Drainage Mills (Windpumps)
Steam Mills

Yaxham smockmill originally stood on the east side of Paper Street. William Critoph then bought the mill in 1860 before moving it to his own property to the southwest that he had recently acquired, complete with a postmill in 1857. He then built a towermilll using timber sawn on a bench within the smockmill. Thus at that time, uniquely, he had one of each of the three main types of windmills in the same village.

On January 9th at Woodbine Cottage, Yaxham, William . . .
aged 83.
Dereham & Fakenham Times - 13th January 1912

The late Mr. William Critoph, retired miller and merchant of Yaxham, who passed away last week at the age of 83 . . . Born at Felthorpe, he entered when quite a lad the milling business of his father. It is interesting here to note that there are four generations of the Critophs as millers. In 1850 the deceased gentleman married Mary Dennis of Cawston (who survives him) and soon afterwards went to reside in Yaxham. He built the present mill and carried on in business there for over 50 years . . .
Dereham & Fakenham Times - 20th January 1912

Wm. Critoph had a smock mill in Paper Street. House still standing there on the east side. Mill removed when he bought the post_mill property and re-erected there to drive a saw bench for cutting wood for building of tower mill by his grandfather, Henry Fysh.
Percy Bensley (Jack) Fysh, Yaxham - letter to Harry Apling - 3rd April 1973

Critoph family tree

I have been researching the William Critoph who owned Yaxham Mill. His youngest daughter (Flora May Mary Critoph) married Arthur John Farrow of Mattishall. Mr Farrow ran a haulage business in Mattishall and was one of the biggest employers we have ever had in the village.  
Ray Taylor - 30th March 2015

1845: Reuben Tilney, miller

1853: Reuben Tilney, miller

1854: William Critoph, miller

1857: William Critoph, miller

1860: William Critoph bought the mill and moved it to his own property just to the southwest

9th January 1912: William Critoph died aged 83

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 TG02501155 - Paper Street
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Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2005