Mill Lane


Drainage Mills (Windpumps)
Steam Mills


Shropham smockmill in Mill Lane, came from East_Harling, having been dismantled and moved from there in 1835. The above picture of the mill taken at harvest time could easily be older than the guesstimate date shown.

Shropham smockmill was a 4 storey, 6 sided mill set on a low, stepped brick base. It was powered by four double shuttered sails, the inner having 5 bays of 3 shutters and 2 bays of 2 shutters.The Norfolk boat shaped cap had a petticoat and held a 6 bladed fan.

Tithe Award 1841
Map copied by James Drane, Surveyor, Norwich, 1839
Owner: Henry D'Esterre Hemsworth
Occupier: Amyss Roberts & others

No. 52
(Open Field)
  6a. 2r. 0p.  

N.B. Site of mill recorded but no mill shown or mentioned

Thomas Sayer married Mary Spink on 15th November 1819 at Shropham and by 1858 he had moved to Bridgham postmill.

My father was a wind miller, so was my grandfather, also my great grandfather. All lived and died in the parish of Shropham. In 1887 I left my father at Shropham and started on my own, hiring the Poringland High Mill, which was a landmark for miles around ...
Letter from O. J. Sayer, Hopton Mills, Diss to Eastern Daily Press - 14th December 1926

Gravestone inscriptions in Shropham churchyard

In affectionate remembrance of
the beloved wife of John SAYER
who died February 5th 1904 aged 66 years
Safe in the arms of Jesus

In affectionate remembrance of John SAYER
miller of this parish
who died 10th February 1911 in the 84th year of his age
In thee O Lord have I put my trust

The Sayer family also ran Shropham Mill Farm smockmill and Shropham postmill.

White's 1864: John Sayer, farmer

By 1912 the mill had ceased production by windpower and milling was being powered by an oil engine

Kelly's 1916: Sarah Allen (Mrs.), grocer, Post Office

Kelly's 1922: Robert Allen, grocer
Kelly's 1922: Sarah Allen (Mrs.), grocer, Post Office
Kelly's 1922: Robert Beales, boot maker

Kelly's 1925: Robert Allen, grocer, Post Office
Kelly's 1925: Robert Beales, boot maker

Kelly's 1925: Luther beales, farmer

Kelly's 1937: Robert Allen & Son, grocers & post office. Great Hockham 200
Kelly's 1937: Luther Beales, farmer
Kelly's 1937: Robert Beales, boot maker

1835: Mill moved to Shropham from East Harling

Census 1851:

Thomas Sayer (55) b.Shropham, miller
Mary Sayer (53) b.Aylsham
John Sayer (24) b.Snetterton, miller
Emily Sayer (12) b.East Harling
Address: Mill Common, Wayland

White's 1854: Thomas Sayer, corn miller

White's 1864: Thomas Sayer, corn miller

Kelly's 1879: Thomas Sayer, miller

White's 1883: John Sayer jnr. corn miller

O. S. map 1884: Windmill

Kelly's 1892: John Sayer jnr. corn miller (wind & steam)

Kelly's 1896: John Sayer jnr. corn miller (wind & steam)

Kelly's 1900: John Sayer jnr. corn miller (wind & steam)

Kelly's 1904: John Sayer jnr. corn miller (wind & steam)

Kelly's 1908: Sayer & Son, millers (wind & steam) (John jnr. & son John)

10th February 1911: John Sayer snr. died aged 84

Kelly's 1912: Sayer & Son, millers (oil engine) & corn, flour & offal merchants

1913: Mill dismantled

O. S. map 1914: Windmill

Kelly's 1916: Robert Allen, grocer & miller (oil engine)

Kelly's 1922: Luther George Beales, miller (oil engine)

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 TL99279235
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Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2006