Wayford Bridge


Drainage Mills (Windpumps)
Steam Mills


Smallburgh tower windmill at Wayford Bridge was built as a 4 storey drainage mill with a scoop wheel but it also had a single pair of stones for grinding corn. The mill was built in 1847 by the millwrights Englands of Ludham, whose name is on the flood door. The single doored red brick tower was 30 feet high with a ground floor diameter of 15 feet with 18ins thick walls. Four double shuttered patent sails, each with 5 bays of 3 shutters and 1 bay of 4 shutters, struck by rack & pinion via a chain pole that drove a 14ft. diameter, 9ins wide scoop wheel and a pair of underdriven 3ft. 6ins. French burr stones on the first floor. The Norfolk boat shaped cap had a petticoat at the sides and an extension to the horizonatally boarded front. The cap was turned to wind by an 8 bladed fan.

17th May 1977
17th May 1977

29th December 2007
29th December 2007

Henry Knights, Smallburgh, coal seller.

Norfolk Chronicle - 5th March 1881

29th December 2007
29th December 2007

... the mill that stood about a quarter of a mile above Wayford Bridge and a short way up Dilham Dyke on the left. It was a slender brick tower of 4 floors about 30 ft. high and probably built by Englands of Ludham whose name was on the flood door. It drove a 14 ft. diam. by 9 in. wide scoop wheel and a single pair of under drift French burr stones on the first floor through a great spur wheel and a nut which could be disengaged with a rigger while a slack belt sack hoist was driven from a bevel on the upright shaft.
Rex Wailes - Norfolk Windmills. Pt. II. Drainage Mills. Transactions of the Newcomen Society

Model of mill at Bridewell Museum, Norwich.
Eastern Daily Press - 22nd May 1974

On 23rd October 1975, Harry Apling visited the mill and recorded that the remains of a French burr stone were still outside the mill

Derelict red brick tower 16ft. o/dia. at base with 18in. thick walls. Empty except for 3 floors partly boarded (new wooden window frames) medium size, 4 storey. By dyke, half hidden by trees in bordser of wood. Across fields from road. Private.
Arthur C. Smith - 17th May 1977

Model now at Norfolk Rural Life Museum, Gressenhall.
Inaccurate in several details, e.g. Sails - striking chain attached to rear end of striking rod instead of endless chain over Y wheel with rack & pinion.

Harry Apling - 1980


WAYFORD BRIDGE, Near Stalham. Brick built WINDMILL (without sails or cap), with planning permission for conversion to dwelling, right of way to 20ft river mooring. £5000
Eastern Daily Press - 19th May 1978

On 16th March 1979, Mrs. Valerie Horsnell of Happisburgh Common, wrote to Harry Apling to say Mr. & Mrs. T. B. Horsnell had recently bought the property with a view of converting it to holiday accommodation.

Broads Authority planning committee approval for new cap, fanstage and sails subject to submission of detailed plans. (Summary)
Eastern Daily Press - 3rd March 1984

Tower Mill. Converted into house. Red brick slender tower of medium size with 4 storeys (windows at each) and flat roof. About 31ft. high and 16ft. overall dia. at base including 18in. thick walls. Date 1847 crudely engraved on exterior brick to right of front door. By dyke, partly hidden by trees at border of wood; down track across field from road. Private. Mill also used to grind corn (2 stones remain on site). On a visit in 1960, Harry Meyer recorded that the mill, although derelict with ivy up to the curb on one side, still retained its boat cap with gallery, fan cradle (no fan), 'Y' wheel and tailpole, 4 patent sails for double shutters (no shutters), and interior machinery including one pair of stones underdriven from iron great spur wheel (with wooden cogs), wooden upright shaft with iron bevel wheel drive to iron pit wheel, and scoop wheel outside. Carved on a beam was 'This mill started April 1st 1857'. Also known as "Wayford Mill". Converted 1978/79.
Arthur C. Smith - 25th June 1987

By 1936 someone had forced the bottom half door enough for a 12 year old to squeeeze through. On entering I saw the gear wheels, the govenor controlling the millstones, mill bills scattered all over the floor and the little fireplace in the north side of the tower. Going up the stairs with the handrope, the stones were still in the vat. The grain hopper was still in place. On the floor above was the sack hoist with the swinging jockey pulley which operated the hoist. On the top floor was a small ladder to reach the fan tail stage, but I did not think it safe to venture out.
The sail shutters were iron frames which had been covered with canvas
, long gone, but you could see the tattered remains sewn with large stitches and heavily painted with white lead paint.
One of the fan tail blades had fallen off and had made a hole in the water inlet culvert and was laid over the hole to stop anyone falling in.
The water door was still holding back the river water by about 2 or 3 feet, so there must have been another engine driven wheel keeping the water level down.
Hugh Dawson - 3rd July 2005

O. S. Map 1905
O. S. Map 1905
Courtesy of NLS map images

O.S. Map 2005
O.S. Map 2005
Image reproduced under licence from Ordnance Survey

White's 1864: Henry Knights, beer house, Wayford Bridge

White's 1883: Elijah Knights, farmer
White's 1883: Henry Knights, shopkeeper & beerseller

Kelly's 1892: Henry Knights, beer retailer & carter

1847: Mill built by Englands, millwrights of Ludham

1850: Eli Knights, miller

White's 1864: Henry Knights, corn miller

1863: Henry Knights, miller, coal merchant & beer retailer

1881: Henry Knights insolvent

1883: Press Bros., millers

O.S. map 1887: Draining Pump

1888: Press Bros., millers

White's 1890: Press Bros., millers, coal & corn merchants and maltsters; and North Walsham

O. S. Map 1905: Windpump

1950: Tower with ivy to the curb on one side with cap, fan cradle, Y wheel, tailpole and sails without shutters

May 1978: Mill advertised for sale for £5,000

1979: Mr. & Mrs. T. B. Horsnell own the property with a view of converting to holiday accommodation

1984: Broads Authority approved the installation of a new cap fanstage & sails

1997: Mill empty with beams on 4 floors, attached to new bungalow for holiday accommodation

2007: Mill tower attached to bungalow; some windows missing and others with sashes roughly inserted

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 TG 34412481
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Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2007