Thurne dyke drainage pump
River Thurne

10th September 1934
10th September 1934

Thurne dyke drainage mill was built beside the River Thurne at the mouth of Thurne Dyke in 1820 by the millwrights England & Co. of Ludham. The tower was originally only two storeys high but a third storey without a batter was added in 1835, starting at the steel band set around the tower. The mill was built with common sails to power its scoop wheel and these were uprated to the longer patent sails in 1835 after the additional storey was built..

Painting by A. Heston Cooper 1920
Painting by A. Heston Cooper 1920

1934 c.1934

The mill was lying derelict in 1949 when it was saved from destruction by Bob Morse and renovated by millwright Albert England.

c.1935 1935

1949 1950

c.1970 May 1973
May 1973

14th August 1978
14th August 1978

2nd May 1986 1989
2nd May 1986

11th May 2008 11th May 2008
11th May 2008

11th May 2008 Mill turbine pump 11th May 2008
11th May 2008
Mill turbine pump 11th May 2008

2008: Mill open to the public April to September on the 2nd and 4th Sunday of each month 2.00pm to 5.00pm or by appointment. Contact Debra Nicholson tel. 01692 672155.

Open day on National Mills Weekend 11th May 2008
Open day on National Mills Weekend 11th May 2008

Windshaft - 23rd October 2011 Brakewheel - 23rd October 2011
Windshaft - 23rd October 2011
Brakewheel - 23rd October 2011

Movie of mill working

23rd October 2011 23rd October 2011
23rd October 2011

Makeover for mill as it gets ready for its 200th birthday

A distinctive feature of the Norfolk skyline is having a face-lift as it approaches its 200th birthday.
Thurne Mill was built in 1820 and visitors flock from afar to photograph and look around the striking white building on the Broads.
However, the landmark has recently been blighted by a red algae infestation and much of the old structure has grown increasingly threadbare.
But the mill's fortunes took a turn for the better last year when Glenn Hoddy, founder of business networking events company I Roll Up My Sleeves, decided he would organise an event that would bring businesses together to repaint the mill.
A year on and the tower has been transformed thanks to the event, which saw bright white coats of paint applied across two days in May.
Now volunteers are giving up their weekends to help restore timber and metalwork.
Owner of the mill, Debra Nicholson, said: "I am so proud to have such an amazing part of Norfolk's heritage and without the hard work of friends and volunteers this work just would not have happened. I am absolutely over the moon."
Indeed, Mrs Nicholson has been an admirer of the mill for a long time.
She first came to know of it on childhood holidays to the Broads, and after moving to Norfolk she became good friends with Bob Morse, who saved the mill when it was on the brink of destruction in 1949.
The mill was then leased to the Norfolk Windmills Trust for very low rent from 1964 to 2014.
But following Mr Morse's death in 2007 he left the historical building to Mrs Nicholson, who took on the maintenance programme from 2014.
Ever since, Mrs Nicholson has made it her mission to continue the legacy of Mr Morse and the mill, continuously organising fundraisers in order to keep the building open to the public.
Preparations are also under way ahead of the 200th birthday, with a photographic competition planned for September this year.
There will also be events planned throughout the birthday year itself, including an exhibition, a regatta of old boats and a Thurne Mill bake off.
To help with the restoration, or to become a Friend of Thurne Mill, call 07796 407864.
Eastern Daily Press - 14th June 2018

3rd June 2023 3rd June 2023
3rd June 2023

3rd June 2023
Norfolk Wherry Maud passing Thurne Dyke drainage pump - 3rd June 2023

O. S. Map 1884
O. S. Map 1884
Thurne Dyke - upper left
St Benets Level - lower left
Courtesy of NLS map images

1820: Mill built by England's of Ludham

1835: Additional floor added to allow for common sails to be uprated to patent sails with a fantail

1919: Mill cap and sails blown off in a gale

1926: Steam turbine and shed built and put into operation

1936: Mill ceased working due to gale damaged sails

1949: Mill taken over by Bob Morse and eventually restored with the assistance of the Norfolk Windmills Trust

1964: Mill leased to Norfolk Windmills Trust

October 2007: Mill taken over by Debra Nicholson of Morse's Wind Engine Park

14th September 2013: Mill abseiling event organised by Debra Nicholson raised over £2,000 for the mill

2014: Norfolk Windmills Trust opted not to renew their lease on the mill

June 2018: Mill repainted

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 40041592
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Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2008