Drainage Mills (Windpumps)
Steam Mills

Pentney smock windmill stood about half a mile to the north east of Pentney_watermill. The mill used a pair of common sails and a pair of patent sails to power two pairs of French burr stones. A bake office was also operated on the site.


From the parish registers of Pentney, it is evident that one James RICHES with his wife Frances née Hastings, was the miller.
The Pentney baptismal register gives the following:-
Elizabeth daughter of James & Frances Riches baptised Aug 16, 1812 occupation miller, and buried Oct 12 1812.
James Riches, son of James & Frances Riches baptised Aug 7th, 1814 occupation Miller.
It is understood that James Riches the eldest son died Aug 27, 1822 and the age was 4. The burial age is given as a smudge and a 4.
James Riches had married Frances Hastings in West Bilney on Dec 6, 1811.
In the 1851 census a James Riches, married man, and a miller, was residing in the Lynn Union Workhouse, (possibly the infirmary), aged 67, miller and born in Congham.
At the same census in Pentney in 1851 Frances Riches is residing in Providence House, with the Munday family who were schoolmaster and mistress, as an annuitant, married aged 57, and born in West Bilney.
Checking in the earlier 1841 census for Pentney, Frances is again in Providence House, aged 48, of independent means, born in Bilney and also married although no husband is evident. The house is occupied by the School master and mistress - William Munday and his wife Sarah.
The graveyard in Pentney records two burials which would fit the above couple.
James Riches, aged 72 buried Nov 29, 1857
Frances Riches aged 72 buried May 1, 1865.
It is suspected that James the miller who died in 1857 (born c.1785) left no issue and the mill was sold or passed on to the Jeremiah Riches, around 1836 as indicated by the entry from White's directory 1836. Jeremiah was born c 1792 according to his age at death so could have been a brother. No baptism for Jeremiah was found in Pentney . The surname of Riches does not occur in Pentney registers until the entry for the first child of James and Frances Riches in 1814.

Janet Findley - 29th March 2008

To be Let at Michaelmas next, with Immediate Possession if required A Wood TOWER WINDMILL situate at Pentney, Norfolk with two common and two patent sails, two pair of good French Stones and going Gears complete. There is a Dwelling House, Baking office, Outhouses and an Acre and a half of Land attached.
Apply to Mr. J. Riches on the Premises.

Norfolk Chronicle - 20th November 1841

Jeremiah Riches snr died in 1848 at the approximate age of 55 and left his estate to be equally divided between his two sons, Jeremiah jnr and James and two daughters when his youngest son James reached the age of 21. One of the daughters, Susan had already married James Bailey, who had taken over running the mill.

Extracts from the Will of Jeremiah RICHES, miller of Pentney, with notes. 1848

This will was written Sept 9, 1847 and Proved on April 8, 1848.
Jeremiah Riches was buried in Pentney on 31st January 1848 aged 56. His wife Susan née Garrett, daughter of Thomas Garrett, who he married in Pentney on Aug 12, 1818 was buried on June 5th, 1835 aged 36, shortly after the death of a newborn child.

……………… "the property is as follows, one acre and 2 roods of land, copyhold, …. Contain…. (more or less) of the Manor of Ashwood, bounded by the public roads on lands belonging to Susan Hastings east and west, and on land belonging to George Stratton Senr., on the South whereon there is now standing a good four-sail windmill in going gears and a good substantial double dwelling house, a bake office etc, all built of brick, stone and timber. And now in good trade and occupied by James BAILEY at a yearly rent of 30 Pounds Stirling per year all in the Parish of Pentney and the County of Norfolk aforesaid.
And also 7 acres and 3 roods (more or less) of freehold land in Pentney aforesaid bounded in the North by land belonging to Frederick Winearls on the East, South and West by the public road whereon are now standing eleven (11) tenements or cottages let to eleven separate tenants at a yearly rent each.
I do will and give and bequeath all and singular the whole of my aforesaid copyhold land, mill, baking office and dwelling house with all that appertain to them, together with all my foresaid 7 acres and 3 roods (more or less) of freehold land and 7 tenements thereupon as aforesaid.
I do will and give etc, the whole and every of them to my aforesaid two sons and two daughters namely, Jeremiah my elder son and James my younger son; to Susan my elder daughter and wife of James Bailey and Mary Ann my youngest daughter - all now with me at the Mill House in the parish of Pentney aforesaid.
To summarize the last few pages of this will, the instructions were to pay all encumbrances, mortgage etc, and then to distribute in equal shares all property including mill and bake office, and the rentals between the legatees. If one child died during the minority of James the youngest son, then all children would share, that is except for the daughter Susan who was married to James Bailey and running the mill, in which case her share would go to James only.
It is of note, that the executors of this estate were William Munday the schoolmaster (where Frances the wife of the previous miller was residing as an annuitant), and Richard Hammond the Blacksmith.

Janet Findley - 29th March 2008

I came across your website while researching the surname Riches. Jeremiah Riches (the miller) is my 3x gt grandfather, his son James 1830-1909 is my 2x gt grandfather. James and Mary Riches had 2 daughters Matilda and Jessie, Jessie is my gt grandmother who married Benjamin Turvey and had 4 children, the eldest Charles is my maternal grandfather.
I have searched the family back to 1764 so far, the other week my uncle took me to Pentney (I live in MK) and we visited the places where the mill was and also the cottages that James Bailey, (who married Susan riches, Jeremiah's daughter) owned.

Jeanette Connolly - 17th May 2013

Census 1851:

Jeremiah Riches jnr (25) b.Pentney, farmer in care 6 acres
James Riches (20) b.Pentney, farmer in care 6 acres (brother)
Hannah Garner (20) b.Pentney, housekeeper
Address: West End

White's 1854: Jeremiah Riches, farmer

White's 1864: Jeremiah Riches, farmer, West end

Census 1871:

James Bailey (64) b.Pentney, rent collector
Susan Bailey (60) b.Pentney
Louis Bailey (18) b.Pentney, house repairer etc.
James W. Ward (18) b.Stepney, Middx. shell cleaner, (boarder)
Address: 8 Medway Road, London, Middx.

Census 1871:

Fred Bailey (31) b.Pentney, millwright
Martha Bailey (32) b.West Bilney
Emma Bailey (12) b.Pentney
Charles Bailey (9) b.Pentney
Martha Bailey (7) b.Pentney
William Bailey (5) b.Pentney
Lewis Bailey (3) b.Pentney
George Bailey (1) b.Pentney
Address: Bailey's Buildings

Census 1871:

Jeremiah Riches (43) b.Pentney, farmer of 54 acres & innkeeper
Susan Bailey b.Pentney
William Bailey b.Pentney 
James Bailey b.Pentney
John Bailey b.Pentney
Louisa Bailey b.Pentney
Jeremiah Bailey b.Pentney
Alfred Bailey b.Pentney
Clarissa Bailey b.Pentney
Catherine Bailey b.Pentney
Charlotte Bailey b.Pentney
Susannah Bailey b.Pentney

James Riches, (40) b.Pentney, agricultural labourer (unmarried)
Address: Rising Sun Inn

Kelly's 1879: Jeremiah Riches, Rising Sun (publican)

White's 1883: Jeremiah Riches, victualler, Rising Sun

White's 1890: Jeremiah Riches, beerhouse

Kelly's 1892: Jeremiah Riches,
Rising Sun P. H.

Kelly's 1900: Jeremiah Riches, Rising Sun P. H.

Parish Registers 1814: James Riches, miller (married to Frances Riches)

O.S. map 1824: Windmill

Bryant's map 1826: Pentney Corn Mill

Greenwood's map 1834: Windmill

White's 1836: Jeremiah Riches, miller & baker (yeoman)

Census 1841:

Jeremiah Riches (45) miller
Jeremiah Riches (14)
James Riches (9)
James Bailey (25) miller
Susan Bailey (20)
Frederick Bailey (2)
Address: Mill House

Benjamin Bulling (45) miller
Ann Bulling  (45)
Maria Bulling (17)
William Bulling (14)
Hannah Bulling (5)

November 1841: Mill advertised to be let

White's 1845: Jeremiah Riches, miller & baker (yeoman)

January 1848: Jeremiah Riches died aged 56

Index of Wills 1848: Jeremiah Riches, miller

Census 1851:

James Bailey (34) b.Pentney, master miller & baker
Susan Bailey (30) b.Pentney
Frederic Bailey (11) b.Pentney, scholar
William Bailey (9) b.Pentney, scholar 
James Bailey (7) b.Pentney, scholar 
John Bailey (6) b.Pentney, scholar
Louisa Bailey (5) b.Pentney
Jeremiah Bailey (2) b.Pentney
Alfred Bailey (1) b.Pentney
Martha Bugge (17) b.Ashwicken, general servant
Address: Mill House

White's 1854: James Bailey, corn miller

1857: James Riches died

Census 1861:

James Bailey (44) b.Pentney, miller & baker
Susan Bailey (40) b.Pentney
William Bailey (19) b.Pentney, butcher 
James Bailey (17) b.Pentney, bricklayer or brushmaker 
John Bailey (16) b.Pentney, agricultural labourer
Louisa Bailey (14) b.Pentney, scholar
Jeremiah Bailey (12) b.Pentney
Alfred Bailey (10) b.Pentney
Clarissa Bailey (8) b.Pentney
Catherine Bailey (6) b.Pentney
Charlotte Bailey (4) b.Pentney
Susannah Bailey (1) b.Pentney
Address: Mill Yard

Frederick Bailey (21) b.Pentney, miller
Martha Bailey (20) b.W. Bilney
Emma Jane Bailey (1) b.W. Bilney
Address: Bailey's Yard

Francis Chapman (62) b.Westacre, miller
Dorothea Chapman (59) b.E. Dereham
Ann Chapman (15) b.Westacre
Harriett Chapman (9) b.Westacre
Address: Balding's Cottage

1863: James Bailey, miller

Census 1881:

Fred Bailey (41) b.Pentney, corn miller
Martha Bailey (43) b.West Bilney
William Bailey (14) b.Pentney, agricultural labourer  
Lewis Bailey (12) b.Pentney, scholar 
George Bailey (11) b.Pentney, scholar
Louisa Bailey (8) b.Pentney, scholar
Arthur Bailey (4) b.Pentney
Fred Bailey (6 mnths) b.Pentney
Address: Bailey's Cottages

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 70321285
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Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2008