Saham Hills


Drainage Mills (Windpumps)
Steam Mills

Saham Hills south postmill stood on the southeast side of the village at Saham Hills on the common, just to the southwest of the site of the nearby Saham_Hills_north_postmill. Saham Hills itself stood just to the north of the village of Saham Toney on the south side of the road leading to Saham Hills.

The mill had a roundhouse and the machinery was powered by 4 double shuttered patent sails, each with 8 bays of 3 shutters.An 8 bladed fantail was set on the ladder.

Tithe Award 1842
Map 1842
Owner: William Youngman
Occupier: do

No. 745

Mill, House & Garden

part of

0a. 0r. 16p.
1a. 0r. 22p.

6s. 9d.

A tablet on a building near the road was inscribed: R. W. 1862

Faden's Map of Norfolk of 1797 shows quite clearly that Saham had four post mills by the late 18th century, all situated in Saham Hills. The earliest, the most easterly, was Simon_Wyer's_post mill of 1744. In the pages of the Court Rolls there is his request to build "upon that part of the Common pasture in Saham Toney called Saham Hill...". The rent was 5/- a year.
Forty years later Isaac Hardy built two mills, one of which was run by his son Michael from 1802.  Isaac's_post_mill stood about opposite the chapel on Saham Hills Road.  Michael_Hardy's_mill was sold to William Youngman in 1810, then is passed to his daughter Frances Adcock but it was almost immediately sold again, this time to William Ashley in 1863, for £130. Subsequently this was rebuilt in brick and became known as Ashley's_Tower_Mill and was located up the lane opposite what used to be the Windmill public house.
Robert Whalebelly owned the post mill that stood behind what is now Ngong House (a slight hump in the paddock there may indicate where the foundations stood). In 1841 the land belonged to Phoebe Bowen and its site was a pasture, as it is today.   An outhouse carries the initials R. W. and the date 1862.  This mill was eventually sold to Robert Joseph Mace, Robert Whalebelly's son-in-law, who advertised himself as a "wind and steam baker" from 1896 and whose sons continued in the same business until 1929.

The land on which Wyer's_mill stood passed to Mary Ann Pickling, wife of William, when she inherited land from John Alderton, her father, in 1858. By then the old mill had probably disappeared, wooden post mills were somewhat less durable than brick ones and rarely lasted 200 years. Both post mills and smock mills were transportable and could be dismantled and re-erected. Bristow's_Tower_Mill, the only windmill that remains in Saham - and in nothing like its original condition - was built in 1828, as is shown by a date stone that reads: J. & S.B. 1828.
John Bristow retired in 1845 and went to live in Chequers Lane and the mill was taken over by his son who worked it until 1880, and then his son, Robert, was in charge from 1882 until about 1904 after which he advertised himself only as a baker. In 1948 the tower was converted into living accommodation for Mrs. K. M. Tice, and as such it is the only visible remains of what was once an important and flourishing activity in Saham Toney. At the time the maximum number of windmills were operating in Saham the parish was probably milling flour for much of the surrounding district. Watton only seems to have had one mill, near the junction of H igh Street with the Swaffham road, behind West house.

Windmill at the Hills, Saham Toney - Extracted from the Shadows on the Summer Grass - Robin Brown.

In 1977, Harry Apling reported that a near neighbour in Saham Toney had a painting of Mace's Mill showing the gable end and porch.

MACE Robert
House & land
Rateable value
Mill Gross
Rateable value
Rateable value

3a. 2r. 20p.
£8. 10. 0
2a. 3r. 35p.
£6. 10. 0
Rate Valuation 1891 from - Notebook of E. R. George

Saham Toney & Saham Hills millers' family tree
Saham Toney & Saham Hills millers' family tree

O. S. Map 1882
O. S. Map 1882
Courtesy of NLS map images
Wiliam Ashley Robert Whalebelly Robert Mace Robert Mace jnr John Bristow snr John Bristow jnr Robert Bristow
O.S. Map 2009
O.S. Map 2009
Image reproduced under licence from Ordnance Survey

White's 1883: William Mace, carpenter & builder
White's 1883: Thomas Mace, plumber, glazier and stonemason
White's 1883: William Mace, tailor

White's 1890: Thomas Mace, plumber, glazier and stonemason

Kelly's 1892: Henry Thomas Mace, plumber, painter & c.
Kelly's 1892: William Mace, carpenter

Kelly's 1896: Henry Thomas Mace, plumber, painter & c.
Kelly's 1896: William Mace, carpenter, wheelwright & beer retailer

Kelly's 1900: Henry Thomas Mace, plumber, painter & c.
Kelly's 1900: William Mace, carpenter, wheelwright & beer retailer

Kelly's 1904: Henry Thomas Mace, plumber, painter & c.

Kelly's 1908: Henry Thomas Mace, plumber, painter & c.

Kelly's 1912: Henry Thomas Mace, plumber, painter & c.

Kelly's 1937: Sidney Mace, corn chandler, Saham Hills

c.1862: Mill built

1875: Robert Whalebelly, miller

Kelly's 1879: Robert Whalebelly, miller & farmer

White's 1883: Robert Whalebelly, miller & farmer

O.S. map 1884: Windmill

1888: Robert Mace, miller

O.S. map 1889: Windmill (Corn)

White's 1890: Robert Mace, corn miller

1891: Robert Mace, miller

Kelly's 1892: Robert Mace, miller (wind)

Kelly's 1896: Robert Mace, miller (wind & steam) & c. baker

Kelly's 1900: Robert Mace, miller (wind & steam) & baker

Kelly's 1904: Robert Mace, miller (wind & steam)

Kelly's 1908: Robert Mace, miller (wind & steam)

Kelly's 1912: Robert Mace, miller

Kelly's 1916: Robert Mace, miller

c.1920: Mill demolished

Kelly's 1922: Mace Brothers, millers (Robert jnr. & Sidney)

Kelly's 1925: Mace Brothers, millers

Kelly's 1929: Mace Brothers, millers, Saham Hills

Kelly's 1937: Robert Mace, miller, Saham Hills

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 TF90140312
Top of Page

Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2010