Drainage Mills (Windpumps)
Steam Mills


Poringland towermill, known as High Mill, was built to replace an earlier postmill. The five storey mill stood on the south side of the Stoke Road on the west side of the village. The mill was built and owned by millwright Henry_Lock, who also built Bracondale and Peafield towermills in Lakenham, Norwich. During the 1880s the mill started using steam for auxiliary power.

The mill used 4 double shuttered patent sails stuck via a chain pole, set on an iron windshaft to drive three pairs of French burr stones, The outer pair of sails each had 9 bays of 3 shutters and the inner pair 6 bays of 3 shutters and 1 bay of 4 shutters with the innermost having 4 on the leading side and 8 small ones on the trailing side. The mill was turned to wind via a six bladed fan. The stones were 4ft. 4ins and 4ft. 6ins in diameter, being worked with with two flour mills and a jumper.

About half-past eight o'clock on Thursday evening last, came on from the westward one of the most tremendous storms we have ever witnessed. ~ The Poringland Mill, belonging to Mr._Lock, was also struck by the electric fluid and the cap completely torn off and the mill very much shattered.
Norfolk Chronicle - 14th July 1832

Valuable Freehold TOWER MILLS, Houses and Land,
with Possession at Lady day next.

To be Sold by Auction by Wm. Butcher, at the Rampant Horse Inn, Norwich on Monday, December 21, 1835, at 4 o'c
In Three Lots
Lot 1. A Superior Brick TOWER WINDMILL, with five floors at East Poringland, in Norfolk, distant four miles from Norwich, with Iron Shaft, patent sails, driving three pair of French stones, 4ft. 4 and 4ft. 6 diameter, of good quality, two flour mills, jumper, and all necessary machinery for carrying on an extensive business.
The above Mill is now in full trade, commanding one of the most elevated situations in Norfolk, it has been erected within the last ten years, upon most approved principles, and is allowed to be one of the best built and complete Mills in the county, distant from Norwich four miles, Loddon eight miles, and Bungay ten miles, all good Corn Markets.
Attached to the Mill is a comfortable Brick and Tile Dwelling-house, containing kitchen, parlour, counting-room, cellar, pantry, dairy, wash-house, and five sleeping-rooms; also two good brick and tile Cottages, cart lodge, piggeries, barn, cart and riding horse stable, gig-house, and large room over, now used as a school-room, and an excellent granary with two good boarded floors.
There is a very neat Garden and about eight acres of good land, in a ring fence around the Premises, with a plentiful supply of pure spring water.
The only outgoings are a Land-tax of 8s. per annum, and a Free-rent of 10s. per annum.
Lot 2. comprises that lofty and substantially-built Brick Tower Windmill, 40 feet in diameter, on a commanding eminence, Bracondale_Hill, Norwich, now in the occupation of Messrs. Bell and Co. as Tenants at Will. This mill was erected in 1829, and no expence spared to make it the most complete Tower Mill in the County; it contains nine floors, iron shaft, patent sails, drives four pairs of French Stones, 4ft. 6in. diameter, of good quality, two flour mills, jumper, corn screens, &c. &c.
There is also a two-stalled stable, Cart-lodge, and Garden adjoining the Mill.
All Freehold. – Land-tax redeemed.
Lot 3. – All those Tenements and Coal Bins, in the Lord Camden’s yard, Saint Gregory’s, Norwich, in the several occupations of Hodson, Smith, Hubbard, Copeman, Heep, and others, at Rentals amounting to £ per annum.
Freehold. – Land-tax
For further particulars apply to Mr. Winter, Solicitor; Mr. Lock, Bracondale Hill; or to Mr. Butcher, Auctioneer, Norwich.
Norfolk Chronicle - 5th, 12th & 19th December 1835

Notice re Bankruptcy of
Henry Lock of Bracondale, Millwright, Builder & Engineer, Dealer & Chapman.

Norfolk Chronicle - 5th March 1836

Situations Vacant
WANTED, a respectable YOUNG MAN as MILLER, one who has been used to a Country Mill preferred.
Apply J. Parker, Poringland Mill.

Norfolk News - 5th March 1864

Situations Vacant
WANTED, a MILLER, one who has been used to a country mill preferred.
Apply personally to Mr. John Parker, Poringland.

Norfolk News - 8th & 22nd October 1864

Situations Vacant
WANTED, a steady Married Man as MILLER. One who has been used to a Country Mill preferred.
Apply J. Parker, Poringland.

Norfolk News - 17th November 1866

Situations Vacant
To Millers
WANTED, a good Practical MARRIED MAN, one used to a Country Trade preferred.
Apply to John Parker, Poringland, Norwich.

Norfolk News - 26th February 1870

Situations Vacant
TO JOURNEYMEN MILLERS, Wanted, a good practical MILLER, one who well understands his business, to take charge of a Windmill.
Apply to J. Wallerge, Poringland, Norwich or at Stand 147, Corn Hall, Norwich on Saturday.

Norfolk News - 17th July 1875

Local Bankrupts:-
WALLAGE, J. Great Poringland and Bramerton, Norfolk, Miller

Norfolk Chronicle - 4th March 1876

Notice re Dividend in the Matter of
Joseph Wallage of Great Poringland and Bramerton, Miller and Merchant, adjudicated a Bankrupt on 21st February, 1877.

Norfolk Chronicle - 2nd June 1877

Mr. W. A. Bowler is instructed by the Mortgagees in possession to Sell by Auction on Tuesday 9 September 1879 at the Norfolk Hotel, Norwich at 4 o'c (Unless previously disposed of by Private Contract) All that valuable Freehold ESTATE known as PORINGLAND MILL, which is a lofty Brick Tower erection of five stories, working three pairs of stones, together with a BRICK & TILED RESIDENCE, a DOUBLE TENEMENT COTTAGE, two Granaries, Barn, Cowshed, 3-stall Stable, Cart sheds, Piggeries, Gardens, Yard and Three Inclosures of Pasture LAND, the whole containing by recent admeasurement 6a. 1r. 18p. and being in the occupation of Mr. William Beverley at a rent of £60 per annum.
Land tax
Free Rents to the Maner of Framingham Earl
Tithe (paid by Tenant)
Particulars with plan of Messrs. P. E. & T. W. Hansell, Solrs. Upper Close; At the Railway Tavern, Poringland, and of Mr. W. A. Bowler, Land Agent & Surveyor, Castle Chambers, Opie Street, Norwich.
Norfolk Chronicle - 23th & 30th August & 6th September 1879

is instructed by Mr. Wm. Seaman, who is giving up business, to Sell by Auction on Friday September 9, 1887 capital Bay Cart Mare, 2 strong Miller's Carts, Luggage Cart, Whitechapel Cart, Implements, Touls, Fowls, Toulouse Geese, HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE and other Effects.
Norfolk Chronicle - 27th August & 3rd September 1887


Samuel Colman 1781 - 1866, brother of Jeremiah
... Mr. Samuel C. Colman, of Peterborough (the son of Samuel Colman, the sixth child of Robert Colman of Ashwelthorpe) ... wrote down in 1903: ... the winter and spring of 1833 ... whilst the family were living at Stoke waiting for the opportunity of getting into the Poringland Mill house ...
Mr. S. S. Colman tells me that "Up to my leaving Poringland Mill in 1836 ... "

Jeremiah James Colman - Helen C. Colman, 1905

My father was a wind miller, so was my grandfather, also my great grandfather. All lived and died in the parish of Shropham. In 1887 I left my father at Shropham and started on my own, hiring the Poringland High Mill, which was a landmark for miles around ...
Letter from O. J. Sayer, Hopton Mills, Diss to Eastern Daily Press - 14th December 1926

On 30th August 1972 Horace Freestone of Hilborough wrote to Harry Apling to say that he had formerly been at Little Cressingham Mill and also Hilborough Watermill.
His father Horace Freestone left Poringland High Mill and went to the Star Public House for a year before moving on to a postmill at Kenninghall, possibly Mill_Lane_postmill. He did not work the mill and in 1907 moved on to Little Cressingham Mill.

O. S. Map 1880
O. S. Map 1880
Courtesy of NLS map images

O.S. Map 2008
O.S. Map 2008
Image reproduced under licence from Ordnance Survey

1825: Mill built by millwright Henry Lock replacing earlier postmill

Bryant's map 1826: Windmill

1832: Owner: Henry Lock

July 1832: Mill severely damaged in a storm

Greenwood's map 1834: Windmill

December 1835: Mill advertised for sale by auction along with Lakenham Bracondale Mill

March 1836: Henry Lock bankrupt

White's 1836: Samuel Colman, miller

White's 1845: John Parker, miller

White's 1854: John Parker, corn miller, High Mill

White's 1864: John Parker, miller; John Parker & Son, corn & seed merchants

1866: John Parker, miller

1870: John Parker, miller

1872: Parker & Son, miller & merchants

1875: Joseph Wallage, miller

1876: Joseph Wallage, bankrupt

1879: William Beverley, tenant miller at a rent of £60 per annum

Kelly's 1879: William Beverley jun, miller & farmer

White's 1883: Thomas Rayner, miller

O.S. map 1887: Windmill

1887: William Seaman, miller

White's 1890: Oscar John Sayer, miller and merchant, High mill

Kelly's 1892: Horace Freestone, miller (wind & steam)

Kelly's 1896: Horace Freestone, miller (wind & steam)

Kelly's 1900: Horace Freestone, miller (wind & steam)

1906: Mill demolished

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 TG26260268
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Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2004