Plumstead Road


Drainage Mills (Windpumps)
Steam Mills

Plumstead Road tower mill stood just to the north of the Plumstead Road and just to the south of the prison. The mill was also known as Barracks Mill or Little Fanny and was built to replace an earlier postmill. The Mill house was still standing in 2004 and the deeds to the property date from that time. A bake office was run on the site.

The mill used patent sails to power two pairs of French burr stones, a flour mill and jumper.

Capital Freehold Tower Wind-mill, Bake Office, Dwelling-houses &c. at Thorpe
and Sprowston
At the Freemason’s Tavern, Elm Hill, Norwich, on Monday the 17th day of September 1825.

A substantial-built Newly Erected Tower WIND-MILL, with a Dwelling-house and Garden adjoining, pleasantly situated on an eminence in the hamlet of Thorpe, near the residence of Sir Robert John Harvey.
Also several excellent Dwelling-houses, Bake office, and Building Ground at Sprowston, occupied by Newton Mason, Mrs. Fowler, and others.
A considerable part of the purchase money may remain on mortgage at Four per Cent.
For particulars apply to Mr. Wm. Butcher, Auctioneer, Surveyor and Estate Agent, Norwich.
Norfolk Chronicle - 27th August & 3rd September 1825

New Erected TOWER WINDMILL, Dwelling Houses etc.
At Thorpe & Sprowston, Norwich
By Wm Butcher
At the Freemasons Tavern, Elm Hill, Norwich
On Monday September 12, 1825 at 4 o'c
In eight Lots.

Lot 1.
All that newly erected TOWER WINDMILL with Flour mill, two pair of stones and going gears complete, with a very good brick and tiled Dwelling house and Forty Rods of land adjoining, well situated for wind at Thorpe, near the residence of Sir Robert John Harvey.
Particulars and conditions of Sale may be had of the Auctioneer, near the Theatre, Norwich
Norfolk Chronicle - 10th September 1825

The mill was again for auction in 1831. The millwrights who built it may have been Messrs. Balls & Fitt.

To Millers
To be Sold by Auction by J. Harper on Saturday 23 June 1832
At the Waggon & Horses Inn in the parish of St. Georges, Tombland, Norwich at 4 o'c
(Unless sooner disposed of by Private Contract)

All that Capital TOWER WINDMILL with four floors, patent sails, two pair of French Stones, flour mill and jumper. Contiguous thereto is a good granary, two stalled stable, cart shed etc. Also a convenient Dwelling house with . . .
The above Premises are situate in the Hamlet of Thorpe in the county of the city of Norwich, are in excellent repair and in the occupation of Thomas Bush. Land Tax 2s. per annum.
A great paret of the puirchase money may remain on mortgage.
An early possession may be had.
Apply to Mr. Hedgeman, King Street, Norwich.
7 June 1832.

Norfolk Chronicle - 9th, 16th & 23rd June 1832

To be SOLD by Private Contract,
With Possession at Midsummer next,

AN Excellent Freehold New built Brick TOWER WINDMILL, with the Machinery, Fixtures, & Appurtances thereto belonging, situate in the hamlet of Thorpe in the county of the city of Norwich, abutting on the Road leading to Plumstead, and now in the occupation of Mr. Utting Burgess.
For particulars apply to Mr. J. W. Dowson, Solicitor, Bank Street, Norwich.
Norfolk Chronicle - 14th June 1834

The mill was not sold and the mill was for auction in September of that year.

Tower Windmill, at Thorpe.
At the Greyhound Inn, St. Stephen’s, Norwich.
At Four o'clock in the Afternoon, in one lot.

AN excellent Freehold Brick TOWER WINDMILL, with patent Sails, driving two pair of Stones, in the hamlet of Thorpe near Norwich, and also a Brick and tiled Dwelling-house, containing parlour, Store-house, and two bed-rooms. In the Mill Yard there is a good cart-lodge and stable, and there is a Garden adjoining the House. The premises are in good repair, and are now in the occupation of Mr. Thomas Bush, a yearly tenant.
A Portion of the Purchase Money may remain on Mortgage, and further particulars may be obtained at Messrs. Bignold, Pulley, and Mawe’s Solicitors, and of the Auctioneer, Norwich.
Norfolk Chronicle - 30th August & 6th September 1834


A WIND-MILL, with Cottage, Stable, and Cart Lodge, situated in the hamlet of Thorpe, in Norwich.
Apply to Messrs. Newton and Woodrow, Land Agents, Tombland, Norwich; letters to be post-paid.
Norfolk Chronicle - 18th & 25th August 1838

Samuel Field was the next miller. He was born c.1800 at Syleham, Suffolk. The mill was put up for auction in December 1839.

On Wednesday, 4th day of December, 1839,
At the Greyhound Inn, Surrey Street, Norwich,
At half-past Four o'clock in the Afternoon.

ALL that Capital TOWER WINDMILL, Going Gears, &c. Messuage, Granary, and Premises, situated on the Plumstead Road, in the parish of Thorpe, about one mile from the City, now in the occupation of Mr. Samuel Field.
Particulars in future papers.
Norfolk Chronicle - 23rd November 1839

Eligible Investment
On Wednesday, 4th day of December, 1839,
At the Greyhound Inn, Surrey Street, Norwich,
At half-past Four o'clock in the Afternoon.

A Small FREEHOLD ESTATE, with capital Tower Wind-mill (in good trade), Messuage, Granary, Stable, and Garden adjoining, situate on the Plumstead Road, in the parish of Thorpe, next Norwich, now in the occupation of Mr. Samuel Field, tenant at will.
For particulars apply to Messrs. Bignold, Pulley, and Mawe, Solicitors, Surrey-street; to Messrs. Newton and Woodrow, Land Agents, Tombland; or to the Auctioneer, Surrey-street, Norwich.
Norfolk Chronicle, Norwich Gazette & Norwich Mercury - Saturday 30th November 1839

Samuel Field was still at the mill in June 1840, when the mill was broken into on the 7th of that month.

On Sunday night last, the mill of Mr. Field, on the Plumstead Road, was broken open and two sacks containing 23 stone of flour were stolen therefrom. Information was given to the Norwich Police Force, and Lacey, B.3. was dispatched to the spot. On searching about Mousehold and the adjoining fields, the two sacks were found filled with stones and sunk in a pit; but the thieves were not discovered. This is the fourth time this mill has been robbed in a similar way.
Norfolk Chronicle - 13th June 1840

On Saturday, August 1 st, 1840,
At the Bell Inn, Orford Hill, Norwich,
At Four o'clock in the Afternoon,
In One Lot.

A small FREEHOLD ESTATE, with capital TOWER WINDMILL, (in good trade), Dwelling‑house, Granary, Stable, and Garden adjoining, producing a rental of £24 per annum, clear of all outgoings, now in the occupation of Mr. Samuel Field.
The above property is situate on the high road to Plumstead, in the parish of Thorpe next Norwich.
For Particulars and Conditions of Sale apply to Messrs. Bignold and Mawe, Solicitors, or to the Auctioneer, Surrey Street, Norwich.
Norfolk Chronicle - 25th July & 1st August 1840

Samuel Field later ran Hardingham watermill.

Norwich Police - Guildhall.
Before P. J. MONEY, Esq., N. PALMER, Esq., AND J. H. BARNARD, Esq.
BREAKING INTO A MILL. - Robert Sadd and James Graver, both of Pockthorpe, were brought up on a charge of having broken into the mill of Mr. Peter Cannell, of Thorpe Hamlet, on the road to Plumstead, and stolen therefrom about 18 stone of meal - The prosecutor said he was a miller, and lived on the Plumstead Road. On the previous night had had fastened up the mill doors, and gone to bed. About one o'clock that morning, his wife heard a noise as if some men were at the mill, and she went to see what they wanted. She returned back very much alarmed, saying, that the doors had been broken open. He then went to the mill, and missed a sack of meal containing about 18 stone weight. The doors had been forced open by some iron instrument. He believed the meal produced to be his property. It was like that which he had lost. - Constable King, of the rural force, said, he was in Pockthorpe that morning about six o'clock and he saw a man dressed like Graver come out of a yard, and look about as if on the watch. He could not swear that Graver was the man. - He then saw Sadd and the other man cross the street from the Griffin yard, to the Black Horse yard, in Pockthorpe. Sadd was carrying a sack which appeared to contain either meal of flour. Witness then went and gave information at the station-house. Inspector Amies, of the city force, said he went with constables King and Emms to Sadd's house, and they found a sack of meal covered up with some brakes. The witness asked Sadd if he could account for the possession of the property? He answered "It is mine." Witness then asked him of whom he had bought if? He said "I shall not tell you." The prisoner was then taken into custody, and the sack conveyed to the station-house. When there, his boots were taken from his feet, and it was found that the sole of one boot had a plate on it and the other had none. There were other peculiarities in the soles. - The witness took the boots, and traced the foot-marks of two persons from the mill along a driftway, and from thence across a field near Mousehold Heath, and thence down the lokes (narrow lanes) into Pockthorpe, as far as the stones, within a few yards of Sadd's house. All this way one pair of the foot-marks exactly corresponded with the impressions made by the soles of the boots. - Another witness, who accompanied Inspector Amies, confirmed his evidence as to the foot-marks. - Sadd was committed for trial, and Graver was discharged, as there did not appear to be sufficient evidence against him.
Norfolk Chronicle - 8th December 1849

The City Sessions.

Robert Sadd, (24), was charged with having stolen two sacks, and 18 stone of wheat-meal, the property of Peter Cannell, of Thorpe Hamlet.
Mr. Evans prosecuted; and Mr. Druery defended the prisoner.
Mr. Cannell said, he occupied a mill on the Plumstead-road. On the night of Dec 3d. he was at work at the mill, and left it safe. On the following morning it was broken open, and in consequence of an alarm given by his wife, he went to the mill, and found that two sacks of meal had been stolen. Afterwards, he compared a sample of his meal with some wheat that had been found by the police, and they corresponded. He had seen impressions of boots taken from the prisoner compared with the footsteps leading from his mill, and the impressions corresponded with the footsteps. He had not seen the footsteps before the constable had examined the track. The sample of meal produced had been taken from the mill. It was of the same kind as the meal taken from the prisoner's house. - Cross-examined, -- All the footsteps were found in the lane outside of the mill-yard. There were none visible in the yard.
Henry King, a constable of the rural force, was in Pockthorpe, watching, on the morning of Dec. 4th. He saw a man looking into the Black Boy yard, and then return across the street to another yard. He came out again, followed by the prisoner, who carried a sack. Witness gave information to the city police, and went with two of them to the prisoner's house, where they found the bag of meal, and some other bags. The bag of meal was covered over with brakes. The prisoner was then taken into custody. Witness was quite certain that the prisoner was the man.
John Emms, a constable, assisted in searching the prisoner's house, and saw the sack covered with brakes. When the prisoner was searched his clothes were wet, and brakes were found in his pocket. Some flour was seen on the prisoner's head. - Cross-examined. - There was a barrow load of brakes in the house.

Inspector Amies produced the meal. He had assisted in making the search, and in taking the prisoner into custody. He had taken the prisoner's boots from his feet, and had examined the road to the mill. He saw footmarks of two persons. The impressions of the boots on the ground corresponded exactly with one set of the footmarks. He traced them from the mill-yard all the way to the pavement near the yard where the prisoner lived. - Cross-examined. - Witness had made the impressions by pressing the boots into the ground, beside the footmarks.
Mr. DRUERY the addressed the jury in defence; and argued, that there was no evidence to convict the prisoner with the robbery.
The RECORDER then summed-up, the jury returned a verdict of guilty. A previous conviction was proved, and the prisoner had been 8 or 10 times in custody. He was sentenced to seven years' transportation.

Norfolk Chronicle - 5th January 1850

With Possession at New Michaelmas next,

A Capital Brick TOWER WINDMILL within half a mile of the City of Norwich, with Patent Sails, Fly Wheel, two pairs of French Stones, Flour Mill, Jumper, and all Going Gears, in complete repair, a two-stall Stable, Cart-shed, Corn-house, Piggery, and a small Piece of Land. – Rent, Taxes, &c. moderate.
Apply to Bennett and Bream, Grocers, Norwich; letters pre-paid.
Norfolk Chronicle - 28th August 1852

TO BE SOLD, a BRICK TOWER WINDMILL driving two pair of Stones, Dressing machines etc. Neat DWELLING HOUSE, Garden and other conveniences. Freehold. Situated on the Plumstead Road, a quarter of a mile from the City.
Apply to P. Cannell, on the Premises.
Norfolk News - 7th July 1860

William Woolnough took the lease. It is not known how long he was at the mill, but Henry Glasspoole had taken the mill by 1861. He was born c.1823 in Herringfleet, Suffolk. His eldest daughter died on the 11th November 1861.


On Monday last, of diptheria, aged six years, Agnes Eliza, eldest child of Mr. Henry Glasspoole, miller, Thorpe Hamlet.
Norfolk Chronicle - 16th November 1861

Henry Glasspoole was listed in White’s Directory of 1868 as a corn miller in Plumstead Road and in Harrod’s Directory as a corn miller in Plumstead Road, Thorpe Hamlet.

TO BE SOLD, that well accustomed PUBLIC HOUSE and Brick Tower WINDMILL with Patent Sails, driving two Pairs of Stones and all necessary Machinery, with good Garden, Retail Flour Shop, Granary, Stables and Cart lodge, situated on the Plumstead Road, Norwich.
A good trade in Ale and Porter in the House and capital Grist Trade to the Mill.
For particulars and price apply to Mr. Henry Glasspoole on the premises.
Norfolk News - 6th & 13th August 1870


IS instructed by the Mortgagee to SELL by AUCTION, at the Maid’s Head Hotel, on Thursday, July 27th, 1871, at Six for Seven o'clock in the evening, in Two Lots, the following FREEHOLD HOUSES and a BRICK TOWER WINDMILL.
Lot 2. – A BRICK TOWER WINDMILL, with the Beer-house adjoining, situate on Plumstead Road, in the Hamlet of Thorpe, in the occupation of Henry Glasspoole. Land Tax –

W. SADD, Esq.,
Vendors Solicitor.

Norfolk Chronicle & Norfolk News - 15th & 22nd July 1871

The mill was marked on the 1873 and 1884 maps and Martin Hall was the miller & beer retailer in 1892 followed by William Green in 1896. The mill was for sale in December 1906.

Tenders are invited for the purchase of the machinery and contents of another windmill on the borders of Norwich, this time near the new gaol. One by one they keep dropping out and soon we shall scarcely have a town possessing a windmill.
The Miller - 3rd December 1906

O. S. Map 1883
O. S. Map 1883
Courtesy of NLS map images

O. S. Map 1905
O. S. Map 1905
Courtesy of NLS map images

c.1825: Mill built

August 1825: Mill advertised for sale by auction

Bryant's map 1826: Barracks Mill

January 1826: William Smith, miller, bankrupt

1832: Thomas Bush, miller

June 1832: Mill advertised to be sold by auction or private contract

Manning's map 1834: Windmill

1834: Utting Burgess, miller

June 1834: Mill advertised for sale by private contract

1834: Thomas Bush, miller

September 1834: Mill advertised for sale by auction

April 1837: Mill advertised for sale by auction

O.S. map 1838: Windmill

1839: Samuel Field, miller

November 1839: Mill advertised for sale by auction

December 1839: Mill advertised for sale by private contract

1840: Samuel Field, miller

July 1840: Mill advertised for sale by auction

1842: Peter Canham, miller

1849: Peter Cannell, miller

1852: William Woolnough, miller

August 1852: Mill advertised to be let

1860: William Woolnough, miller

July 1860: Mill advertised for sale

1863: Peter Cannell, miller

1864: Peter Cannell, miller

1868: Peter Cannell, miller

August 1869: Mill advertised for sale by auction after the death of owner Roger Kerrison

1870: Henry Glasspoole, miller & beer house keeper

August 1870: Mill, flour shop & beer house advertised for sale

Census 1871: Henry Glasspoole (49) miller & beer house
Sarah Glasspoole (42) wife
Laura Glasspoole (14)
Frederick Glasspoole (5)
Address: Plumstead Road, Thorpe

June 1872: Mill advertised for sale by auction due to bankruptcy of owners, Harvey & Hudson

O.S. map 1883: Windmill (Corn)

1892: Martin Hall, miller & beer retailer

1896: William Green , miller & beer retailer

Collins' map 1899: Windmill

O.S. map 1905: Windmill (Disused)

1906: Tenders invited for the purchase of the machinery

c.1906: Mill demolished

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 TG24700939
c.1825 to c.1906
All historical written material within this page
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