Upper Sheringham postmill


Drainage Mills (Windpumps)
Steam Mills


The final structure of Upper Sheringham postmill was built in 1818 replacing an earlier_mill, first built in 1575 and probably rebuilt on more than one occasion during its working life. Steam power was apparently added in 1912 before the mill ceased working in the 1920s. Early maps show the mill as Sheringham Mill.

The mill house to the right of the mill still stood in 2009 but the mill had long gone. The mill stood beside the present A148 close to the junction with Holway Road that leads down to Sheringham and occupied the second highest site of any windmill in Norfolk. It was only a few feet lower than Briningham Smockmill.

Tablet on Mill house: S.E.C. 1818

The mill had a two storey roundhouse built of flint. The mill was powered by two pairs of patent sails - one pair of sails were double shuttered with 6 bays of 3 shutters and the other pair were single shuttered with leading boards. The 6 bays of 3 shutters and the innermost bay of 2 shuttrs were coloured.
A six bladed fan was set on a tail pole and a gallery was set on the eaves of the body.

Indenture of sale 1866

Tenement, windmill and lands in Sheringham and East Beckham leased by Ashe Windham to William Tower for 21 yrs in 1710; with articles of agreement, 1709, and schedule of mill gear.
1 paper, 1 parchment held in Norfolk Record Office - 1710

In 1883 William Critoph was working Yaxham_towermill and Mattishall_Mill_Road_towermill and he was a descendent of Robert Critoph of Gresham who in turn was probably related to the Critoph milling family of Sheringham and Upper Sheringham.

Henry Bright's painting c.1850 Henry Bright's painting c.1850
Henry Bright's painting c.1850

Henry Bright (1810-1873) of the Norwich School, used this postmill as the subject for his oil painting Windmill at Sheringham, which is in the Norwich Castle Museum collection. Bright's view contained a considerable amount of artistic licence as the mill was never on the spot that Bright suggested it was and he painted it so close to the house that it would have been impossible to turn the mill to wind through 360 deg. The mill is shown with patent sails.

Mill working c.1904
Mill working c.1904

Mill working 1907
Mill working 1907




The Critoph milling family of Sheringham and Upper Sheringham were probably related to Robert Critoph of Gresham who in turn was probably related to William Critoph, who built Yaxham_towermill. Robert Critoph of Upper Sheringham mill married Bell Olley at Barney on 13th November 1832.

Critoph Millers of Norfolk
Mills include:- Gresham watermill, windmill, Gt Dunham, Mattishall, Sheringham, Swanton Morley, Upper Sheringham, Yaxham postmill, smockmill, towermill



Elizabeth Ann Breeze listed in the 1871 census (below) was the daughter of Robert Cooper Breeze and his wife Elizabeth née Critoph who were married on 19th November 1851 at Upper Sheringham. Elizabeth Ann was born on 17th April 1853 and her mother was the Elizabeth Critoph, listed as niece in the 1851 Census.

Mathew Arthur Slipper, listed as journeyman miller in the 1841 census, was known to be the illegitimate son of Charlott (née Slipper) Tipple and the 4th Earl of Orford (1813-1894). He was born 18 June 1839 at Itteringham and was apprenticed as a miller at Itteringham_Mill before moving to work at Upper Sheringham.  Later still he  became the publican of the Lobster Inn at Sheringham. In 1861, he married Susan Cooper, who was born on 22nd December 1843 in Sheringham and they went on to have 10 children. Mathew Arthur Slipper died on 4th November 1919.
Census 1911:
Matthew Arthur Slipper (71) b.1840, Sheringham, Licensed Victualler
Susan Slipper (68) b.1843, Sheringham, Assisting in Business
Walter George Slipper (44) b.1867, Sheringham, Auctioneers Assistant
Florence Mary Cox (19) b.1892, Sheringham, Help in Housework (Granddaughter)
Florance Harrison (30) b.1881 Fulmerstone, Servant
Address: The Lobster, High Street, Sheringham. Rooms 10
N.B. Census is incorrect - Matthew Slipper was born in Itteringham



Matthew Slipper was the illigitimate son of the 4th Earl of Orford. His mother Charlotte was a seamstress at Mannington Hall. She later married a Tipple and produced another child by him. I have a detailed family history which tells me that Matthew was still at the Lobster Inn, Sheringham, in 1902. He married Susan Cooper of Upper Sheringham. They had 10 children 8 of which survived. There are 2 graves in the churchyard at Upper Sheringham.  He was much involved in the local leadership, now council. He handled the Poor Law money in Lower Sheringham. One of his sons was the Village Constable, another had a sweet shop and a third, my grandfather, was a grocer and two daughters were teachers at the Upper Sheringham School. He died in 1919  Much of this information was gleaned from books written by Peter Cox, a local councillor and a family history produced by a relative. I have yet to discover why he was in Nottinghamshire when he died (perhaps one of his children lived there?) He is buried in West Bridgeford.
He was first apprenticed as a miller at Itteringham_water-mill. He was not denied by the Earl and was baptised by Bishop Cremer-Cremer. The Earl had no other children !
Michael Slipper - 3rd February 2010

Charlotte Slipper was the 10th child of James Slipper (born c.1818). James was a wheelwright. He married Mary Worm (born c.1775) both were buried at Itteringham. They lived next door to James and Hannah Burrell.
One of their sons, Samuel was a publican and wheelwright. All the children were baptised at Itteringham and several buried there. Charlotte, by then a Tipple,  witnessed his marriage at St. Simons and St. Jude, Norwich.
Matthew was clearly a champion of the fishermen at Sheringham. The local council of the day erected posts in a passage way between the West Beach in Sheringham and the East Beach. This prevented the fishermen from the west beach reaching the Fish Auctions, which were held on the east beach,  with their barrows. It is told that Matthew and a colleague, possibly from the Crown Inn near the Lobster, removed the posts at dead of night. Everyone knew who had done 'the deed'  but not a person spoke out. The passage is known as Slipper's Loke and is marked as such on the Town map of today. The family have always known it as such.  
Michael Slipper - 5th February 2010

O. S. Map 1885

O. S. Map 1885
Courtesy of NLS map images

O. S. Map 1904

O. S. Map 1904
Courtesy of NLS map images

O.S. Map 2006
O.S. Map 2006
Image reproduced under licence from Ordnance Survey

Kelly's 1879: Robert John Critoph, farmer

White's 1883: John Robert Critoph, farmer & surveyor

White's 1890: John Robert Critoph, farmer

Kelly's 1900: Matthew Arthur Slipper, Lobster inn

Kelly's 1904: Matthew Arthur Slipper, Lobster inn

Kelly's 1908: James Slipper, confectioner, High st
Kelly's 1908: Matthew Arthur Slipper, Lobster inn, High street

Kelly's 1912: James Slipper, confectioner, High st
Kelly's 1912: Matthew Arthur Slipper, Lobster inn, High street

Kelly's 1916: James Slipper, confectioner, High st

1818: New mill built on site of earlier postmill

1822: Mill Cottage built

Bryant's map 1826: Windmill

White's 1836: Samuel Critops, corn miller

O.S. map 1838: Windmill

Tithe map survey 1838: Samuel Critoph (b.1783) miller, also owner of Sheringham watermill and possibly owner of Salthouse smockmill

Census 1841:
Samuel Critoph (57) miller
Elizabeth Critoph (57)
Robert Critoph (17) agricultural labourer
Elizabeth Critoph (8)
Elizabeth Olley (14) servant
Thomas Manford (34) shopkeeper

Census 1841:
Robert Critoph (28) journeyman miller
Bell Critoph (26)
Martha Critoph (5)

White's 1845: Samuel Critops, corn miller

Census 1851:
Samuel Critoph (67) b.Sheringham, miller & farmer of 50 acres employg 3 outdoor labourers
Elizabeth Critoph (68) b.Barney
Elizabeth Critoph (18) b.Barney (niece)
Elizabeth Craske (9) b.Sheringham, scholar
Mary Payne (18) b.Bodham, general servant

Robert Critoph (38) b.Cossey, journeyman miller
Bell Critoph (39) b.Barney

White's 1854: Samuel Critops, corn miller (Upper Sheringham)

1858: Samuel Critoph, miller

Census 2nd April 1861:

Robert Critoph (48) b.Cossey, master miller
Bell Critoph (49) b.Barney
Elizabeth Breeze (8) b.Bodham, scholar (granddaughter) 17 Apr 1853
Matthew Slipper (22) b.Itteringham, journeyman miller (servant)
Address: Mill House

White's 1864: Samuel Critops, corn miller & farmer (Upper Sheringham)

17th April 1866: Indenture between Thomas Wyndham Cremer and James Reynolds, farmer & fish merchant

Census 1871:

Robert Critoph (58) b.Cossey, master miller
Bell Critoph (59) b.Barney
Elizabeth Breeze (18) b.Bodham, scholar (granddaughter) 17 Apr 1853
Address: Mill House

Matthew Slipper (31) b.Itteringham, journeyman miller

Susan Slipper (27) b.Sheringham;
Laura Slipper (7) b.Sheringham, scholar
Walter George Slipper (4) b.Sheringham, scholar
Mary J. Slipper (2) b.Sheringham
Herbert Slipper (2 mnths) b.Sheringham

Register of voters 1874:
Robert Critoph - Freehold house, mill and land near the highway leading to Cromer

Kelly's 1879: Robert Critoph, corn miller

Census 1881:
Robert Critoph (68) b.Cossy, master miller emplying 1 man, 1 boy
Bell Critoph (69) b.Barney
Elizabeth Breeze (28) b.Bodham
Address: High Road

Matthew Slipper (42) b.Itteringham, journeyman miller;
Susan Slipper (38) b.Sheringham;
Laura Slipper (17) b.Sheringham
Walter George Slipper (14) b.Sheringham;
Mary J. Slipper (12) b.Sheringham, scholar
Herbert Slipper (10) b.Sheringham, scholar
Edward Slipper (8) b.Sheringham, scholar
Emma M. Slipper (4) b.Sheringham

White's 1883: Robert Critoph, miller

O.S. map 1885:
Sheringham Mill 

White's 1890: Robert Critoph, miller

Census 1891:

Robert Critoph (78) b.Costessey, miller & farmer
Bell Critoph (79) b.Barney
Martha Gymer (81) b.Foulsham, visitor living on own means (sister)
Elizabeth Breeze (35) b.Bodham, house keeper (granddaughter)
Walter G. Slipper (24) b.Upper Sheringham manager
Address: Mill House

Kelly's 1892:

John William Warby, baker, corn chandler & coal merchant; & lodging house, Warby house; & miller (wind), Upper Sheringham

1895: Mill Cottage extended

Kelly's 1896:

John William Warby, baker & confectioner, corn chandler & coal merchant; & apartments close to sea, Warbey house; & miller (wind) Mill house, Upper Sheringham

Kelly's 1900: John William Warby, miller (wind)

Census 1901:
John William Warby (53) b.Garboldisham, miller and farmer
Elizabeth A. Warby (43) b.Bodham
Frances S. Mann (17) b.Bodham, general domestic servant
Edward W. Bambridge (55) b.Blakeney, teamster in farm
Robert Hall (30) b.Cobham, Surrey, miller
Harriet E. Hall (35) b.Cromer
Elizabeth C. England (69) b.Cromer, retired laundress (mother in law)

O.S. map 1904: Upper Sheringham Mill

Kelly's 1904: John William Warby, miller (wind) & farmer

Kelly's 1908: John William Warby, miller (wind) & farmer

Census 1911:
John William Warby (65) b.Garboldisham, miller and farmer
Elizabeth Ann Warby (49) b.Bodham, assisting in business
Hannah Potter (17) b.Edgefield, servant
Address: Sheringham Mill, Upper Sheringham

1912: Steam power added to supplement wind power

Kelly's 1912: John William Warby, miller (wind & steam) & farmer. The Mill farm

Kelly's 1916: John William Warby, miller (wind & steam) & farmer. The Mill farm

c.1922: Mill ceased working

O.S. map 1926:
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 TG 14984101
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Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2004