Wayford Bridge
drainage pump


Drainage Mills (Windpumps)
Steam Mills


Smallburgh tower windmill at Wayford Bridge was built as a 4 storey drainage mill with a scoop wheel but it also had a single pair of stones for grinding corn. The mill was built in 1847 by the millwrights Englands of Ludham, whose name is on the flood door. The single doored red brick tower was 30 feet high with a ground floor diameter of 15 feet with 18ins thick walls. Four double shuttered patent sails, each with 5 bays of 3 shutters and 1 bay of 4 shutters, struck by rack & pinion via a chain pole that drove a 14ft. diameter, 9ins wide scoop wheel and a pair of underdriven 3ft. 6ins. French burr stones on the first floor. The Norfolk boat shaped cap had a petticoat at the sides and an extension to the horizonatally boarded front. The cap was turned to wind by an 8 bladed fan.

17th May 1977
17th May 1977

Henry Knights, Smallburgh, coal seller.

Norfolk Chronicle - 5th March 1881


... the mill that stood about a quarter of a mile above Wayford Bridge and a short way up Dilham Dyke on the left. It was a slender brick tower of 4 floors about 30 ft. high and probably built by Englands of Ludham whose name was on the flood door. It drove a 14 ft. diam. by 9 in. wide scoop wheel and a single pair of under drift French burr stones on the first floor through a great spur wheel and a nut which could be disengaged with a rigger while a slack belt sack hoist was driven from a bevel on the upright shaft.
Rex Wailes - Norfolk Windmills. Pt. II. Drainage Mills. Transactions of the Newcomen Society

Model of mill at Bridewell Museum, Norwich.
Eastern Daily Press - 22nd May 1974

On 23rd October 1975, Harry Apling visited the mill and recorded that the remains of a French burr stone were still outside the mill

Derelict red brick tower 16ft. o/dia. at base with 18in. thick walls. Empty except for 3 floors partly boarded (new wooden window frames) medium size, 4 storey. By dyke, half hidden by trees in bordser of wood. Across fields from road. Private.
Arthur C. Smith - 17th May 1977

Model now at Norfolk Rural Life Museum, Gressenhall.
Inaccurate in several details, e.g. Sails - striking chain attached to rear end of striking rod instead of endless chain over Y wheel with rack & pinion.

Harry Apling - 1980

29th December 2007
29th December 2007


WAYFORD BRIDGE, Near Stalham. Brick built WINDMILL (without sails or cap), with planning permission for conversion to dwelling, right of way to 20ft river mooring. £5000
Eastern Daily Press - 19th May 1978

29th December 2007
29th December 2007

On 16th March 1979, Mrs. Valerie Horsnell of Happisburgh Common, wrote to Harry Apling to say Mr. & Mrs. T. B. Horsnell had recently bought the property with a view of converting it to holiday accommodation.

Broads Authority planning committee approval for new cap, fanstage and sails subject to submission of detailed plans. (Summary)
Eastern Daily Press - 3rd March 1984

Tower Mill. Converted into house. Red brick slender tower of medium size with 4 storeys (windows at each) and flat roof. About 31ft. high and 16ft. overall dia. at base including 18in. thick walls. Date 1847 crudely engraved on exterior brick to right of front door. By dyke, partly hidden by trees at border of wood; down track across field from road. Private. Mill also used to grind corn (2 stones remain on site). On a visit in 1960, Harry Meyer recorded that the mill, although derelict with ivy up to the curb on one side, still retained its boat cap with gallery, fan cradle (no fan), 'Y' wheel and tailpole, 4 patent sails for double shutters (no shutters), and interior machinery including one pair of stones underdriven from iron great spur wheel (with wooden cogs), wooden upright shaft with iron bevel wheel drive to iron pit wheel, and scoop wheel outside. Carved on a beam was 'This mill started April 1st 1857'. Also known as "Wayford Mill". Converted 1978/79.
Arthur C. Smith - 25th June 1987

Million pound mill goes up for sale - and you can live in it

Smallburgh Wayford Bridge drainage mill

An iconic windmill on the Norfolk Broads has come up for sale for £1m.
Selling agents Sowerbys describe Wayford Mill on the River Ant in Smallburgh as a "rare and unique opportunity" after its owners restored it by reinstating its cap and sails and added an extension.
The original mill was built in 1847 by Englands of Ludham - whose name you can still see on the flood door - and was used mainly for drainage, although it also had a single pair of stones for grinding corn. 
It was owned by several millwrights during the late 19th to early 20th centuries but in 1978 came up for sale, with planning permission but without its sail and cap, for £5,000.
The current owners have given the property a new lease of life, reinstating its original features to create a working mill and transforming it into a successful holiday let, which can sleep up to 15 people.
The brick-built mill is of course circular, so offers a one-of-a-kind living experience, with bespoke fitted furniture and exposed timbers. The ground-floor has a sitting and dining area, while the first and second floors have been fitted out with bespoke beds.
The top floor provides views of the working cap and sail structure, as well as access out through the cap from where you can take in its gorgeous views.
An extension to the side links the original mill to the rest of the living space and has been sympathetically designed and carefully finished to really make the most of its unique location.
It comprises an entrance hall, utility room, dining room and fitted kitchen/breakfast room. There is also a separate sitting room, complete with a feature fireplace in the centre, separate bath and shower rooms and an en suite bedroom on the ground floor. Three additional bedrooms can be found upstairs.
Wayford Mill sits in grounds of around 2.25 acres and includes its own sweeping gardens as well as 500ft of private river bank, which has a mooring with power.
The property also includes a small lake with reeds, a large gravelled parking area and a useful workshop and garage, which is fully powered.
Contact Sowerbys for more information - 01603 761441.
Rebecca MacNaughton, Eastern Daily Press - 6th August 2021

O. S. Map 1905
O. S. Map 1905
Smallburgh Wayford Bridge towermill pump centre left and the west open trestle pump centre right
Courtesy of NLS map images

O.S. Map 2005
O.S. Map 2005
Image reproduced under licence from Ordnance Survey

White's 1864: Henry Knights, beer house, Wayford Bridge

White's 1883: Elijah Knights, farmer
White's 1883: Henry Knights, shopkeeper & beerseller

Kelly's 1892: Henry Knights, beer retailer & carter

1847: Mill built by Englands, millwrights of Ludham

1850: Eli Knights, miller

White's 1864: Henry Knights, corn miller

1863: Henry Knights, miller, coal merchant & beer retailer

1881: Henry Knights insolvent

1883: Press Bros., millers

O.S. map 1887: Draining Pump

1888: Press Bros., millers

White's 1890: Press Bros., millers, coal & corn merchants and maltsters; and North Walsham

O. S. Map 1905: Windpump

1950: Tower with ivy to the curb on one side with cap, fan cradle, Y wheel, tailpole and sails without shutters

May 1978: Mill advertised for sale for £5,000

1979: Mr. & Mrs. T. B. Horsnell own the property with a view of converting to holiday accommodation

1984: Broads Authority approved the installation of a new cap fanstage & sails

1990: Mill tower in good condition and in residentiaol use

1997: Mill empty with beams on 4 floors, attached to new bungalow for holiday accommodation

2007: Mill tower attached to bungalow; some windows missing and others with sashes roughly inserted

August 2021: Mill along with 2¼ acres advertised for sale by Sowerbys for £1,000,000

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 34412481
Top of Page

Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2007