St Margaret


Drainage Mills (Windpumps)
Steam Mills


Tivetshall St. Margaret tower windmill was a four storey mill that stood just to the north of the parish boundary and although being much closer to Tivetshall St. Mary was actually in the adjacent parish. The mill had a Norfolk boat shaped cap with a gallery, a scalloped petticoat and a 6 bladed fan. The 4 double shuttered patent sails drove three pairs of stones. Two pairs were overdriven and right handed and the third pair on a hurst frame were underdriven and left handed. The upright shaft was a graft shaft made of wood and iron.


Local farmer Fred Gibson took over the postmill in Mill Road, Tivetshall St Mary (later renamed Tinker's Lane) in 1845 and by 1851 he had moved his business to the newly built towermill around a mile away at Mill Road, Tivetshall St Margaret and it is probable that he was responsible for building the towermill. Fred Gibson's son Arthur eventually took over from his father for a short time.

On 28th July 1973, Jack Self of Tivetshall wrote to Philip Unwin describing some of the mill machinery.
The brake wheel was wooden with iron segment cogs.
The wallower and spur wheel were made of iron.
The stone nuts were wooden.
The upright shaft was a graft shaft made of wood and iron and was in two sections with a dog clutch.
Two pairs of overdriven, right handed stones were on the first floor.
A third pair of left handed stones were set on a hurst frame on the ground floor and were underdriven by direct wind power via a lay shaft.

Members of the Self family c.1920

Situations Vacant
WANTED, an APPRENTICE to the MILLING. A respectable person would be treated as one of the family.
Premium required. No Sunday business.
Apply to F. Gibson, Mill, Tivetshall.

Norfolk News - 14th October 1871

Situations Vacant
Wanted, a Young Man to Work a Windmill, to live in the house.
Good references required.
Apply Geo. & J. Self, Tivetshall.

Norfolk News - 7th August 1875

Sketch by J.P. Chaplin c.1920
Sketch by J.P. Chaplin c.1920

Tivetshall St. Mary ... a towermill, was working with a pleasant creaking of timbers ...
In Search of English Windmills - Hopkins & Freese, 1931


Mill working c.1926 Mill working c.1926
Mill working c.1926



It would appear that by 1933, wind power was no longer being used and all milling was carried out using an oil engine. The mill was demolished during the second world war to provide hardcore for nearby Tibenham Airfield.

Mill working via oil engine - 10th May 1937
Mill working via oil engine - 10th May 1937

I believe at sometime there had also been a bakery run from Mill House, when I moved in in 1968 there were still the big brick ovens situated in one of the outbuildings. I was also told there was a coal yard run from the property while it was a mill but I am not sure if this is factual.
Kay Martin - 16th November 2007

Newspaper cutting - February 1929
Newspaper cutting - February 1929

I have just come across your Norfolk Windmills website whilst googling Mill House, Tivetshall St. Margaret.  This was listed as the resisdence of an ancestor on his will.   Stanley Roe's wife was my great grandfathers sister, he was William Percy Westrup mentioned in the Will.  It is fascinating to read that the Roe family ran the Mill and later Jane also.   All I know about Stanley Roe was the fact he commited suicide in 1929 by drowning in his mother & father in laws pond at Bush Farm, Denham, Suffolk 1929.  Why I don't know.  Just wondering if the Mill business was suffering at that time? Was the mill sold to the Roe family by the Self family or more passed down somehow?
Joanne Cousins - 12th July 2011

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

Kelly's 1892: Christopher Self, farmer, Mardel farm, Tivetshall St. Mary

c.1851: Mill built using machinery from Tivetshall St. Mary postmill on Mill Hill

1851: Frederick Gibson, miller

White's 1854: Frederick Gibson, corn miller

White's 1864:
Frederick Gibson, corn miller and farmer

1871: Frederick Gibson, miller

1875: George & J. Self, miller

1878: George Self, miller

Kelly's 1879: George Self, miller & farmer - Tivetshall St. Margaret
Kelly's 1879: George Self, miller & farmer - Tivetshall St. Mary

c.1880: Arthur Gibson

18th October 1883: Frederick Gibson died aged 68

White's 1883:
George Self, corn miller and farmer

O.S. map 1888: Windmill (Corn)

Kelly's 1892: George Self, miller (wind) & farmer

Kelly's 1896: George Self, miller (wind & steam) & farmer

Kelly's 1900: George Self, miller (wind & steam) & farmer

Kelly's 1904: George Self, miller (wind & steam) & farmer

Kelly's 1908: George Self, miller (wind & steam) & farmer

Kelly's 1912: George Self, miller (wind & steam) & farmer

Kelly's 1916: Roe & Son, millers (wind & oil) & landowners

Kelly's 1922: Roe & Son, millers (wind & oil) & landowners

Kelly's 1925: Roe & Son, millers (wind & oil) & landowners

Kelly's 1929: Roe & Son, millers (wind & oil)

25th February 1929: Stanley Roe, miller, died - suicide by drowning in pond

Kelly's 1933: Mrs. J. M. D. Roe, miller (oil) TN 8

Kelly's 1937: Mrs. J. M. D. Roe, miller (oil) TN 208

Karl Wood painting 1937: Mill with tower, gallery, petticoat and fanstage but no sails or fan

c.1942: Mill demolished and brickwork used as hardcore within the construction of Tibenham Airfield

1968: Kay Martin, Mill House

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 TM16538627
Top of Page

Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2004