Drainage Mills (Windpumps)
Steam Mills

Sprowston northern tower mill stood to the north of the southern_towermill and a few yards to the west of the eastern_mill on the same site. All three mills stood in the area of gravel pits, clay pits and brickfields serving much of the building needs of the city. Sprowston_postmill stood a short distance further north.

The mill was the subject of an etching by John Crome in 1810 that went on to hang in the National Gallery. The etching showed the mill and Sprowston postmill together.

Commission of Bankrupt awarded against Robert Calver, of the City of Norwich, Miller.
London Gazette - 4th February 1826

Robert Calver of Norwich, Miller, Dealer & Chapman to surrender 17 February
Norfolk Chronicle - 4th February 1826

Oak, Ash & Elm Timber
To be Sold by Auction
By Wm. Spelman
On Friday 3 March 1826
A considerable quantity of TIMBER now lying in a yard adjoining the Mill in the occupation of Mr. ROBT. CALVER at Catton near the city, of Norwich, consisting of a quantity of . . .
Sale will commence at Ten o'clock precisely.

Norfolk Chronicle - 25th February 1826

To Millers, Bakers and the Public
To be Sold by Auction
On Saturday 25 February 1826
At half past one o'clock at Mr. Squire's Granary, Dukes Palace Wharf, Norwich
By Order of the Asssignees of Mr. Robert Calver

264 Sacks of Whites, Households and Stale FLOUR
ten combs of Red Wheat, four lasts Randan,
about 600 empty Flour Sacks, Sack Barrows, Corn Screens, Ladder, Shovels, Bushels etc. etc.
The Flour and Offal will be sold in convenient Lots.
The whole may be viewed one hour previous to the Sale.

Norfolk Chronicle - 25th February 1826

Meeting of Creditors under Bankruptcy of ROBERT CALVER of Norwich, Miller, Dealer and Chapman 27 March instant
Norfolk Chronicle - 4th March 1826

CALVER'S Bankruptcy
The Commissioners in a Commission of Bakruptcy bearing date 19 January 1826 against Robert Calver of Norwich, Miller to meet 14 Septembere next to audit accounts.
Norfolk Chronicle - 26th August 1826

Notice re Robert Calver, Norwich, Miller, bankrupt 19 January 1826.
meeting to declare a final dividend 12 December 1828.

Norfolk Chronicle - 29th November 1828

Tithe Award 1844
Map - W. S. Millard & Son, Norwich, 1843
Owner: Robert Calver
Occupier: Robert Calver
No. 415 Mills & Yard Pasture 1a. 3r. 17p. 3s. 9d.

Tithe map 1843 as redrawn by Harry Apling
Tithe map 1843 as redrawn by Harry Apling
Northern mill in red and eastern mill in blue at 415
Southern mill at 411
Sprowston postmill at 337

The Saw Mills, SPROWSTON

Mr. Butcher is instructed to Sell by Auction at the Royal Hotel, Norwich on Thursday 29 August 1850 at 4 o'c.
with Patent Sails, Circular Saws and Going Gear complete.
Also a Cottage with a Plantation and large Garden containing altogether nearly 2 acres.
The above Property lies at Sprowston within a mile of Magdalen Gates and is in the occupation of Mr. Robert Calver.
Particulars of Messrs. Field & Bignold, Solrs. of Mr. Butcher, Auctioneer, Norwich or of
Mr. Robert Calver who will shew the Property.
The Purchaser may have immediate possession.

Norfolk Chronicle & Norwich Gazette - 17th & 24th August 1850

Robert Calver had some time previously been at Catton_towermill. In 1851 he was given as a Mill sawyer employing 2 men, living at Rosary House, Thorpe Road with his wife Anne (55).
Some timber was stolen from him in 1851.

Stealing Timber. – On Saturday last, Wm. Hart, sawyer, of this city, was fully committed take his trial at the next quarter sessions of the county, for stealing a quantity of ash timber from the park at Melton Constable, the property of Mr. R. Calver, timber merchant, which Hart and others was employed to cut and take care of.
Norfolk Chronicle - 12th April 1851

Edward Austin had taken the mill by 1856. He was born c.1815 in Norwich. One of his employees stole a saw from him in November 1862.

Before the Rev. W. A. W. KEPPEL, Major MARSHAM, and Dr. LAWRENCE.

David Reubens, sawyer, of St. James’, was brought up for stealing a saw, the property of Edward Austin, of Sprowston, who employed the prisoner in his mill. – Prosecutor said the saw was safe about a month ago, but on inquiring of the prisoner he found that he had pawned it. Prosecutor did not lend him the saw, which was worth about 4s. – Mr. Morgan, pawnbroker, Magdalen-street, with whom it was pledged, said the saw, with a plane, was pledged for 1s. 6d., in the name of Reubens. – Prisoner, in defence, said he did not intend to steal it. He borrowed the saw to do some work at home, but as prosecutor owed him some money he pawned it. – The bench committed him to prison for a fortnight, with hard labour.
Norfolk Chronicle - 29th November 1862


The “Royal Oak,” with Two Acres of Land, a Saw Mill, House, and brick yard MESSRS SPLEMAN have received instructions to SELL by AUCTION, on Thursday, the 8th day of December, 1864, at Six for Seven o'clock in the Evening, at the Norfolk Hotel, the following Freehold PROPERTY: -
Lots 2 and 3 will comprise the SAW MILL, occupied by Mr. Austen, comprising the Mill, with Brick Tower and Four Patent Sails, a DWELLING-HOUSE, GARDEN, and BRICK GROUND, containing altogether about Two Acres.
Particulars and conditions of Sale may be had of Messrs. Rackham and Cooke, Solicitors, Norwich; or of the Auctioneers, Norwich and Yarmouth.
Norfolk Chronicle & Norfolk News - 26th November & 3rd December 1864

In the High Court of Justice
Chancery Division

In the matter of the Norwich and Norfolk Provident Permanent Benefit Building Society,


In the Matter of “The Companie’s Acts, 1862 and 1867.”
Freehold, Leasehold, and Copyhold Property, in and near the City of Norwich, and at Yoxford, in the County of Suffolk.
TO BE SOLD, pursuant to an order made in the above Matters, with the approbation of the Vice-Chancellor, Sir Charles Hall, by
The person appointed by the said Judge, on Tuesday, the 14th of March, 1876, at the Royal Hotel, Norwich, at Six for Seven o'clock in the Evening, in Ten Lots.
Lot 1. – All that Freehold TOWER WINDMILL and COTTAGE, and about 90 Rods of Land appurtenant thereto, now in the occupation of Alfred Walker.
Annual rental value 
£12. 0s. 5d.
Particulars and Conditions of Sale may be had of the Official Liquidator, Mr. Samuel Culley, Queen Street, Norwich; of Messrs. Whites, Renard, and Co., 28, Budge Row, Cannon Street, London, E.C., of the Auctioneer, Bank Plain, Norwich; and of the Vendor’s Solicitor.
Dated this 8th day of February, 1876.

H. F. Church
Chief Clerk.
Queen Street, Norwich,
Vendor’s Solicitor.

Norfolk Chronicle - 26th February, 4th & 11th March 1876

William Rump took the mills, having some time previously been at Mousehold Black mill on Mousehold.
He had at least two sons, both of whom appeared in Court in December 1866.


Before the MAYOR (F. E. Watson, Esq.), W. J. UTTEN BROWNE, H. WOODCOCK, and J. G. JOHNSON, Esqs.
John Rump, of Sprowston, was charged with stealing some sacks, the property of his father. The boy was stopped by a police officer, who had suspicion that the sacks he and another boy were carrying had been stolen. The account given not being satisfactory, the prisoner was taken into custody, but the other boy got off. As the father of the prisoner did not appear, the case was ordered to stand over till Friday.
Norfolk Chronicle - 29th December 1866

Alfred Walker was recorded in Kelly's of 1883 as being at New Catton Philadelphia west sawmill

1826: Mill working as a corn mill

February 1826: Robert Calver, miller, bankrupt

February 1826: Business effects of Robert Calver, advertised for sale by auction

O.S. map 1838: Windmill

Tithe Award 1844: Owner: Robert Calver; Occuopier: Robert Calver

1844: Mill working as a sawmill

1845: Robert Calver, miller

1850: Robert Calver, miller

August 1850: Mill advertised for sale by auction along with the eastern mill

September 1855: Mill advertised for sale by private contract

1856: Edward Austin, sawmiller

1856: Mill working as a sawmill

1858: Edward Austin, sawmiller

1859: Edward Austin, sawmiller

1862: Edward Austin, sawmiller

1863: Edward Austin, sawmiller

1864: Edward Austin, sawmiller

October 1864: Mill advertised for sale by auction as a sawmill

1876: Alfred Walker, sawmiller

February 1876: Mill advertised for sale by auction

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Nat Grid Ref TG24071072
-1807 to 1876+
All historical written material within this page
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