, butcher

Kelly's 1929: William Nelson, butcher

Kelly's 1933: William Nelson, butcher

Kelly's 1937: William Nelson, butcher

1782: William Trundle previously at Little Cressingham watermill and smockmill

1783: William Trundle

June 1783: Mill advertised to be sold along with Little Cressingham watermill and smockmill

Faden's map 1797: Windmill

Poll Book 1802: William Trundle, miller

c.1808: William Trundle died

Bryant's map 1826: Windmill

White's 1836: John Trundle, miller; William Trundle, baker

Tithe Award 1840: Owner & occupier: John Trundle

Census 1841: John Trundle (34) miller
Harriott Trundle (25)
Emma Trundle (5)
Frederic Trundle (3)
Harriott Trundle (1)
William Drake (35) male servant
James Thompson (20) male servant
? Allison (20) female servant

White's 1845: John Trundle, corn miller

Census 1851: John D. Trundle (48) b.Necton, miller
Harriott Trundle (40) b.Swaffham, millers wife
Emma Trundle (15) b.Necton, millers daughter
Frederic Trundle (13) b.Necton, scholar
Harriott Trundle (10) b.Necton, scholar
Edward Trundle (8) b.Necton, scholar
Alfred Trundle (4) b.Necton, scholar
George Trundle (2) b.Necton, scholar
Elizabeth Walker (23) b,Necton, house servant
Frederic Dishey (25) b.Reedham, journeyman miller
Address: Mill Street

Robert Cock (24) b.Necton, miller labourer
Mary Cock (39) b.Bridgeham
Sarah Cock (7) b.Necton, scholar
Stephen Cock (4) b.Necton, scholar

William Watts (39) b.Necton, miller labourer
Harriot Watts (36) b.Bradenham
Anna Watts (6) b.Necton
Dennis Watts (4) b.Necton
Harriot Watts (2) b.Necton
Ann Simmons (77) b.Pickenham (mother in law)

1853: John Trundle, miller

White's 1854: John D. Trundle, miller & baker

1857: John D. Trundle, owner & occupier

September 1857: Mill advertised to be let

1858: John Dunn, miller

White's 1864: John Dunn, baker

1865: John Dunn, miller

July 1868: Mill advertised to be let

1868: Frederick Trundle, miller

1868: ? Nelson, miller

May 1871: Mill advertised to be let

1872: Charles Dunn, miller

1874: Charles Dunn, miller

1874: Charles Dunn, miller

1879: Francis Nelson, miller

White's 1883: Francis Nelson, miller & farmer, Necton mill

1888: Francis Nelson, miller

July 1889: Mill advertised to be let by owner F. D. Trundle

White's 1890: John Henry Meek, farmer & miller, Necton mill

1890: John Nelson, miller - also at Whissonsett North & South mills and Stanfield postmill

Census 1901: John Nelson (60) b.Necton, miller  
Maria Nelson (58) b.Whissonsett, miller's wife
Francis J. Nelson (19) b.Whissonsett, miller's son  
Susanna E. Nelson (21) b.Whissonsett
Alice M. Nelson (12) b.Whissonsett
Address: Necton Mill House

Kelly's 1896: Francis Nelson, miller (wind)

1896: John Nelson, miller - also at Whissonsett North & South mills and Stanfield postmill

Kelly's 1900: John Nelson, miller (wind)

1901: Haze Howlett, miller, took over running mill (father of Haze Howlett)

c.1901: Mill tail winded

Kelly's 1904: John Nelson, miller (wind)

Kelly's 1908: Haze Howlett, baker, miller (wind) & corn & flour dealer

1911: Mill derelict but basically intact with parts of sail stocks missing

Kelly's 1912: Haze Howlett, baker

Kelly's 1916: Haze Howlett, baker

Kelly's 1922: Haze Howlett, baker

Kelly's 1925: Haze Howlett, baker

Kelly's 1929: Haze Howlett, baker

Kelly's 1933: Haze Howlett, baker

Karl Wood painting 1933: Mill with 3 storey tower and corrugated iron roof

Kelly's 1937: Haze Howlett, baker

1939: Mill with 3 storey tower and corrugated iron roof with Hovis signage

1949: Single storey base of mill tower still remaining

Photo 30th July 1970: Mr. C. B. Howlett, baker, Mill House

1971: Mill base in use as a storehouse

1991: Mill being used as a shop Mum's Delight selling babyware

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 TF 87930949
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Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2005