Drainage Mills (Windpumps)
Steam Mills


Plumstead postmills stood side by side on Plumstead Heath just to the southwest of Plumstead Green. The older mill stood slightly to the north, was an open trestle mill and had possibly ceased working by 1839.
It would appear that the newer mill had a roundhouse.

Deeds of seven pieces of land cont. 3a. in Plumstead next Holt, near Neather mill stye and Gentlemans stie and in places called Hamstall and Overgarmound, part copyhold of the manor of Matlaske, mortgaged by Edward White or Whites in 1704-1709 and in 1711 sold by him to Peter Wilson, Esq., under the description of 13 closes cont. 12a. 2r. in Plumstead and Little Barningham near North Hills, Cottons Acre, and way from the Pitt of Plumstead.
Title Deeds 1704-1711 - Norfolk Record Office

At the Feathers in Holt on Saturday 22nd Inst. at 4 o'c in the afternoon, if not sooner disposed of by private Contract.
A WIND-MILL, newly built upon an excellent Construction and very desirably situated for Business on Plumstead Heath, together with an Acre of Land surrounding the said Mill.
Further Particulars may be had on application to Francis Oliver of Barningham or Shene Oliver of Plumstead near Holt.

Norfolk Chronicle - 8th May 1784

To be SOLD or LETT
And entered upon immediately or at Michaelmas next
A Complete well built WINDMILL, with an Acre of Land to the same adjoining, situate and lying in the Parish of PLUMSTEAD in this County.
For further Particulars apply to Mr. Brereton, Attorney at Law, Holt.
Norfolk Chronicle - 11th June & weekly to 3rd September & also to 15th October 1785

Baptism records show that John Overton (miller) and wife Anna, baptised their son William Chastney on 17th September 1820 at Plumstead church. Their son Frederic Overton was baptised on 15th February 1824, daughter Matilda on 3rd December 1826, son John Josiah on 1st March 1829 and son George Horatio on 28th August 1831.

Baptism records also show that John Josiah Overton (miller) and wife Ann Eleanor, baptised their son Frederick on 5th October 1863, son Robert Sims on 19th June 1865, daughter Sarah Terry Eleanor on 30th September 1866, daughter Matilda Clark on 11th July 1869, son Edmund Clark on 10th March 1872, son Richard Kirby on 2nd September 1873, son John William on 14th January 1876 and daughter Anna Sarah on 2nd August 1878.
John Josiah's brother George Horatio, was by this time a farmer with a wife and several children of his own. .

Bill & accounts 1891 Bill & accounts 1891
Bill & accounts - 16th December 1891

Royal Exchange Fire Insurance Policy No. 93643

Harr't Bastard of Reepham in the County of Norfolk. On a windmill brick & timber built situate at Barningham in the Co. aforesaid, Tenant ... £400.
(Almost certainly Plumstead)

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

Karl Wood visited the site in March 1937 and drew a low two storey roundhouse with a conical roof and a small leanto building attached to it. This was probably showing the southernmost mill remains.

Runner stone 25th June 2006 Mill Farm 25th June 2006
unner stone 25th June 2006
Mill Farm 25th June 2006

Mills site 3rd June 2006

Mills site 3rd June 2006

Tithe map 1839

Tithe map 20th November 1839
Open trestle mill to the left and mill with roundhouse to the right opposite the house

O. S. Map 1885

O. S. Map 1885
Courtesy of NLS map images

O. S. Map 1885

O. S. Map 1885
Courtesy of NLS map images

O. S. Map 1956

O. S. Map 1956
Courtesy of NLS map images

I think this is the same farm where I spent wonderful hours with my grandparents in the fifties. My grandfather was Mr. Edward Turner, tenant farmer of Mill Farm, Little Plumstead. Another farm was Plumstead Hall Farm. I have a cup presented to my grandfather for his work at Plumstead Hall between 1932 and 1945, from Major C E Mott-Radclyffe.
Melody Blackwell - 11th December 2009

c.1704: Mill and land mortgaged by Edward White

1711: Edward White sold mill and land to Peter Wilson

c.1780: Mill newly built or rebuilt

1784: Shene Oliver, miller

May 1784: Mill advertised for sale by auction

June 1785: Mill advertised for sale or let

Faden's map 1797: Plumstead Mill

Poll Book 1802: Robert Spencer, miller

1820: John Overton, miller

1824: John Overton, miller

Bryant's map 1826: Mill

1826: John Overton, miller

1829: John Overton, miller

1831: John Overton, miller

Tithe map 1839: House, Windmills, Buildings, Yds & Garden; Owner: William Overton; Occupier: John Overton

Census 1841:
William Overton snr (70) farmer.
Catherine Overton (75) 
William Overton jnr (20) journeyman miller
Thomas Wells (15) male servant
Address: Barningham Parva

John Overton (40) miller
Anna Overton (40)
John Overton (12)
George Overton (9)
Sarah Williamson (16) servant
William Webster (35) journeyman miller
Rebecca Webster (35)
Sarah Webster (10)
Charlotte Webster (7)
Elizabeth Webster (5)
Rebecca Webster (3)
Edward Webster (1)

Baconsthorpe Parish Register: Burial 15 Nov 1842 Isaac Curson age 24 killed at the Plumstead windmill

Census 1851:

John Buck Overton (55) b.Barningham, miller employing 2 men
Anna Overton (56) b.Edgefield, millers wife
John J. Overton (22) b.Plumstead, millers son
G. H. Overton (19) b.Plumstead, millers son
Ros. Greenacre (18) b.Plumstead, house servant
William Webster (46) b.Caston, miller
Rebecca Webster (48) b.Matlaske, millers wife
Rebecca Webster (13) b.Plumstead, millers daughter
Edmund Webster (11) b.Plumstead, millers son
Matilda Webster (8) b.Plumstead, millers daughter
William Webster (6) b.Plumstead millers son
Joseph Everett (29) b.Matlaske, millers labourer
Martha Everett (36) b.Reepham b.Reepham
Martha Goodwin (2) b.Aylsham (niece)

White's 1845: John Overton, miller

Kelly's 1854: John Overton, miller & baker

12th August 1857: William Overton snr died

Census 1861: John J. Overton (31) b.Plumstead, miller & farmer of 36 acres
Ann Fisher (20) b.Baconsthorpe, housekeeper
Eliza Carr (16) b.Wolterton, servant
Joseph Everitt (39) b.Matlaske, millers carter
Martha Everitt (46) b.Reepham

1863: John Josiah Overton, miller

White's 1864: John Josiah Overton, corn miller

1865: John Josiah Overton, miller

1866: John Josiah Overton, miller

1869: John Josiah Overton, miller

Census 1871: John J. Overton (42) b.Plumstead, miller & farmer of 37 acres employing 1 man
Ann Overton (29) b.Baconsthorpe, wife
Frederick Overton (7) b.Plumstead
Robert S. Overtonm (6) b.Plumstead
Sarah Overton (4) b.Plumstead
Matilda Overton (2) b.Plumstead
Edmund C. Overton (1 mnth) b.Plumstead
Charlotte Ford (25) b.Edgefield, general domestic servant
Jane Ford (10) b.Edgefield, nurse girl

1872: John Josiah Overton, miller

1873: John Josiah Overton, miller

1876: John Josiah Overton, miller

1878: John Josiah Overton, miller

Kelly's 1879: John Josiah Overton, miller & corn dealer

Census 1881: John J Overton (50) b.Plumstead, Farmer of 60 acres employing 2 men & miller
Ann E. Overton (30) b.Baconsthorpe, wife
A E T Overton (14) b.Plumstead, scholar
Matilda C Overton (12) b.Plumstead, scholar
Edmund C. Overton (10) b.Plumstead, scholar
Richard R Overton (8) b.Plumstead, scholar
Anne S. Overton (3) b.Plumstead

O.S. Map 1886 - 1890: Windmills (Corn)

Census 1891: John J. Overton (62) b.Plumstead, miller & farmer
Ann E. Overton (49) b.Baconsthorpe, wife
Matilda Overton (22) b.Plumstead
Richard Overton (18) b.Plumstead
Anne S. Overton (12) b.Plumstead, scholar
Betsy Ford (16) b.Hunworth, general servant

Kelly's 1896:
John Josiah Overton, miller (wind) & farmer & income & land tax collector for the parishes of Baconsthorpe, Little Barningham, Barningham Norwood, Barningham Town, Matlaske, Plumstead & West Beckham

Kelly's 1900: William Grout, farmer & miller, Jericho; resides at Lt Barningham

Census 1901:
William Grout (49) b.Weybourne, miller & farmer
Martha Grout (49 b.Gresham, wife
Samuel Grout (20) b.Plumstead, farmer's son (worker)
George Grout (19) b.Plumstead, farmer's son (worker)
Katie Grout (12) b.Plumstead
Edith Grout (11) b.Barningham Parva
Fred Grout (10) b.Barningham Parva 
Address: Mill House, Plumstead

Kelly's 1904: William Grout, farmer & miller, The Mill

1911: Southern mill still remaining but derelict

Kelly's 1922: William Grout, farmer & miller, The Mill

Kelly's 1925: William Grout, farmer, The Mill

Kelly's 1929: William Grout, farmer, The Mill

Kelly's 1933: William Grout, farmer, The Mill

Kelly's 1937: William Grout, farmer, Mill Farm

March 1937: Karl Wood drawing

O.S. map 1950: Southernmost mill marked as Windmill (disused) northernmost mill roundhouse showing

c.1953: Edward Turner, tenant farmer to Mill Farm to Major C. E. Mott-Radclyffe of Barningham Hall

O.S. map 1956: Remains of southernmost mill still showing with northernmost mill gone

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 TG12383455 (older mill)
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Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2006