Shelfanger Road


Drainage Mills (Windpumps)
Steam Mills

24th May 1980
24th May 1980

The postmill on the Shelfanger Road was actually just inside the parish of Roydon. However, it was mostly known as a mill associated with Diss, having probably been moved form Chapel_Street in the town after being sold from that site in 1847. The two storey tarred roundhouse had 15 foot high walls and a steam mill was built alongside. The 3 storey tarred mill buck had a fantail on the ladder and the 4 double shuttered patent sails each had 9 bays of shutters and drove 2 pairs of French burr stones, a flour mill and jumper.

The other Roydon windmill was situated in the Shelfanger Road, beyond the Brush Factory. It was a tall white post-mill with two-storied round-house, and the latter remains standing today, added to a more modern building, perhaps formerly used as a granary. This mill does not appear on the Roydon Tithe Map, and its external appearance would indicate a mid-nineteenth century date for erection, unless it was moved from another site (Chapel St?). In the early twentieth century it was run by one Alec Wells, who also ran a mill at Kenninghall, with the assistance of his son George, until about 1905. After an unsuccessful dispute with Apthorpes over land needed for modernisation of the premises, the Wells family terminated their business, departing for Ipswich. The Mill then passed to the Lincoln family, who also owned a mill at Winfarthing. For some reason unknown, it was later pulled down, leaving the roundhouse for a store, the mill yards, etc., then being used for a scrap dump.
Diss Antiquarian Society News Sheet - Spring 1973

Tithe Award 1842
Map, Henry Calver, Surveyor, 1841
Owner: John William Jarrett
Occupier: do

No. 665
No. 666
No. 734

Further Mill Meadow
House, Mill & Meadow
Mill & Yard


0a. 3r. 0p.
0a. 3r. 15p.
0a. 1r. 14p.
1a. 3r. 29p.

4s. Tithe

Nos. 665 an 666 relate to Winfarthing smockmill.

Indenture dated 5 August inst. Charles Jay Leathers of Diss, Co. of Norfolk, Miller & Baker, assigns estate to John Kent of Roydon, Gentleman and Nathaniel Fisher of Bressingham, said Co., Miller, for the benefit of his creditors.
London Gazette - 13th August 1847

Capital Windmill, Freehold Cottage & Land. Within a quarter of a mile of the town of Diss. With Possession at Michaelmas next.
W. W. Elliott is instructed to Sell by Auction at the Kings Head Inn, Diss on Friday September 24, 1847 at 5 for 6 o’c
All that complete POST WINDMILL with newly erected bricked roundhouse, two pairs of French stones, flour mill & jumper & other going gears. Also a new Cottage, Cart Lodge, Stables & Piggery, with 3 roods & 12 perches of productive Arable & Pasture Land, most eligibly situate by the side of the high road leading from Diss to Shelfanger, the property of Mr. Charles Jay Leathers
Particulars of Messrs. Wallace & Lyus, Solrs. Diss or Mr. W. W. Eliott, Auctioneer & Land Agent, Thelton near Scole.
Norfolk Chronicle - 11th September 1847

All that complete POST WINDMILL with newly erected bricked Roundhouse, two pairs of French stones, flour mill and jumper and other going gears. Also a new Cottage, Cart Lodge, Stables and Piggery, with 3 roods and 12 perches of productive Arable and Pasture Land, most eligibly situate by the side of the high road leading from Diss to Shelfanger, the property of Mr. Charles Jay Leathers (1847)
London Gazette - 30th December 1856

William Blanchflower, late of Thrandeston in the County of Suffolk, Miller and Baker, lodging with Samuel Blanchflower of the same place, previously of New York, in the United States of America, out of business, formerly of Diss, in the County of Norfolk, Miller and Baker. Insolvent Debtor.
London Gazette - 30th December 1856

Wanted immediately, a Single trustworthy Young Man to work a Wind Mill. Constant employment.
Apply personally to Mr. F. Burroughes, Roydon Mill, Diss.

Norfolk News - 27th April 1872

Unknown paper
Unknown paper

Frank Burroughes became bankrupt c.1891 as a result of spending £800 on renovating the smockmill on Bressingham Common after being promised the lease that was eventually not granted.

Recently at the Crown Hotel, Diss, a mill property at Roydon, Suffolk was brought to the hammmer by Mr. T. W. Gaze. The lot consisted of a freehold Post Windmill, steam mill and dwelling house, with garden and paddock, the outgoings being 17s. 6d. land tax and 14s. tithe commutation rent-charge. In introducing the property the auctioneer enforced the fact that its position just outside the boundary of Diss added greatly to its value, because of the heavy rates in the town being saved. The biddings opened at £300 and advanced to £465, standing at which the auctioneer withdrew the property.
The Miller - 1st August 1892

The auctioneer at the above auction made all aware of the mill's added value, due to it being just inside the Roydon parish boundary, thus saving on the high rates charged in the parish of Diss. Bidding opened at £300 and progressed to £465, where it stayed. The auctioneer then withdrew the property.

The Wells family lost a dispute with the Apthorpe family over land the Wells' needed to modernise the mill and premises and thereafter moved to Ipswich.

Auction 1892 at which property withdrawn followed Frank Burroughes’ bankruptcy. He later in the year made a first & final payment of 1s.6d. in the pound.
Bankruptcy occasioned by his spending £800 renovating Bressingham Common mill after promise of lease, which, however, was not given.
Philip Unwin - 1973


A calendar from the mill in 1906 advertises: ground greaves, biscuit meal and rice a speciality for young fowls.

O.S. map 1953
O.S. map 1953 - as redrawn by Harry Apling

Not long after the mill ceased working c.1911, the buck was removed and the roundhouse lay derelict for many years before eventually being converted to a dwelling along with the steam mill building in 1979.

O. S. Map 1885
O. S. Map 1885
Mill marked upper left
Courtesy of NLS map images

1847: Mill erected having probably been moved from Chapel Street

5th August 1847: Charles Jay Leathers asssigned his estate for the benefit of his creditors

September 1847: Newly erected mill advertised for sale by auction

1856: John Copeman Kerry, miller

White's 1864: John Copeman Kerry, corn miller & manure manufacturer, Roydon

1872: John Copeman Kerry, miller

1872: Frederick Burroughes, miller,

Kelly's 1879: Frederick Burroughes, miller, Shelfanger Road, Diss

White's 1883: Frederick Burroughes, miller & corn merchant, Shelfanger Road, Diss
Frederick Burroughes, miller & corn merchant, Shelfanger Road, Roydon

July 1891: Mill offered for sale by auction but withdrawn at £465

Kelly's 1892: Frederick Burroughes, miller (wind & steam) Shelfanger Road, Diss
Frederick Burroughes, miller (wind & steam) Shelfanger Road, Roydon

1892: Frederick Burroughes bankrupt having spent £800 renovating Bressingham Common smockmill

Kelly's 1896: Alexander Wells, miller (wind & steam) Roydon - also at Kenninghall postmill

Kelly's 1900: George Wells, miller (wind & steam) Roydon

Kelly's 1904: George Wells, miller (wind & steam) Roydon

c.1905: Wells family left and moved to Ipswich

c.1905: Mill taken over by Lincoln family who were running Winfarthing smockmill in 1907

c.1911: Mill ceased working

1973: Foundations of 4 brick piers still visible

1977: Roundhouse and steam mill threatened with demolition and bought by Mrs. Michael Garnham

1979: Mill converted into residential accommodation

1990: Mill roundhouse in residential use

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 TM 11408064
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Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2004