Salthouse towermill


Drainage Mills (Windpumps)
Steam Mills


Salthouse towermill stood on the marsh beside the lane known as Mill Drift. Although 4 storeys high, the mill was not particularly large.

It is not known when the mill was built but it is not shown on Bryant's map of 1826, although it does appear as a corn mill on the O.S. map of 1886.


The 4 storey mill had a horizontally boarded domed cap with a ball finial. The cap held a 6 bladed fan and a chain pole. Power to 2 pairs of stones was supplied by two double shuttered sails, each with 6 bays on the inner side and 2 single shuttered sails each with 5 bays on the outside, all without vanes.


1843  Feb 7th.  John Dewing Jarvis, a miller, single man, son of Edward Jarvis, miller, marr. Sarah Ann Perfrement spinster d. of Samuel Perfrement labourer.  in Salthouse.

The 1851 census records show that 7 individuals of varying ages were lodging with the Jarvis family. The menfolk were working on the new clay bank that was to form part of the sea defences. The new bank was first breached by the sea in 1863.

The Salthouse marriage register of 21st February 1894, shows William Parsons snr miller, as father of the groom William Parsons jnr (55). William Parsons snr was probably either a retired employee at the towermill or a former miller at Salthouse_smockmill, as he was probably in his seventies by the time of his farmer son's second marriage.

Hand coloured postcard c.1912
Hand coloured postcard c.1912

During the night of the Great Rage of 28th November 1897, the miller, David Jarvis, stayed the night on the top floor of the mill, partly for shelter and partly to keep away from the vast number of rats that had joined him in the mill, also to escape the storm. The mill was flooded to a depth of at least 8 feet and was said that it was never worked again. The gale stopped other mills in the area including Stiffkey and the mill at Wells Northend was damaged. The Jarvis family had been millers in the village for several generations.

c.1911 c.1912

Towermill ruin c.1915
Towermill ruin c.1915

The Salthouse marriage register of 30th October 1901, shows William Braunton miller, as father of the bride Sarah Ann Braunton. William Braunton was probably an employee at the towermill.

The mill had presumably ceased to operate some time before the first World War as it was destroyed by the army using artillery c.1915 on the grounds that enemy aircraft could use it as a landmark. Bricks were later salvaged from the ruins and used to build a house called Ducklands in nearby Grout Lane.

Ordnance Survey Map 2005
Ordnance Survey Map 2005
Image reproduced under licence from Ordnance Survey

O. S. Map 1886
O. S. Map 1886
Courtesy of NLS map images

My Great, Great, Grandfather is the George Ayton listed in the 1851 census as lodging at Salthouse mill.
He was employed as a banker/labourer working on the new clay bank to form part of the sea defences when reclaiming the marshland - this work was started in 1851.
Mike Hancock - 29th January 2010

Kelly's 1896: Georgina Jarvis (Miss) shopkeeper

Kelly's 1904: David Jarvis, coal dealer, deputy parish clerk & assistant overseer
Kelly's 1904: Georgina Jarvis (Miss) shopkeeper

Census 1841: Henry J. Stoney (25) miller
Hannah Stoney (20)
Hannah Harris Stoney (2½)

White's 1845: John Jarvis, miller

Census 30th March 1851:

John Dewing Jarvis (36) b.Salthouse, master miller
Sara Ann Jarvis (36) b.Salthouse, dressmaker
Robert John Jarvis (7) b.Salthouse, scholar
Susanna Jarvis (6) b.Salthouse, scholar
Alice Phebe Jarvis (5) b.Salthouse, scholar
Edward Jarvis (3) b.Salthouse, scholar
George Ayton (26) b.Wymondham, banker & labourer (lodger)
Caroline Ayton (26) b.East Walton (lodger)
Maria Ayton (3) b.East Walton (lodger)
William Ayton (2) b.Stilton, Huntingdonshire (lodger)
Robert Ayton (1 mth) b.Lynn (lodger)
Joseph Iknow (46) b.Oulton, banker & labourer (lodger5)
John Bailey (24) b.Hickney, Lincolnshire, banker & labourer (lodger)

White's 1854: John Jarvis, corn miller

Census 7th April 1861: John D. Jarvis (46) b.Aylsham, master miller
Sarah A. Jarvis (47) b.Salthouse
Susanna Jarvis (16) b.Salhouse, straw bonnet maker
Alice I. Jarvis (14) b.Salthouse
Edward Jarvis (12) b.Salthouse
David Jarvis (9) b.Salthouse, scholar
John D. Jarvis (6) b.Salthouse, scholar
Georgianna Jarvis (2) b.Salthouse

White's 1864: John Jarvis, corn miller

Census 2nd April 1871: John D. Jarvis (56) b.Aylsham, miller
Sarah A. Jarvis (56) b.Salthouse
John Jarvis (16) b.Salthouse, scholar
Georgianna Jarvis (13) b.Salthouse

Kelly's 1879: John Jarvis, miller

Census 3rd April 1881: John Jarvis (66) b.Aylsham, miller
Georgiana Jarvis (24) b.Salthouse

White's 1883: John Dewing Jarvis, miller

O.S. map 1886: Mill

1888: John Jarvis, miller

White's 1890: Paul James, corn miller

Census 1891: John D. Jarvis (76) b.Aylsham, widower, retired miller;
Georgiana Jarvis (33) b.Salthouse, daur. unmrd., grocer. Both living in Cley Road

Census 1891: James Paul (31) b.Little Snoring, miller
Alice E. Paul (30) b.Stiffkey
Bertie Paul (8) b. Middleton
Ernie J. Paul (7) b. Cley
Agatha A. Paul (2) b.Salthouse
Gertrude S. Paul (10 mnths) b.Salthouse
All living in Cley Road

Kelly's 1892: David Jarvis, miller (wind)

Kelly's 1896: David Jarvis, miller (wind)

1897: David Jarvis

28th November 1897: Mill flooded to at least 8 feet in the Great Rage and possibly never worked again

Kelly's 1900: David Jarvis, miller (wind) & assistant overseer

Census 31st March 1901:

David Jarvis (49) b.Salthouse, miller & farmer
Emma Jarvis (54) b.Theale, Berkshire
Arthur Jarvis (21) b.Stanwell, Middlesex, miller & farmer
Percival Jarvis (19) b.Stanwell, Middlesex, carpenter's apprentice

1914: Mill destroyed by artillery fire from armoured cars due to possibly being a landmark for Germans

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 TG07704397
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Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2004