Drainage Mills (Windpumps)
Steam Mills

Starston post mill may have been an open trestle mill as no mention has been found of a roundhouse. The mill used one pair of patent sails and one pair of common sails to power 2 pairs of French burr stones and a flour mill.

Dickleburgh-born Diggings appears as a Journeyman Miller at Henstead in 1851 and at Starston by 1858, whilst 10 years later the death of Mr. Henry Diggins, 'formerly of Starston_Mill, and late of Shottisham' was reported. In a time when trades were often handed down from father to son it is reasonable to assume Henry was the son of John and that Elizabeth Diggers/Diggins was the step mother of Henry, choosing to remain on the Harleston Common after the closure of the Mill.
Kate Chenneour - 18th August 2017

A POST WINDMILL to Let, driving two Pair of French Stones and FLOUR MILL, with two Patent and two Common Sails.
Possession may be had at Michaelmas.
Inquire on the Premises.

Norfolk News - 4th August 1860

Messrs. Adams & Ball of Huntingfield moved a mill 'buck' from a site between Harleston and Starston, Norfolk, to St James South Elmham, Suffolk; Adams being an engineer and Ball a millwright. They seem to have been in business separately, but were doing some good work together at that period - about 1870 ...
A miller named Clarkson commissioned the work ...

Windmill & Millwrighting, Stanley Freese - 1957 - 1971

Internal view of the roundhouse roof at South Elmham 2001 Roundhouse at South Elmham that held the buck of Starston postmill 2001
Internal view of the roundhouse roof at South Elmham c.1975
Roundhouse at South Elmham that held the buck of
Starston postmill 2001

Starston's mill was indeed moved to St James South Elmham and I think it continued to function as a mill until the 1920s when the mill machinery was dismantled.  The round house remains in a private garden at St James (a very substantial shed!).  I  have a picture of the late Roy Riches, who did a lot of local history round Starston and Harleston, standing beside it in the ?1970s. 
Rosemary Steer - 27th September 2011

William Robertson of Stratton_St Michael_postmill, was the eldest son of William Robertson and Elizabeth Scarffe of Hethersett.
William jnr's brother George took over the running of Hethersett Gt Melton Road postmill in 1829.
Robert Robertson took over at Market Hill mill in Yarmouth before moving to Sprowston.
Abraham Robertson took over the lease of Deopham smockmill on 18th September 1826.
Elizabeth Robertson married John Hastings who was running Starston postmill in 1854.
Susan Robertson married George Willis, a miller & baker from Mendelsham, Suffolk .
John, Simon, David and Samuel Robertson do not appear to have become millers.

John Robertson's son George Wilby Robertson worked in one of the Upper Hellesdon and one of the Gayton windmills. Robert's Robertson's oldest daughter, Elizabeth, married a Harrison of Sprowston postmill.
Elizabeth's sons worked Oulton Broad, Gisleham, Wangford and Sprowston mills. Her oldest son Robert William helped at Sprowston_postmill after his father was crushed to death and he later bought a mill at Oulton Broad. Her next son, George, continued the family line at Sprowston and her youngest son, William Alfred, was an apprentice at a Wymondham mill and a journeyman at Great Bentley, Essex and he later owned St Margaret's Church Mill in Lowestoft.
Abraham's son Wiliam Proctor Robertson worked a mill in Eaton.


White's 1836: Joseph Chittock, corn miller

O.S. map 1837: Windmill

1850: James Tidnam, miller

White's 1854: John Hastings, corn miller

1858: Henry Diggens, miller

August 1860: Mill advertised to be let

1863: Charles Reynolds, miller

White's 1864: Charles Reynolds, corn miller

1868: Charles Reynolds, miller

1868: Henry Diggens died

1878: Charles Denny, miller

c.1879: Mill possibly moved to St James South Elmham, Suffolk

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 TM22768341
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Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2011