Salters Lode


Drainage Mills (Windpumps)
Steam Mills


Salters Lode smock mill was originally built as drainage mill by the Drainage Commissioners but was later converted to a corn mill, thus space within the mill was very restricted. The mill was situated quite close to the confluence of Well Creek and the Great Ouse. The mill had a boat shaped cap and used one pair of single shuttered patent sails and one pair of common sails to drive 3 pairs of stones. The four storey, eight sided mill had tarred vertical weatherboarding was set on a single storey octagonal brick base with sloping sides. The mill had no fantail and a tailpole with steps on each side was used to turn the mill into the wind The wooden rim of the brakewheel was held on with staples.

Converted marsh mill in Cambridgeshire tradition
Tarred vertical weatherboarding
Dead curb

Tail pole

Sails:- 1 pr.common, 1 pr. single shuttered spring
Brakewheel:- Crudest & smallest seen & has smallest number of cogs. 58 of 4½in. pitch & 2½in. face
Brake on separate wooden rim to brakewheel
Wallower:- Clasp arm trundle wheel. 7ft. 7ins. diameter with 62 teeth
Great spur wheel:- largest wooden one seen, 9ft, 2ins. diameter
Worked smutter & grindstone

Rex Wailes

... the Salter's Lode mill converted from drainage to corn grinding at some date unknown.
Norfolk Windmills. Part II. Drainage Mills - Rex Wailes

Painting by A. Challis c.1900
Watercolour by Charles A. Challis 1900


I am an Englishman, born and raised in Leighton Buzzard, where my mother and father moved just before the outbreak of WWII. My mother was Elvina King, and she was born in the Mill House at Salters Lode. Her father was Arthur King who I now take to be the person as that named on your website. He was my grandfather, whom I never knew because he was killed in France in 1918.
Jim Vincent - 22nd June 2007

Windshaft and brakewheel - c.1925
Windshaft and brakewheel - c.1925

1927 1927

15th April 1938
15th April 1938

My paternal grandmother was Ruby King d/o Arthur King of the Mill House, Salters Lode. Sadly I don't know her d o b. nor any details of her early life. She had an illegitimate son, Alfred, then at some future date, married my grandfather Wallace Theodore Trollope who i have always understood to have been a teacher. However, he was in the army and served in Iraq and the Middle East and then India. I think in some clerical capacity. Sadly he died in India just days before his final discharge so never saw my father also Wallace Theodore b. 24 06. 24.
Ruby seems to have inherited The Mill House and shared it (separate halves) with Alfred and his large family. My father spent the early part of his marriage living with her so I suppose I did too, being born a year after the marriage. My mother found that time a huge ordeal not least because the house had no electricity, running water (tap in the yard), bathroom or inside toilet!! my hazy memory also tells me the floor was beaten earth...Ruby's daily chores began with cleaning the oil lamps, maintaining the old range fire and heating water. I remember her ironing with 2 old black irons, heating one while she used the other.
I have a photo of the mill in 1950 and will try and send you a copy plus any other I may find. I remember playing in the mill when I was very small. I remember too that my friend Barry fell out of it and broke his arm! It was probably soon after that the mill was demolished. When Ruby died in the late fifties she left everything to my Dad but he felt that Alf should have the house etc and signed everthing over to him. We moved to Essex in 1964 and after a few christmas cards lost touch.
It would be very interesting to know anything else about the King family.It had never occurred to me that Ruby might have had siblings but I see mention of an Elvira; perhaps there were others. I have some very old photos of people I don't recognise with Ruby and my father and my sister remembers Dad telling her that he spent part of his childhood living with other people.

Dee Mason - 4th September 2010

July 1950
July 1950

Dee Mason being held by her father in front of the mill in July 1950

The mill lying derelict in 1967 The mill lying derelict in 1967
The mill lying derelict in 1967

The mill lying derelict in 1967

When I visited the village I noticed that there were two 'King' names on the war memorial. I wondered if they were Ruby's brothers and that was why she appeared to have inherited the mill etc. I also quizzed my 'aunt and uncle' who now live in Downham but who lived in the village for over 50 years (my uncle was born there, in sight of the mill ) but even his memory of it was very hazy, so no information there.   I did go up to Salters Lode a few weeks ago and I did go to the Mill House but it was very dilapidated and it and the land the mill stood on are for sale.
Dee Mason - 16th October 2010

I remember the King family. I was born in 1958 in Salters Lode, left in 1976.  I also remember the old mill when it was still standing - it was a very long time ago.
I travelled back to Salters Lode on 23rd June 2012 to visit my parents who still live there and remembered all of the old houses that I used to visit as a child - especially the Old School and also the King family house where we used to buy our eggs.
I do remember an Alf King although only vaguely (they all seemed to have nick names in those days), I also remember an Alan King - more my age although a little older. All of the youngsters at that time would meet in the evening and play football on my Grandfathers field at Chapel Farm.

Kevin Blyth - 26th June 2012

O. S. Map 1904
O. S. Map 1904
Courtesy of NLS map images

O.S. map 1824: Windmill

23rd October 1825: William Fuller, miller (possibly employee) & Mary Fuller had their daughter Jane christened

Bryant's map 1826: Windmill

c.1850: Mill converted from drainage to corn milling

Census 1851:

William King (35) b.Tittershall, master miller employing 1 man
R. A. King (29) b.Tottenhill
A. King (2) b.Downham
T. W. King (1) b.Downham
Address: Wisbech Road

1853: William King, miller

White's 1854: William King, corn miller

White's 1864: William King, corn miller, Salters Lode

Kelly's 1879: William King, miller, Salters Lode

White's 1883: William King, miller (wind) Salters Lode

Kelly's 1892: William King, miller (wind) Salters Lode

Kelly's 1896: Arthur King, miller (wind) Salters Lode

Kelly's 1900: Arthur King, miller (wind) Salters Lode

Kelly's 1904: Arthur King, miller (wind) Salters Lode

Kelly's 1912: Arthur King, miller (wind) Salters Lode

Kelly's 1916: Arthur King, miller (wind) Salters Lode

Kelly's 1922: Arthur King, miller (wind) Salters Lode

1924: Mill ceased working

Kelly's 1925: Arthur King, miller (wind) Salters Lode

1926: Mill derelict

c.1930: Sails removed

Karl Wood painting 1933: Mill derelict with cap & windshaft but no sails

1938: Mill derelict with cap & windshaft but no sails

1949: Mill derelict

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 TF58480150
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Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2004