Burnham Overy lower Mill
River Burn



c.1900
c.1900

Burnham Overy lower watermill at the staithe was constructed of brick and pantile. The present structure was originally built in 1790 by Edmund Savory who was a tenant on the Walpole Estate. He had already built the mill bridge in the previous year and incorporated date stones into both structures. In common with many mills, the course of the river was altered to provide a mill dam of sufficient size and also to place the mill in flood free accessible environment. The new cut that was dug for the mill was tidal until before the second world war, with the surge being controlled by a sluice about a mile downstream. The tidal effect was lost when Burnham Norgate marshes were drained.

A row of terraced houses stands a few yards from the mill and were originally occupied by mill and farm workers. The mill and the complex were added to on several occasions and eventually contained maltings,
a granary (1820), a blacksmith's shop, waggon lodges, stables, cowhouses & yards, bullock sheds & yards, cart & implement sheds and the 3 cottages along with 40 acres of surrounding land that was farmed by the owner.

By the 1880s the waterwheel drove 3 pairs of stones and was supplemented by a 16hp condensing steam beam engine powered by a Cornish boiler that drove a further 4 sets of stones. The water wheel and pit wheel were still intact in the 1960s.



c.1895 with steam chimney
c.1895 with steam chimney

c.1916 with steam chimney
c.1916 with steam chimney

c.1900 June 1968
c.1900
June 1968

1923
1923

3rd May 2003
3rd May 2003


The water mill was worked in conjunction with the nearby brick tower windmill just to the north east that was built in 1816 by Edmund Savory. Here there were a further 3 pairs of stones that were worked until 1919.


BURNHAM MARKET. PETTY SESSONS.

On Saturday before H.E. Blyth Esq. & Major Holloway, a considerable time was occupied by the Bench with charges laid by the Officers of Excise under the Act of 1869. John Savory of Burnham Overy, miller & farmer was charged with keeping eight horses for trade purposes on the 30 th April last having only taken licenses for seven.

Defendant pleaded not guilty. After hearing all the evidence the magistrates said they had no option to do otherwise than convict & were unable to reduce the fine to less than one fourth; they must therefore convict Mr. Savory in £5. They would have been glad to mitigate the fine to nothing for they were sure Mr. Savory had acted from error in judgement & with no intent of evading the law …

Mr. Savory at once consented to take the additional necessary licenses & to pay the fine inflicted on hearing the result of the decision of the Bench.

Norfolk News - 4th June 1870


Situations Vacant

TO MILLERS

Wanted, an Experienced STONEMAN. None need apply that cannot bring satisfactory character.

Apply John Savory, Burnham Overy, Lynn.

Norfolk News - 24th August 1872


Situations Vacant

TO MILLERS

Wanted a Young Man as SPOUTMAN at watermill & to assist in Dressing STONES when required.

Apply to John Savory, Burnham Overy.

Norfolk News - 21st September 1872


Burnham. Petty Sessions. Saturday

(Before H.E. Blyth, Esq., & Major Holloway)

Mr. John Savory, miller, farmer etc. of Burnham Overy was summoned on the information of Robert Fagor, Inland Revenue Officer, for having one horse liable to duty in excess of the number for which he paid, by which he rendered himself liable to a penalty of £30. It appeared from the evidence that Mr. Savory had nine horses subject to duty & paid for only eight. Mr. Savory said he was led to suppose from a conversation he had had with Mr. Galbraith, Mr. Fagor’s predecessor, that he should have received notice of his liability before any proceedings were taken. Mr. Galbraith who was examined said he had never said anything that could have led to such an impression. The Bench said it was no doubt a misapprehension & inflicted the mitigated penalty of £5.

Norfolk News - 6th September 1873


BURNHAM OVERY
One mile from Burnham Market Railway Station & half a Mile from Burnham Overy Staithe.
Messrs SPELMAN have received instructions from the Trustees of the late Mr John SAVORY to Sell by Auction on Saturday June 23, 1888, at 12 for 1 o'c at the Norfolk Hotel, Norwich, the following valuable

MERCANTILE PROPERTY
Situate about Five Miles from the town of Wells & in which an extensive business has been carried on for many years, comprising Excellent RESIDENCE with Garden, Orchard & Stabling. STEAM MILL driving four pairs of stones with 16 horse power condensing Engine & Cornish Boiler, Water MILL driving three pairs of stones; Brick Tower MILL standing well for wind & driving three pairs of stones, 25 coomb steep Malting, large & convenient Granaries, Blacksmith's Shop, Waggon Lodges, Wheat & Meal Chambers. The Farmery comprising Cart Horse Stables, Cowhouses & Yards, Bullock Sheds & Yards, Cart & Implement Sheds etc. Three COTTAGES & several valuable Enclosures of ARABLE & PASTURE LAND. The whole containing 40a. 2r. 10p. now in the occupation of Mr. SAVORY, who gives possession at Michaelmas next. Principally Freehold. Particulars & Conditions of Sale with Plans may be had of the Auctioneers at Norwich & Yarmouth and off Mr E M BELOE, Solr. Kings Lynn.
Norfolk Chronicle and Lynn Advertiser - 2nd, 9th & 16th June 1888

There are two vaults outside the eastern end of Burnham Overy church


Northern end:
John Savory, died 27th September 1863 aged 62
John Savory, died 17th June 1921 aged 91

Southern end:
Edmund Savory, died 9th February MDCCCXXVII aged LXIII years


Preliminary Notice

Burnham Overy

Messrs. Spelman have received instructions from the Trustee of the late Mr. John Savory to sell by Auction during June the valuable ESTATE comprising Mills, Residence & about 45 acres of Land, situate in the above Parish, in the occupation of Mr. John Savory.

Particulars will appear in future papers & with Conditions may be had in due time of Mr. E. M. Beloe, Solr. Lynn or of Messrs. Spelman, Norwich & Yarmouth.

Norfolk Chronicle - 7th & 14th April 1888


Preliminary Notice
Burnham Overy
Messrs. Spelman have received instructions from the Trustee of the late Mr. John Savory to Sell by Auction on Saturday June 23 at 12 for 1 o’c at the Norfolk hotel, Norwich, the valuable ESTATE comprising the Steam, water & Tower Wind Mills, Malthouse & Granaries in which an extensive business has been carried on for many years; also Residence, Cottages & about 45 acres of Land, situate in the above Parish, in the occupation of Mr. John Savory, in One Lot.
Particulars will appear in next week’s papers & with conditions may be had in due time of Mr. E.M. Beloe, Solr. Kings Lynn & of Messrs. Spelman, Norwich & Yarmouth.

Norfolk Chronicle - 26th May 1888

Burnham Overy
One Mile from Burnham Market Railway Station & half a Mile from Burnham Overy Staithe
Messrs. Spelman have received instructions from the Trustee of the late Mr. John Savory to sell by Auction on Saturday June 23, 1888 at 12 for 1 o’c at the Norfolk Hotel, Norwich, the following valuable.
MERCANTILE PROPERTY
Situate about Five Miles from the town of Wells & in which an extensive business has been carried on for many years, comprising Excellent RESIDENCE with Garden, Orchard and Stabling, STEAM MILL driving four pairs of stones with 16 horse power condensing Engine & Cornish Boiler, Water MILL driving three pairs of stones; Brick Tower MILL standing well for wind and driving three pairs of Stones, 25 coomb steel Malting, large & convenient Granaries, Blacksmith’s Shop, Waggon Lodges, Wheat and Meal Chambers. The Farmary comprising Cart Horse Stables, Cowhouses & Yards, Bullock Sheds & Yards, Cart & Implement Sheds etc. Three COTTAGES and several Enclosures of
ARABLE & PASTURE LAND
The whole containing
40a. 2r. 10p.
now in the occupation of Mr. Savory, who gives possession at Michaelmas next.
Principally Freehold.
Particulars & Conditions of Sale with Plans may be had of the Auctioneers at Norwich and Yarmouth; at the Estate Exchange, Tokenhouse Yard, E.C. & of
Mr. E. M. Beloe,
Solr. Kings Lynn………..

Norfolk Chronicle - 2nd, 9th & 16th June 1888

John Savory snr. also owned Gaywood, Almshouse Lane towermill, which was sold after he died in 1863.


1950s May 1973
1950s
May 1973

May 2003
May 2003

Death of Mr. J. Savory
On Thursday … there were laid to rest in the parish churchyard the remains of the oldest inhabitant in the parish. Mr. John Savory, who was for many years a highly successful man of business, as a miller, merchant and farmer. He had reached his 91st birthday and retired from business some twenty years ago …
His wife died in 1905 …
Born 2 September 1829, died June 19, 1921.

Dereham & Fakenham Times - 25th June 1921
The vault in the churchyard is inscribed with a date of 17th June

Robert Haines snr was born in 1821 at Hindringham and moved to Burnham Overy Staithe in 1857 to work as a mill labourer for the Savory family. Roberet snr, died on 21 December 1877 aged 56 and was buried at St. Clements Church, Burnham Overy.

Robert Haines jnr was an employee of the Savory family and probably worked at both the watermill and the windmill as had his father. He was born on 23rd December 1858. He married Esther at Burnham Overy on 28th December 1881. The birth certificates of three of his children give his occupation as journeyman miller and in 1913 the marriage certificate of his son Abraham gives his occupation as stone dresser. In 1914 Robert Haines jnr emigrated to Canada, possibly after the windmill tailwinded that year.

Esther Haines 1901 Robert Haines 1913
Esther Haines 1901
Robert Haines jnr 1913

Esther Haines is pictured outside her cottage on the Creake Road, Burnham Overy Staithe in 1901.
Robert Haines jnr was posing for the photo at the event of his son Abraham's wedding on 1913.


Cromer Tuesday Morng,
July 12th '42

My dear Mother
It is with great pleasure I take my pen to inform you of our safe arrival at this famous watering place. We had a very hot ride, were almost baked when we got to Holt where we stopped to bait the Horse and ourselves also. I enjoyed myself much. We had Tea, I had a famous good tuck out, I devoured three plates of Bread & Butter, two Crabs, half a plate of Shrimps, two plates of neat's tongue and washed them all down with three dishes of tea which made me confoundedly hot afterwards. We met with an old acquaintance of Pa's, Mr Thompson of the Bank at Fakenham. Old Joe Gurney and Mrs Fry are here likewise. Uncle took off his hat to them and they made him a most condescending bow in return. There is nothing wanting here to complete our enjoyment but yours and Papa's company, pray do you persuade him to come down for a day, the sea air will do him good, it is excellent for choleric people. Here are plenty of Company and plenty of Boats, we can have a sail on the water, pray make him come, we leave on Friday. We have had a queer sort of shell fish for Breakfast, they are a beautiful red colour, I forget what they call them but have sent you one of the Smellers as a specimen of what kind of fish they are. Papa's mouth would water at the very sight of them. I can't say any more at present but beg you to give my Compts. to Dad, Brothers and Sisters, in which Uncle, Aunt and Ellen joins and believe me my dear Mother
Your dutiful Lad
Edmd. Savory Junr.
Ellen desires to be kindly remembered to sister Sall.


The above letter was written by 14 year old Edmund Savory jnr to his mother Mrs. John Savory (John snr) on 12th July 1842.

Mill dam c.1950 Mill dam June 1968
Mill dam c.1950
Mill dam June 1968

3rd May 2003
3rd May 2003

Guy Savory, born in 1874, was a nephew of the miller and owner John Savory junior. Guy was apprenticed to a miller in Northampton after he left Norwich Grammar School in 1890 at the age of 17, having presumably worked for his uncle John during school holidays after John Savory first bought the mill from his mother's estate. Guy went on to own his own mill in Croydon and during the 1930s was President of the Association of British & Irish Millers.


27th January 2007
Mill complex 27th January 2007

Mill complex 27th January 2007
Mill complex 27th January 2007

Production effectively ceased in 1939 and the watermilll was taken over by the National Trust. During the war years the mill was occasionally used to produce flour or animal feed for the miller's family who were still living in the mill house.


In 1959 a serious fire virtually gutted the mill and destroyed most of the machinery. The National Trust ensured the mill was repaired and used plans drawn by architect Christopher Green who happened to be living in the mill house. The outward appearance of the mill was mainly preserved although the lucum was altered and the under supports were not reinstated. The second floor was not internally reinstated and the first floor ceiling effectively became the underside of the roof. The maltings lost a whole storey as a result of the fire and subsequent rebuild.


On 8th February 1972, the Eastern Daily Press published an article re re Miss Bridget Everitt who was born in the Mill House next to the watermill. Her grandfather, Sidney Everett was a Maltster at Wells and moved to Burnham Overy in 1910 taking over both the wind & water mills.


O. S. Map 1886

O. S. Map 1886
Watermill centre bottom left and Burnham Overy towermill centre right
Courtesy of NLS map images


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

1669 Index of wills: Robert Pickrell

1790: Mill built by Edmund Savory

1802: Poll Book: Richard Cooke

Walpole estate documents 1802: Edmund Savory

Walpole estate documents 1812: Edmund Savory

1816: Edmund Savory

1818 Poll Book: Edmund Savory

Walpole estate documents 1819: Edmund Savory

1820: John Savory snr added a maltings with a granary, malting floor and kiln

1825: John Savory snr

9th February 1827: Edmund Savory died aged 63

White's 1836: John Savory, miller & maltster

Census 1841:
John Savory (40) miller
Sarah Savory (40)
Sarah Savory (14); Eliza Savory (7); Robert Savory (6); Mary Savory (4); Albert Savory (1)  Harrison Savory (6 wks)
Mary Ramson (25) governess
William Betts (20) miller's apprentice
Robert Yaxley (18) miller's apprentice
Robert Farrow (44) millwright
Elizabeth Youngs (30) female servant
Maria ? Rutlings (20) female servant
Sarah Johnson (14) female servant
Ann Howse (45) female servant
Address: Overy Mill

White's 1845: John Savory, miller and maltster

Census 1851:
John Savory (50) b.Burnham Overy, master miller & malster employing 6 men & 2 boys
Sarah Savory (50) b.Winfarthing, Suffolk
Edmund Savory (22) b.Burnham Overy, Partners In Trade
John Savory (21) b.Burnham Overy, Partners In Trade 
Thomas Savory (19) b.Burnham Overy, farming pupil
Eliza Savory (16) b.Burnham Overy
Albert Savory (11) b.Burnham Overyk
Harrison Savory (9) b.Burnham Overy
Edward Savory (8) b.Burnham Overy
Hubert Sheringham (4) b.Thornage (grandson)
Mary Hagon (41) b.Harpley, servant
Sarah Jackson (25) b.Warham, servant
Sarah Youngs (31) b.Burnham Overy, servant
Martha Mason (16) b.Burnham Overy, servant
Philip C. Parker (19) b.Wissonsett, apprentice miller
Address: Staith

White's 1854: John Savory, miller, maltster & corn merchant

Census 1861:
John Savory (31) b.Burnham Overy, miller & farmer of 35 acres
Susanna Savory (26) b. Burnham Thorpe
Marion Savory (3) b.Burnham Overy
Kathleen Savory (died aged 1)  b.Burnham Overy
Edward Savory (c.18) b.Burnham Overy, miller (brother)
Ann Rush (24) b.Creak, house servant

John Raven (77) b.Burnham Overy, retired miller (widower)

Philip Parker (29) b.Whissonsett, miller
Martha Parker (28) b.Burnham Overy
Ann Parker (2) b.Burnham Overy
Mary Parker (3 mnths) b.Burnham Overy

Charles Case (47) b.Burnham Overy, miller
Sarah Case (45) b.Mulbarton
Hannah CASE (22) b.Aylsham, housemaid
Sarah Case (14) b.Mulbarton

Arthur T. Case (7) b.Mulbarton

27th September 1863: John Savory snr died aged 62

1863: John Savory jnr, miller

White's 1864: John Savory, miller, maltster & merchant


June 1870: John Savory convicted of only having 7 licences for 8 trade horses - fined £5

September 1873: John Savory convicted of only having 8 licences for 9 trade horses - fined £5

Kelly's 1879: John Savory, miller, corn merchant & maltster


White's 1883: John Savory, corn miller, maltster, corn, coal, cake & manure merchant & farmer

1887: Sarah Savory died (widow of John snr) forcing auction the freehold. Subsequently bought by John jnr

April 1888: Mill & estate advertised for sale by auction

Census 1891: John Savory jnr; Sidney F. Dewing (22), assistant miller, lodging with John & Susanne Savory

Kelly's 1892: John Savory jnr - miller (wind, water & steam), corn merchant, maltster & farmer

Kelly's 1896: John Savory jnr - miller (wind, water & steam), corn merchant, maltster & farmer

Kelly's 1900: John Savory jnr - miller (wind, water & steam), corn merchant, maltster & farmer

Census 1901:
Robert Haines jnr (42) b.Burnham Overy, miller
Esther Haines
Charles Haines; Sarah Haines; Abraham Haines; William Haines; Henry Haines
Ezekial Haines (52) b.Holt (brother)

Kelly's 1904: Sidney F. Dewing, miller (wind, water & steam), corn merchant, maltster & farmer

1905: Susanna Savory (wife of John Savory jnr) died

Kelly's 1908: Sidney F. Dewing

Kelly's 1912: Sidney Everitt, miller (wind, water & steam)

Kelly's 1916: Sidney Everitt, miller (wind, water & steam)
Kelly's 1916: John Savory jnr, Mill House

1916: Sidney Everitt bought the freehold from John Savory jnr

17th June 1921: John Savory jnr died aged 91 leaving 2 married daughters - born 2nd September 1829

1925: Windmill sold to Mr. Hughes

Kelly's 1937: Sidney Everitt


1939: Full production ceased and the National Trust took over ownership

January 1953: Mill flooded by the massive tidal floods of that year

1959: Mill gutted by a fire that also destroyed most of the machinery

1969: Mill used for storage only

March 2006: Sale of lease of the southwestern section of the mill advertised by Bedfords for c. £375,000


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 01263 713658 or

Nat Grid Ref TF83634355
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Pippa Miller