Drainage Mills (Windpumps)
Steam Mills

Tottington postmill in Roydon stood at Cock Street Green, however that name was changed to Denmark Green in 1863. The three storey mill had a two storey roundhouse and ran one pair of 4ft and one pair of 5ft French burr stones and a flour mill driven by nine yard common sails.

In the town itself there actually stood four windmills, of which two were situated just inside the parish of Roydon. One of these, Tottington Mill, stood in Tottington Lane, on or near the site of Tottington House. Although marked as a tower-mill on the 1840 Tithe Map, I have seen an old drawing which would indicate a post-mill, perhaps confirmed by its appearance on Faden's Norfolk 1797. The last miller, Isaac Osborne, was also a builder, and apparently demolished the mill about 1883 to erect the present house on the site.
Diss Antiquarian Society News Letter - Spring 1973

To be SOLD & entered upon immediately or at Lady Day next, a convenient BAKING OFFICE well situated for Trade with a good yard & convenient outbuildings in good Repair, all Freehold, situate in Diss, a very good Market Town; and also a POST WINDMILL with two Pair of Stones in excellent Repair, well situate within a small Distance of the Town & if required by the Purchaser of the Mill may have a House at a small Distance with two Pieces of Land containing 3 Acres at a fair Rent for a Term of Years.
For Particulars enquire of Thomas Fulcher at Diss.

Norfolk Chronicle - 25th January 1783

W. Pottell
Signatory to Notice re Increase in charges for Grist Grinding

Norfolk Chronicle - 24th November 1792

To be Sold by Auction at the George Inn, at New Buckenham, on September 6.
A capital Post Windmill, with brick round house, flour mill, two pairs of French stones and all geers, situated in Diss, in the occupation of Mrs.Pottell. Possession at Michaelmas next.
Partuiculars from William Parson, Attleborough.

Norfolk Chronicle - 26th August 1797

To be Sold by Auction By W. Parson At the George Inn, New Buckenham, Norfolk On Wednesday September 6, 1797 at 3 o’c

A Capital POST WINDMILL with brick roundhouse, flour mill, two pair of French Stones & all the going gears in exceeding good condition, situate in Diss, in the occupation of Mrs. Pottell.

Possession may be had at Michaelmas next.

Apply to W. Parson, Attleborough.

Norfolk Chronicle - 28th August & 2nd September 1797

To be Sold by Auction on 27 November at the Swan, Palgrave. A capital Post Windmill 21 feet by 11 feet, with four floors, including one in the round house, nine yard sail, and going geers, in complete repair, with a pair of 5ft. French stones and one pair 4ft. ditto, regulators, balance irons and flour mill with double motion, situate half a mile of the town of Diss, Norfolk.
Immediate posse4ssion. Apply to Mr. Thomas Proctor, of Palgrave, the proprietor, (who has engaged another situation)

Ipswich Journal - 18th November 1815

Thomas Calver (auctioner) respectfully informs the Public that the Windmill, at Diss advertised to be Sold by Auction, is disposed of by Private Contract.
Ipswich Journal - 25th November 1815

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

Tithe Award 1840
Map 1839
Owner: Charles Cobb
Occupier: Himself

No. 365
No. 366

House & Garden


2a. 0r. 37p.
2a. 1r. 25p.

£1. 8s.

Mill shown in error as a towermill

Messrs. Elliott & Sons are instructed to Sell by Auction at the Crown Inn, Diss, on Tuesday 12 June 1855 at 5 o’c

Lot 4

A Capital & well-accustomed Post Windmill with brick round-house, three floors, two pairs stones & requisite going gears. A Brick & Tiled Cottage, Stable etc. Mill yard & Garden & a piece of excellent Arable Land containing 2a.0r.39p. occupied by Mr. E. Bacon.

The tenants are under notice to quit at Michaelmas.

Apply to J.W. King, Solr. Walsham le Willows, Hazard & Son, Solrs. Harleston, Mr. Browne, Solr. Diss, Mr. Henry Bobby, Diss or the Auctioneers, Thelton & Diss.

Norfolk Chronicle - 9th June 1855

William Blanchflower, late of Thrandestone in the County of Suffolk, Miller and Baker, lodging with Samuel Blanchflower at 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

To Millers
WANTED, to work a WINDMILL, a Single Man who well, understands his business.
Apply to Mr. W. Woodrow, Market Hill, Diss

Norfolk News - 19th July 1862

Reference to Isaac Osborne, Builder etc. Denmark Street, Diss & Steam Mill, Roydon
Diss Express - 4th February 1881

Wiliam Woodrow's assignment.
Notice re Wiliam Woodrow of Diss & Winfarthing, Miller & Baker, Indenture 30 December 1885 assigned Estate & Effects for benefit of Creditors.

Norfolk Chronicle - 16th January 1886

Messrs. Spelman have received instructions from the Mortgagees to Sell by Auction at the Kings Head, Diss on Thursday September 23, 1856 at 4 for 5 o'c in three Lots.
The RESIDENCE, MILLHOUSE & LAND at Roydon, in the occupation of Mr. Isaac Osborne. Also five COTTAGES & Gardens adjoining occupied by Downing, Walls, Thurlow, Bale & Read.
Particulars of Mr. E. P. Simpson, Solr. Norwich & of Messrs. Spelman, Norwich & Yarmouth
Norfolk Chronicle - 4th September 1886

The Denmark Green Mill ... usually known as Woodrow's Mill.
The Miller - 17th November 1947

My Wife & I live at Tottington House which I believe to be the oldest house in the immediate vacinity of Tottington Lane Roydon and which I believe Tottington lane was named after.
We moved here 3 years ago and are interested in finding out as much as we can about the property and the surrounding area.
So far from studying information from the internet, our local Museum and The Parish Profile borrowed from Diss Library we have discovered the following :
  1. Our house stands on or close to the site of Tottington Post Mill which was built in 1797 and is recorded as being demolished in 1883. It has been suggested that the mill was demolished and the house built on the site.However we inherited documentation when we purchased the property (Conveyances etc.)that seem to indicate that the mill was still standing after the above date and that there was always a mill house on the site in addition to the mill. 
  2. The mill was originaly known as Woodrows Mill and although we are in Norfolk it is shown on Hodgkinsons map of Suffolk in 1783.
  3. There is mention of a drawing of the mill in your writeup on the Mill and we would be very interested to see this if it still exists.
The documentation we have refers back to 1846 and is reasonably continuous.
The wording on the documents is in many cases quite difficult to understand since it was written a long time ago and in legalese. 

Alan Franks - 10th October 2016

January 1783: Mill advertised for sale

Hodskinson's map 1783: Mill

1784: William Pottle, miller

Poll Book 1786: William Pottell, miller

1792: William Pottle, miller

1797: Mrs. Pottel, miller

August 1797: Mill advertised for sale by auction

Faden's map 1797: Windmill

1815: Thomas Proctor, proprietor

November 1815: Mill advertised for sale by auction

1822: Charles Cobb, miller

Bryant's map 1826: Windmill

1830: Charles Cobb, miller

1839: Charles Cobb, miller

Tithe Award 1840: Charles Cobb, owner & occupier, miller

1850: William Blanchflower, miller & baker

1850: James Robinson, miller

June 1855: Mill advertised for sale by auction

1856: William Woodrow, miller, Market Place, Diss

1862: William Woodrow, miller, Market Hill, Diss

White's 1864: William Woodrow, miller, Market Place, Diss

Kelly's 1879: William Woodrow, miller, Market Hill, Diss

White's 1883: William Woodrow, miller, Market Hill, Diss

1883: Isaac Osborne, miller & builder

1883: Mill demolished to make way for a house

September 1886: Site advertised for sale by auction

December 1886: William Woodrow's effects assigned for the benefit of his creditors

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 TM10757962

Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2006

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