Drainage Mills (Windpumps)
Steam Mills

Ovington Old post windmill stood to the east of the village on the north side of the road to Caudlesprings. The mill had a roundhouse and in 1856 was using one pair of common sails and one pair of patent sails. However, by 1880 the mill had two pairs of patent sails powering the two pairs of stones, flour mill and sifter.

Michael Hardy had been involved with miling for some years by the time he built Dereham_towermill in 1836. In 1819 he owned and ran Mattishall_Norwich_Rd_smockmill and in 1829 he started to run the newly built Gressenhall smockmill and in 1836 he was also running Ovington old postmill.

To be Sold by Auction by Mann & Clarke at the George Inn, Watton, Wednesday 13 December 1837 at 5 o'c
All that capital POST WINDMILL with the Going Gears and Machinery thereof and all that Messuage or Tenement with the Outbuildings, Yards, Gardens and three several Inclosures of Arable and Pasture Land thereto belonging containing altogether by estimation Four Acres (more or less) eligibly situate in the centre of the Village of Ovington within one mile and a half of the town of Watton, now in the occupation of Mr. Michael Hardy.
The above property is all Freehold and the Purchaser may have possession on completion of his purchase.
Apply to Mr. William Drake, Solr. East Dereham or to the Auctioneers, St Michael at Plea, Norwich.

Norfolk Chronicle - 9th December 1837

Tithe map 1843 - as redrawn by Harry Apling
Tithe map 1843 - as redrawn by Harry Apling

Tithe Award 1843
Map NEWTON & WOODROW, Norwich. 1843
Owner: John Hannant
Occupier: William Rose

No. 151

House, mill & meadow

Part of

0a. 3r. 35p.
3a. 3r. 34p.

1s. 10d
£1. 3. 11

Mr. Spelman
Respectfully informs the Public that he is instructed to Sell by Auction on Friday 16 February 1844 at 4 o’c at the Kings Arms Inn, East Dereham the following valuable Property
Lot 1.
A substantial Brick TOWER_WINDMILL, Dwelling house, Cottage, Stable, Yards and Gardens in the occupation of Mr. Michael Hardy and John Button. The Mill stands remarkably well for wind within equal distances of Wymondham and Hingham, has three floors, Patent Sails, winds herself, dries two pairs of stones, with Flour Mill and Jumpeer and all her going Gears complete and in full Trade.
Lot 2. Cottage ...
Lot 3.
A POST WINDMILL with two pairs of Stones, Flour Mill and going Gears now in full Trade; a Dwelling house and Outbuildings and about 4 acres of Land of good quality, in the occupation of Mr. William Rose.
Mr. Spelman respectively invites the attention of Merchants & Millers to the above valuable Property. The Mills are situate in good Corn districts, within short distances of considerable Market Towns, are surrounded by a large population & present an advantageous opportunity for either Investment or Occupation.
Early Possession of the Whole may be had.
Lot 4.
A SMOCK_WINDMILL with DWELLING-HOUSE, Baking Office, Stable, Garden & piece of Land adjoining, situate at Great Bittering, adjoining the public road & near Gressenhall Fairstead, in the occupation of Mr. John Hannant, whose tenancy expires at Midsummer next.
The Mill winds herself, drives 2 pairs of stonmes, with flour mill, jumper & all her going gears complete.
The Dwelling-House contains ...
The Baking Officce is adapted for carrying on a considerable business & is in full trade.
FREEHOLD. No outgoings.
Lot 5.
A most substantially-built BRICK TOWER_WINDMILL, with 5 floors, patent sails, winding herself, driving 2 pairs of stones, flour mill, jumper and most complete machinery; together with a brick and tiled Stable and Cart lodge and a piece of productive Arable LAND adjoining, containing 1a. 3r. 0p. or thereabouts; most eligibly situated, within a short distance of the town and near the turnpike road, now in full trade, and in the occupation of Mr John Ives, Tenant from year to year.
FREEHOLD. No outgoings.
Vendors are Mortgagees with power of Sale.
Mr. Spelman respectively invites the attention of Merchants & Millers to the above valuable Property. The Mills are situate in good Corn districts, within short distances of considerable Market Towns, are surrounded by a large population & present an advantageous opportunity for either Investment or Occupation.
Early Possession of the Whole may be had.
Particulars of Messrs. Goldson, Browne & Carthew, Solrs. Dereham & of Mr. Spelman, St. Giles Street, Norwich.
Norfolk Chronicle - 27th January 1844

On 29th July 1980, Brian Strong of New Barnet, wrote to Harry Apling, who recorded:
Wife's paternal grandmother was Ethel Maud Kemp, born 10 October 1879, daughter of Frederick William Kemp (born 1841), who at the time of his marriage in 1868 at Eaton St Andrew, Norwich, gave his occupation as master miller. Family Bible suggests that Ethel was born at Witton mill.
Frederick's father was Richard Kemp.
Arthur R. Kemp, miller, was son of Frederick. Was miller at Great_Ellingham 1900. Later at Alderton (Suffolk) smock mill, 1912 till late 1920s.

On 3rd February 1982, Brian Strong again wrote to Harry Apling:
Frederick William Kemp:
Born 1841
Died 3 May 1921 having lost his money in the failure of FARROWS BANK, Norwich, in 1920.

To be sold by Auction by Mr. Baley at the George Inn, Watton Wednesday 14 May 1856 at 6 o'c.
Unless sooner disposed of by Private Contract.
All that capital POST WINDMILL and Roundhouse with iron shaft and two patent and two other sails, driving two pairs of stones, in excellent repair and well fitted up with flour mill, sifter and all requisite going gears.
Also a substantial Cottage and Bake Office with Stable and other outbuildings, Yard, Garden and two Inclosures of fine Arable Land containing with the buildings four Acres or thereabouts.
The above Property is all Freehold, is situate at Ovington in Norfolk (a populous neighbourhood) and in which a good trade is carried on by Mr. Thomas Lane, the tenant thereof under a lease for a term of years, of which five years will be unexpired at Michaelmas Day (old style) 1856 at a rental of £36 per annum.
Land Tax 8s.
Apply to Mr. Massey, Solr. Watton, Mr. Robert Land, Hockham Lodge, near Watton, or the Auctioneer, Watton.

Norfolk News - 25th February, 11th & 18th March March 1865

TO BE LET by Private Contract, a WINDMILL doing a good trade, with a New House and convenient premises and about 4 acres of very excellent Arable Land at Ovington near Watton, Norfolk.
For terms etc. apply to Mr. R. Land, Hockham Lodge or Mr. Geo. Steel, Stokely Hall.

Norfolk News - 25th February, 11th & 18th March March 1865

Situations Vacant
WANTED, a strong active Lad as INDOOR APPRENTICE to a MILLER or one who has begun to learn the Trade.
Apply W. L. Nott, Ovington, Watton.

Norfolk News - 27th August 1864

To be Sold by Private Contract
The Windmill at Ovington, doing a good Trade, in good repair, driving two pairs of Stones, likewise all Fixtures and Materials belonging to the Mill and a new HOUSE built within the last two years with Convenience attached to the same and 4 acres of good LAND all Freehold belonging to the same, situate in the pleasant Village of Ovington within one mile of the noted Market Town of Watton and thickly populated neighbourhood.
Apply to Mr. R. Land, Hockham Lodge or Mr. G. G. Steel, Stokesby Hall, Norwich.

Norfolk Chronicle - 4th March 1865

OVINGTON near Watton, Norfolk
To Millers
To be sold with immediate possession in consequence of ill health, a Post Windmill driving two pairs of stones, with four patent sails and winds herself. A capital Dwelling house with convenient Outbuildings and 4 acres of Land adjoining.
Apply Mr. W. Clubb, George Hotel, Watton.

Lynn Advertiser - 28th February & 6th March 1880

Frederick William Kemp was born in 1841 and was master miller at Elsing_watermill when he married in 1868. He ran Witton_(Blofield_postmill from 1879 - 1879, then Croxton_postmill and towermill from 1883 - 1890 and was at Strumpshaw smockmill in 1896.

On 25th July 1971 John Lawn of Old Buckenham wrote to Harry apling to say that Page Huntons of Carbrooke demolished the mill and incorporated some of the woodwork into their own buildings. On 12th February 1972, Harry Apling went to see the woodwork for himself.

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

Kelly's 1892: Richard Kemp, farmer

Kelly's 1904: William White, farmer

White's 1836: Michael Hardy, corn miller

1837: Michael Hardy, miller

December 1837: Mill advertised for sale by auction

O.S. map 1838: Windmill

Census 1841:
William Rose (40) miller
Mary Rose (40)
James Rose (10) 
Charles Nurse, (23) journeyman miller.

1843: William Rose, miller

1844: William Rose, miller

January 1844: Mill advertised for sale by auction and sold for £400 with a reserve of £300 (rent £16 p.a.)

1844: Michael Hardy, owner - also at East Dereham towermill & Gressenhall smockmill

Friday 16th February 1844: Mill sold by auction at the King's Arms Hotel in East Dereham

White's 1845: William Rose, corn miller

1850: William Rose, miller

1853: James Arbon Rose, miller

1853: Thomas Lane, miller

White's 1854: Thomas Lane, corn miller

May 1856: Mill advertised for sale by auction

1858: Thomas Lane, miller

1863: Luke Knott, miller

White's 1864: Luke Knott, corn miller

1865: Thomas Lane, tenant miller at a rent of £36 per annum

February 1865: Mill advertised to be let by private contract

March 1865: Mill advertised for sale by private contract (annual rent £39 per annum)

1868: Luke Knott, miller

1872: Luke Knott, miller

1875: Luke Knott, miller

Kelly's 1879: Luke Knott, miller

February 1880: Mill advertised for sale

White's 1883: Jacob Allen, miller

1888: Richard Kemp, miller

White's 1890: Richard Kemp, miller

Kelly's 1892: Frederick William Kemp, miller (wind & steam)

1892: Frederivk Krmp, miller, left and was running Strumpshaw smockmill by 1896

Kelly's 1896: Arthur R. Kemp, miller (wind & steam)

Kelly's 1900: William White, farmer & miller (wind & steam)

1912: Mill demolished by Page Huntons of Carbrooke

1970: Frederick William Sussams, Old Mill House

1982: Walnut tree growing on mill site

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 TF92950235
Top of Page

Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2006