Stratton St Mary smockmill


Drainage Mills (Windpumps)
Steam Mills


Stratton St Mary smockmill, often known as Rayner's mill was built to the west of the Norwich Road at the top of the hill in Long Stratton. In 1836 Stratton St. Mary was also listed as Long Stratton and after 1850, the Mill was often listed as St. Mary Mill in Stratton St Michael.

The smockmill was a five storey, ten sided mill that had a Norfolk boat shaped cap with a gallery and an 8 bladed fan. The mill was built with common sails that were updated to patent sails with 9 bays of shutters in 1828. The sails powered 2 pairs of French burr stones (uprated to three pairs by 1898), a flour mill and jumper, with a cylinder being added in 1828.

Eligible Investments
Windmill and Houses at Long Stratton etc.
To be Sold by Auction by Mr. Seppings at the Swan Inn, Long Stratton, Norfolk on Tuesday 15 July 1828 at 4 o'c
Under the directions of the Will of the late WM. WALPOLE, Gentleman. The following Valuable PROPERTY situate in Stratton aforesaid.
Lot 1.
A Capital SMOCK WINDMILL, five floors high, situate in Stratton St. Michael, with spring sails, two pair of French stones, flour mill, cylinder and all necessary machinery in excellent repair. Also a stable, granary, cart shed, and other outbuildings nearly new near the Mill.
The Land upon which the Mill and Buildings stand contains 0a. 1r. 12p., is Freehold and abuts upon the turnpike road leading from Stratton to Norwich.
Possession of this lot may be had immediately.
Apply to Mr. James Aldred and Mr. John Fryer, jun. of Long Stratton, Messrs. Brooke & Calver, Solrs. Kenninghall & Long Stratton or to the Auctioneer, Swaffham.
Norfolk Chronicle - 28th June, 5th & 12th July 1828

Notice to Creditors of
James Aldred the Younger of Stratton St. Mary, Miller to receive dividend
Mitchell & Clarke, Solrs. Wymondham.
Norfolk Chronicle - 13th August 1836

Tithe map 1838
Tithe map 1838 - as redrawn by Harry Apling

Tithe Award 1839
Map A. T. Clarke, Surveyor, Norwich. 1838
Owner: John Cann
Occupier: Benjamin Gibson

No. 86

Mill, yard etc.


0a. 1r. 8p.


Norfolk News - 10th October 1857
Norfolk News - 10th October 1857

To be Sold by Auction by William Glasspole on Tuesday October 13, 1846 at the Angel Inn, Long Stratton at 6 o'c
A Capital TOWER WIND MILL with about 40 Rods of land near the Street in Long Stratton aforesaid with five floors, two pairs of capital French stones, flour mill and jumper, patent sails, winds herself and now in the occupation of Mr. John Brown,
Apply to the Auctioneer or to Mr. J. S. Cann, Solr. Wymondham.
Norfolk Chronicle & Norwich Gazette - 3rd & 10th October 1846


The above lovely photograph of The Street in Long Stratton looking towards Norwich, clearly shows one of the mill sails above the house to the left of centre.

To Millers & Bakers
WANTED, a Single Young Man to work a Windmill who thoroughly understands the Business.
Also a Single Man who has been accustomed to the Baking, as an Improver. Good references.
Apply personally to Mr. T. Raynor, Miller, Long Stratton.
Norfolk News - 7th September 1861

Situations Vacant
WANTED, a steady active YOUTH as an APPRENTICE to a MILLER.
Apply to Mr. Rainger, Long Stratton.
Norfolk News - 11th October 1862

FOR SALE, a capital 4 feet 6 in. FRENCH RUNNER MILLSTONE.
Apply to T. Raynor, Miller, Long Stratton.
Norfolk News - 10th August 1867

Situations Vacant
Wanted, a steady active Young Man as IMPROVER to the above Business; will be treated as one of the family.
Apply personally to Mr. Thomas Rayner, Miller, Long Stratton.
Norfolk News - 30th December 1871

District Intelligence
ON FRIDAY the 24th ultimo a most severe tempest past over this town at about noon. The electric fluid struck two trees on the Stratton Hall estate; and whilst Mr. Rayner, miller, was in the act of securing the mill, a most severe flash of lightning struck it, proceeded through the windshaft, down the power-chain and struck Mr. Rayner on the head. This is the second time Mr. Rayner has been struck within a few years. He has quite recovered.
Norfolk News - 1st August 1874

Situations Vacant
MILLERS. Wanted a strong active YOUTH (about 16) as INDOOR APPRENTICE for the above Trade.
Apply to Mr. T. Rayner, Long Stratton, Norfolk.
Norfolk News - 30th October 1875

Thos. Wm. Gaze will Sell by Auction by direction of the Mortgagees at the Safety Valve Inn, Forncett on Tuesday June 5, 1898 at 4 o'c in the Afternoon, the Desirable FREEHOLD TRADE PREMISES in One Lot comprising a Dwelling house, capital Bake office with baker's oven of 25 sts. capacity

with brick roundhouse, driving three pairs of French burr stones, Flour Mill etc., convenient Outbuildings, Yard, Garden and Orchard, now and for several years past in the occupation of Mr. John Howlett Pidgeon.
Possession on 6 July next.
Particulars of the Auctioneer, Frenze Hall and Crown Street, Diss, and of J. Wilson Gilbert & Co, Upper King Street, Norwich,
Vendors' Solicitor
Norfolk Chronicle - 14th, 21st, 28th May & 4th June 1898

Excerpt from The Long Stratton poem written in the 1950s
(see local website on Links page for all 52 verses)

Verse 13
In days gone by up Stratton hill,
Once stood the famous Rayners mill,
The wind got weak so go the tales,
That’s why the miller took off the sails.

Verse 34
On the Wood Green road stood Leeders Mill,
If it isn’t gone, it stands there still.
When Rayners mill sail ceased to turn,
Leeder said "thank God now I can earn".

... from doing genealogy research I discovered an ancestor who was a miller.  His name was William WALPOLE (1759-1828), parents William WALPOLE & Mary STURMAN, spouse Rebecca PERFITT.  I believe he was a miller in Long Stratton, Norfolk.
Shaun M. O'Hara - 2nd September 2009

I have been researching my family history, and it seems that my great great grandfather, Henry Aldis, was a miller.
According to the 1861 Census, Henry Aldis, then aged 17, was living in Stratton St Mary with his parents and siblings, and he was listed as a 'miller'. He was born in Stratton St Mary (but according to all subsequent census forms, Long Stratton).
Henry married, and moved around with his family, presumably to work in the different mills, as he was a 'miller' according to census information for 1871, 1881, and 1891. In 1901, he was listed as a 'baker/bread maker'. He died later in 1901.
According to census information, he lived at:
"by Common", Mulbarton in1871
Mill House, Fritton Road, Hempnall in 1881
Mill Road, East Harling in 1891
White Hart Street, East Harling in 1901
Sue Mawby - 30th June 2021

O. S. Map 1883
O. S. Map 1883
Courtesy of NLS map images

White's 1854: Edward Gilbert, millwright (Stratton St. Mary)

Kelly's 1879: Robert Gilbert, millwright, machinest & brass founder (Stratton St. Mary)

White's 1883: Robert Gilbert, millwright & brass founder (Stratton St. Mary)

Whites' 1890: Joe Pidgeon, gamekeeper, Crowgreen (Stratton St. Mary)
White's 1890: Mrs. W. Pidgeon, farmer (Stratton St. Mary)

Kelly's 1892: Robert Gilbert, millwright & brass founder (Stratton St. Mary)

Kelly's 1896: Robert Gilbert, millwright & brass founder (Stratton St. Mary)

Kelly's 1900: Robert Gilbert, millwright (Stratton St. Mary)

Kelly's 1904: Charles Hunt, baker (Stratton St. Michael)

c.1820: William Walpole, miller or employee

Bryant's map 1826: Windmill

June 1828: Mill advertised for sale by auction
due to the death of owner, William Walpole

Greenwood's map 1834: Windmill

White's 1836: James Al
dred, corn miller (Stratton St. Mary)

August 1836: Creditors of insolvent James Aldred, miller, to receive dividen

O.S. Map 1838: Windmill

Tithe Award 1839: Owner: John Cann; Occupier: Benjamin Gibson, mi

White's 1845: Thomas Ringer, miller & baker
(Stratton St. Mary)

1846: John Brown
, miller

1850: James Goodwen, miller (Stratton St. Mar

Index of Wills 1852: Ja
mes Goodwen, miller (Stratton St. Michael)

1853: Thomas Rayner, miller (Stratton St. Michael)

Kelly's 1854: Thomas Rayner, miller

White's 1854: Thomas Rayner, corn miller (Stratton St. Michael)

Kelly's 1857: Thomas Rayner, miller

3rd October 1857: ? Balls, employee, suffered crushed hand in mill

Census 1861:
Thomas Rayner (39) b.Bunwell, miller
Elizabeth Rayner (28) b.Forncett St. Mary
Walter W? C?  Rayner (5) b.Tharston
James Rayner (4)  b.Suffolk (parish illegible)
John Rayner (4 mths) b.Hardwick
Charlotte Har......  (18) b.Stratton St. Michael, house servant
John Roper (16) b.Stratton St. Michael, apprentice miller
Henry Aldis (17) b.Stratton St. Michael, apprentice miller
Robert Fordham (33) b.Bunwell, miller
Ann Fordham (39) b.South Lopham.

1862: Thomas Rayner, miller

White's 1864: Thomas Rayner, corn miller (Stratton St. M

1867: Thomas Rayner, miller

Friday 24th September 1874: Mill & Thomas Rayner, miller
, struck by lightning

1875: Thomas Rayner, miller

Kelly's 1879: Thomas Rayner, miller (Stratton St. Michael)

White's 1883: John Pidgeon, corn miller
(Stratton St. Michael)

O.S. Map 1884: Windmill

White's 1890: John Howlett Pidgeon, miller & baker (Stratton St. Michael)

Kelly's 1892: John Howlett Pi
dgeon, miller (wind) & baker

Kelly's 1896: John Howlett Pidgeon, miller (wind) & baker

1898: John Howlett Pidgeon, miller

May 1898: Mill advertised for sale by auction

Kelly's 1900: Charles Hunt, miller & baker (wind)

O.S. Map 1904
: Windmill (Corn)

1907: Mill demolished

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 TM19759300
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Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2005