Drainage Mills (Windpumps)
Steam Mills


Thompson postmill stood just to the southwest of the Chequers Inn in the middle of the village. The mill buck did not have a petticoat and was set on a 2 storey roundhouse. The four double shuttered patent sails each had 8 bays of 3 shutters and rotated clockwise. A fantail was set at the bottom of the ladder and the tailpole was cut short. Towards the end of its working life the mill was being used in conjunction with a steam engine.

STOLEN ar Strayed on the 17th September Inst. out of the Mill-yard of Mr. Foster of TOMPSON near Watton, Norfolk, a BLACK CART HORSE about 15 Hands high with white Spots about his Eyes and Nose and has two Spavins taken off. Whoever will bring him to Mr. Foster as above or to Robert Plummer of Diss, shall receive HALF A GUINEA for their Trouble and all reasonable Charges.
Norfolk Chronicle - 25th September 1784

Notice to Debtors and Creditors of
Thomas Forster late of Thompson, Miller, deceased

Norfolk Chronicle - 5th July 1806

Benjamin Burlingham of Thompson, Miller
Deed of Assignment
Norfolk Chronicle - 11th February 1815

Notice re
Benjamin Burlingham late of Thompson, Miller
Deed of Assignment
Norfolk Chronicle - 4th November 1815

To be Sold by Auction By WM. BUTCHER Sometime in the month of March 1821, of which due notice will be give
A very desirable Estate at Thompson in the county of Norfolk, within four miles of Watton.
Lot 1.
Farm house etc. (in the occupation of Edmund Jacob)
Lot 2.
A Post Windmill with an excellent Granary & Stable in the Mill yard and an inclosure of land adjoining, called the Mill Piece containing by survey 9a. 2r. 11p. in the occupation of the said Edmund Jacob.
Apply to Sewell & Blake, Solrs. Norwich at whose office a Map of the Estate may be seen.
Norfolk Chronicle - 24th February, 10th & 17th February 1821

To be Sold by Auction
By WM. BUTCHER On Monday 2 April 1821
At the George Inn, Watton at 2 o'c
Norfolk Chronicle - 24th February, 17th, 24th & 31st March 1821

Deeds of ... a post windmill sold by William Forster's executors to Wyrley Birch in 1822.
Walsingham (Merton) Records Ref. XLI/3 422x2

Deeds of ... a windmill at Thompson passed to Walsingham Estate..
Walsingham (Merton) Records Ref. XLI/5 422x3

To Journeymen Millers
WANTED IMMEDIATELY, a middle aged Man, either married of single, who understands the MILLING & BAKING TRADE. He can have constant work. Testimonials of good character or personally to J. Lincoln, Thompson, Watton.
Norfolk News - 26th October 1861

Situations Vacant
WANTED immediately, a steady Man of middle age, who thoroughly understands the BAKING & MILLING Trade.
Apply to Mr. Lincoln, Thompson near Watton.
Norfolk News - 9th January 1864

John Lincoln c.1885
John Lincoln at the age of 60 c.1885

In May 1987, J. Lister of Cambridge phoned and then wrote to Harry Apling to say that William Benjamin Baker, tenant miller in 1883, was his wife's grandfather. He went on to Hildersham Mill, Cambs., in 1895. He then moved to Milton Road towermill in Cambridge and was there 1900 - 1914.
George B. Baker was William's father and was the former mill at Playford, Suffolk, where William was born in 1844.

On 27th April 1988, George Brown Baker wrote to Harry Apling to say that William Benjamin Baker died at Chesterton Mill, Cambridge in 1912.

O.S. Map 1882
O.S. Map 1882
Courtesy of NLS map images

Kelly's 1896: John Watts, farmer

History of Thompson, George Crabbe, map 1725: Windmill on Mill Common

1784: Mr. Foster, miller

Faden's map 1797: Mill

Poll Book 1802: Thomas Foster, miller

1806: Thomas Forster, miller, died

Index of Wills 1815: William Forster, miller

1815: Benjamin Burlingham, miller, insolvent and left the mill

1821: Edmund Jacob, miller

February 1821: Mill advertised for sale by auction

1822: Mill sold by Executors of William Forster to Wyrley Birch

Bryant's map 1826: Mill

Greenwood's map 1834: Windmill

White's 1836: William Sutton, corn miller

O.S. map 1838: Windmill

White's 1845: Charles Lock, corn miller

1850: Thomas Lincoln, miller

1851: Thomas Lincoln died

1851: John Lincoln (brother to Thomas) took the mill over

1853: John Clarke, miller

White's 1854: John Clarke, corn miller

1858: John Clarke, miller

1861: John Lincoln, miller

1863: John Lincoln, miller

White's 1864: John Lincoln, baker, grocer & miller

1865: John Lincoln, miller

1868: John Lincoln, miller

1872: John Lincoln, miller

1875: John Lincoln left the mill to take over Rockland St Peter towermill

1878: George Brown Baker, miller & grocer

Kelly's 1879: William Baker, farmer & miller

White's 1883: William Benjamin Baker, farmer, miller, and corn merchant, Thompson mills

1888: William Benjamin Baker, miller

O.S. map 1882: Windmill (corn)

White's 1890: John Watts, corn miller & farmer, Thompson mill

Kelly's 1892: John Watts, farmer & miller (wind)

25th March 1895: Mill blown down in gale

O.S. map 1904: Windmill (Disused)

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 TL92059680
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Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2004