Mill Farm


Drainage Mills (Windpumps)
Steam Mills

In 1797 there were two postmills standing side by side at Mill Farm, on the north side of Mill Lane - the east postmill and the west postmill, which was probably demolished in the early 1800s.
The east mill was set on four brick piers and did not have a roundhouse. One pair of patent sails and one pair of common sails were used to power its single pair of 4ft. 10ins. French burr stones and two flour mills.

To be Sold by Auction By Thomas Platten At the Fleece Inn, Wells, Norfolk On Saturday 13 February instant at 11 in the forenoon.
All those Three Windmills, Horsemill and Stable (the horsemill capable of containing a large quantity of corn) situated at Wells aforesaid and now in the occupation of Mr. William Green, of which possession may be had immediately.
Enquire of Mr. Robert Cole, Fakenham.
Fakenham, Jan 30 1796.
Norfolk Chronicle - 6th February 1796

Peter 'The Miller' Hudson c.1815
Peter 'The Miller' Hudson c.1815

John Hudson of Wells married Margerie Bloom at Holkham in 1662 and they had a son
Peter Hudson of Wells who married Barbary Barns in 1709 and they had a son
John Hudson of Wells (1713-1792) married Mary Hunnor (d. 1757), they had a daughter
Ann (born 1747) who married Wells miller, Thomas Wilson - they had no children
and a son
Peter (The Miller) Hudson (1755 -1830) married Ann Cushion (d. 1778) in 1777
and then Mary Tinkler (1740 - 1819) (née Cordran) widow of William Tinkler and they had a son Peter Hudson jnr. (1780 - 1862)
Peter and Mary owned extensive propery adjoining the old mill site. Mary's father in law Richard Tinkler (d.1764) owned an inn, outhouses, yards and orchards called Seven Sisters Yard, which by 1813 was known as the Three Tuns. The 1793 census shows Peter and Mary at The Three Tuns. Peter had a posting and provender business and he was known as 'Old Oats & Hay'.
In 1780 their only son, Peter, (Warham) Hudson was born. Peter snr. and Mary probably worked in the family milling business on the north side of Mill Road moving to the site in 1815, leaving the Three Tuns to son Peter and his 8 children.
In 1827, Peter Hudson jnr. took the tenancy of the 836 acre Church Farm in Warham, leaving his eldest son John in Wells to help his grandfather run the milling business.
In Peter Hudson snr. died in 1830, leaving all his property to Peter Hudson jnr. with the exception of the milling business, which he left to his grandson, John Hudson.
John Hudson (1805-1864) gave up milling c. 1838 and took over a farm at Wighton. The milling business was let to Daniel Brett.
When John Hudson died in 1864, the mills were sold to clear his debts and this resulted in a family feud that was not settled until after World War II.
William Husdson - March 2012

To be Sold by Private Contract
All that new built Messuage or Dwelling House situate in Wells next the Sea in the county of Norfolk, now in the occupation of Joseph Tim, Miller, the Proprietor and all that Windmill and Granary adjoining capable of containing twenty lasts of corn or grain, together with two Flour Mills, stable, strawhouses etc. all in good repair and well situated for trade.
N.B. The Land on which the above mentioned Buildings are erected is held by Lease, 26 years of which will be unexpired at Michaelmas next.
And also that Windmill situate in Mill Lane in Wells aforesaid under lease to a respectable tenant.
N.B. These Premises are part Freehold and part Copyhold.
The above Premises are all in excellent repair, in a country abounding with corn and well situated for either the home or coasting trade, large quantities of flour being constantly shipped off for London, Newcastle and other Ports from Wells aforesaid.
Wells, July 28, 1802.

Norfolk Chronicle - 31st July, 7th, 14, 21st & 28th August & 4th September 1802

Thomas Wilson made a will on 17th September, 1803. Peter Hudson, Innkeeper of Wells was named as executor. A Copyhold Messuage etc in Wells was to be left to his wife Ann. No mention was made of a windmill. The will was proved on 22nd May, 1807.

To Millers
To be Let for a Term of Years with Immediate Possession
Those two excellent TOWER & POST CORN WINDMILLS with very convenient Family Residence, large Garden, stabling for 4 horses, extensive flour house, horse mills, two granaries and an inclosure of land containing 4 acres adjoining the same situate at Wells aforesaid. An extensive and advantageous Retail Trade has been carried on by the family of the Proprietor for 40 years on the above premises. The Tower_Mill was erected about 12 years ago at a very considerable expense upon the most improved principle. The Post Mill is replete with every convenience, they are both eligible situated for wind and trade and from the locality of the property and the many advantages it possesses an excellent opportunity now offers to persons engaged in the above business.
Apply to Mr. Hudson, Warham, Norfolk.

Norfolk Chronicle - 31st August, 14th, 21st & 28th September 1839

Tithe map 1843 - as redrawn by Harry Apling
Tithe map 1843 - as redrawn by Harry Apling
Mill farm towermill at Plot 353
West End postmill at Plot 27

Tithe Award 1845
Map, Edward Boughton, Surveyor, 1843
Owner: Peter Hudson
Occupiers: West & Nichols

No. 353

Upper Mill Yard


0a. 0r. 23p.

Part of £1. 17. 6

As both the postmill and the towermill were working on the site in 1843 was probable that West and Nichols were each operating one of the mills although they could have been in partnership.

One accident of a serious character occurred to a miller in the employ of Mr. Brett. While attending to the sails a sudden gust of wind carried away some of the flyers and the poor fellow had on of his ribs broken, but is now doing well.
Norfolk News - 3rd March 1860

Local Bankrupts (From London Gazette)
Tuesday March 3
Daniel Brett, Wells, Miller
Norfolk Chronicle - 7th March 1863

Bankruptcy Act, 1861
Order of Discharge

... Court ... Adjudication of Bankrupt made on 26 February 1862 against Daniel Brett of Wells ... did on the 17th day of April 1863 grant the Discharge of the said Bankrupt ...

W. S. Higgins, Registrar
Norfolk News - 27th April 1863

To be Sold by Auction by Mr. Spicer at the Globe Inn, Wells, on Monday 11 July 1864 at 3 o'c
A large and commodius Messuage next Mill Lane
Also a Piece of Land containing 1r. 19p. whereon stands a POST WINDMILL, one pair of 4 ft. 10 in. French Burr Stones, 2 patent 2 common sails, with Flour mill, Flour house, Granaries, Stables, Cart sheds and other Buildings.
Also an Inclosure of Fertile ARABLE LAND
contiguous to the said premises containing nearly 4 acres.
The above premises are all Freehold.
Also 17p. of LAND Copyhold whereon stands a BRICK_TOWER_WINDMILL, Patent sails with four floors driving one pair 4 ft. 8 in. and two pairs 4 ft. French Burr Stones, with Flour mills and Jumper, situated in Mill Lane aforesaid.
The above mentioned House, Mills, Land and other property were formerly in the occupation of Mr. Peter Hudson and are now in the occupation of Mr. David Brett whose tenancy expires on the 11th October next ...
Apply to Mr. Garwood, Solr. Wells or the Auctioneer, Wells.
Norfolk Chronicle - 18th & 25th June & Norfolk News - 2nd & 9th July 1864

Local Bankrupts (From London Gazette)
Tuesday May 22

Daniel Brett, Wells, Miller
Norfolk Chronicle - 26th May 1866

Bankrupts (From London Gazette)
Daniel Brett, Wells, Miller. June 4
Norfolk News - 26th May 1866

To be Sold by Auction by Mr. R. Spicer
At the Globe Hotel, Wells, on Monday 9 July 1866 at 6 o'c in the afternoon by order of the Assignee of the Estate & Effects of Daniel Brett, bankrupt. In one Lot
All that excellent
BRICK_TOWER_WINDMILL formerly in the occupation of Mr. Peter Hudson and late of Mr. Daniel Brett, having patent Sails, with four floors, driving one pair of 4 ft. 8 in. and two pair of 4 ft. French Burr Stones, with Flour Mill and Jumper and all the Machinery and going gears in the said Mill.
And also the newly erected large GRANARY, MILLER'S HOUSE & OFFICES adjoining tjhe Mill and also the Pightle of LAND wheron the Mill and Buildings are erected containing with the site of the Buildings abut 17 perches.
This Lot is all Freehold.
Lot 2.
A POST WIND MILL with one pair of 4 ft. 10 in. French Burr Stones, two patent and two common sails, iron winged Shaft and Smut Mill. This Mill now stands on four brick pillars in a piece of land next the Mill belonging to Mr. Southgate. The Mill is to be removed by the purchaser within 14 days from the day of the Sale.
Apply to Mr. Garwood, Solr. Wells or to the Auctioneer.
Lynn Advertiser - 30th June & 7th July & Norfolk News - 23rd June (1 Lot), 30th June & 7th July 1866

THIS IS TO GIVE NOTICE that the Court acting in the Prosecution of an Adjudication of Bankruptcy, made on 19th day of May, 1866, against DANIEL BRETT of Wells in the county of Norfolk, Miller and Merchant, did on 7th day of March 1867 grant the Discharge of the said Bankrupt and that such Discharge will be delivered to the Bankrupt unless an appeal be duly entered against the Judgement of teh Court and notice therof be given to the Court.

James R. Brougham, Registrar.
Norfolk News - 30th March 1867

Daniel Brett was reported as being discharged of bankruptcy in 1863 and again in 1867, thus it would appear he became bankrupt twice in about 5 years while running the mill.

White's 1836: Robert Brett, millwright, Mill lane

White's 1845: Robert Brett, millwright, Mill lane

Holkham Estate map 1714: Windmill

1796: William Green, miller

February 1796: Mill, West End early postmill & Mill Lane postmill advertised for sale by auction

Faden's map 1797: Windmill

1801: Joseph Tim, miller

1802: Joseph Tim, miller

July 1802: Mill advertised for sale by private contract

22nd May 1803: Thomas Wilson, miller made a will

1805: Joseph Tim, miller

1805: William Moore, miller

22nd May 1807: Will of Thomas Wilson, miller, proved

1810: Robert Haycock, miller

1813: Peter Hudson the elder, miller

Bryant's map 1826: Windmill

1827: New towermill erected alongside the postmill

Pigot's 1830: Peter Hudson, miller, Mill lane

1830: Peter Hudson snr. died

August 1839: Mill and adjacent towermill advertised to be let

Tithe Award 1845: Owner: Peter Hudson; Occupiers: West & Nichols

White's 1845: West & Nichols, corn millers

White's 1864: Daniel Brett, miller, also at towermill, Mill Lane

June 1864: Mill and adjacent towermill advertised for sale by auction

May 1866: Daniel Brett, bankrupt

1866: Daniel Brett left the mill

June 1866: Mill advertised for sale by auction to be removed - adjacent towermill also advertised for sale

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Nat Grid Ref TF90954365
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Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2012