Drainage Mills (Windpumps)
Steam Mills

Thornham postmill stood to the southwest of the village, just to the north of Beacon Hill, which was the site of another postmill.

Neil Holmes of London wrote to Harry Apling on 16th September 1981, giving various details about the mill.
He had a copy of the 1797 Inclosure Award to John Evett (1739-1813)
On John's death, the mill passed to John's son, Thomas Evett.
The Cranes and the Evetts were related by marriage as John Crane snr, father of John Crane jnr (1792-1865) married Ann Evett (1763-1798) daughter of John Evett.
Robert Brooke acquired the mill c.1840 and retired c.1875.
His foreman William Lake, worked the mill for few years.
The millstone in Thornham churchyard came from this mill, having been found at Brooke's farm.

Neil Holmes of Thornham wrote to Harry Apling on 5th December 1981 to say that he believed that the stone under the model of the composite mill in the church came from Brooke's mill and had actually been found on his farm on the main road, where it was found by neighbour Arthur Richmond, who pieced it together. He believed it had not come from the composite mill as thought locally.
Brooke's mill was not rated after 1853, although he is given as miller in 1854 and 1856.

Interment at Docking of William Lake, died 10 February. Born 1828. Apprenticed to a miller at Sedgeford. Soon afterwards entered service of Robert Brooks of Thornham, miller, baker and seed merchant.
Dereham & Fakenham Times - 19th February 1910

The 'Valuation of Property for Assessment to the Relief of the Poor of the Parish of Thornham' of 1853 and its associated map shows that, at that time, John Crane was the owner/occupier of property no. 17, a "Corn_Mill" on Staithe Road. Meanwhile, Robert Brooke was the occupier (actually owned by one John Haight) of a "Mill & Mill Pightle" on Beacon Hill.
David Brooks - 12th December 2016

Kelly's 1879: Robert Brooke

White's 1883: Mr. Robert Brooke
White's 1883: Edward Crane, carpenter & wheelwright
White's 1883: Joseph Crane, victualler, King's Head & farmer

Robert Mitchell's Navigation Chart - Spurn Head to Wells 1749: One mill at Thornham

Faden's map 1797: Windmill

Inclosure Award 1797: John Evett, miller

1713: John Evett died

1713: Thomas Evett, miller (son)

O.S. Map: 1824: Windmill

Bryant's map 1826: Windmill

Cary's map 1832: Windmill

Greenwood's map 1832: Windmill

1839: John Willden, miller & baker

1840: John Willden, miller & baker

c.1840: Robert Brooke took over mill

White's 1845: Robert Brooks, corn miller

Poor Rate 1853: Owner: John Haight; Occupier; Robert Brooke

White's 1854: Robert Brooke, corn miller

White's 1864: Robert Brooks, baker

Admiralty Chart 1871: Windmill

c.1875: William Lake, journeyman miller to Robert Brooke

c.1875: Robert Brooke retired

Crutchley's Reduced Ordnance map 1877: Windmill

c.1885: Mill dismantled

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

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Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2011