Burnham Overy Union Mill
River Burn



c.1900
c.1900

Burnham Overy Union mill is one of only three mills in Norfolk to use both water and wind power from the same site, the others being Little_Cressingham and Thurning. During parts of the 20th century the mill was sometimes known as Roy's Mill. However, it was more often called the Union Mill because unlike Little_Cressingham and possibly Thurning, the tower windmill on this site was actually linked to the machinery within the watermill ...being completely connected & the floors are parallel to each other... and was capable of driving the stones in both buildings. The watermill section had 3 pairs of stones and the windmill had a further 2 pairs. The windmill could also work the flour mill within the watermill when requird. Both mills were built in 1737, being constructed of brick, the watermill having two storeys under a Norfolk pantiled roof, with a third storey being added later. The windmill was originally built with five floors but a sixth was subsequently added. In 1825 the sails had copper vanes.


Although the iron undershot Poncelet type waterwheel was still intact in the 1960s, at some point between 1865 and 1896, stone grinding was discontinued and the mill was converted to a roller system. In 1925 the mill was listed as using gas power, the only listing of its type I have seen so far (possibly gas oil as opposed to coal gas). By 1937 the listing had changed to oil. However, in 1953 Sidney Roy wrote to the East Anglian Magazine stating that the waterwheel built by Whitmore & Binyon of Wickham Market was "...still going strong every day grinding and crushing oats, etc"


Aerial study c.1997
Aerial study c.1997

c.1930 3rd May 2003
c.1930
3rd May 2003

1907
1907

c.1948 3rd May 2003
c.1948
3rd May 2003

Wilfred Ives shoeing a horse 1954
Wilfred Ives shoeing a horse watched by
Carol Wiliams 1954

Mill dam 1954 Mill lorries 1954
Mill dam 1954
Mill lorries 1954

Looking towards the road 1954 The sundial and petrol pump 1954
Looking towards the road 1954
The sundial and petrol pump 1954

The windmill sails disappeared during the first half of the 20th century and a windowed weatherboarded leanto section was built on the front.

The windmill tower was burnt out in May 1935 (George V Silver Jubilee celebrations) and was later reroofed and two distinctive cowled ventilators were installed.

The main timbers from the sails were incorporated into the towermill conversion roof timbers in the 1990s and the leanto section was finally removed in about 1999.


A message written in lead pencil was preserved on the roof rafters near the tower: French fleet seen 1798

Napoleonic war peace tablet
Napoleonic war peace tablet

Thomas Beeston placed a stone tablet above the doorways on either side of the towermill in 1814 to commemorate the end of the Napoleonic wars and Napoleon's exile to the island of Elba.



Tailrace June 1968 June 1968
Tailrace June 1968
June 1968


Some details of the working windmill included:
4 double-shuttered sails, 6 bays of 3 and 1 (innermost) of 4
Copper vanes in 1825
Ogee cap horizontally boarded with ball finial
Petticoat gallery
Stage at 3rd floor
6 floors (5 in 1825)
2 pairs of French burr stones



c.1997 Renovation 3rd May 2003
c.1997
Renovation 3rd May 2003


Delightful Residence,
Superior Water Mill & Tower Windmill
at Burnham Overy
in the county of Norfolk

On Wednesday August 3rd 1825. At the Norfolk Hotel in Norwich at 3 o'c. In one Lot
A most valuable compact ESTATE in the occupation of Mr. Thomas BEESTON, the proprietor comprising an excellent Family House... A superior WATER CORN MILL standing on a fine stream, driving three pair of stones, with store rooms, flour chambers, counting room etc. Adjoining& communicating with it is a most valuable & substantial TOWER WINDMILL with patent sails and copper vanes, five floors, arch for waggons unloading corn & drives two pair of stones. The Mills are called the Union Mills, being completely connected and the floors are parallel to each other. The Windmill is by improved machinery rendered capable of working the flour machine in the water mill when required, by which much manual labour is dispensed with. The other buildings... large brick & tiled barn with carpenter's shop, waggon lodges & granary over, a long range of stabling capable of holding 10 or 12 horses, chaise & harness rooms, with an excellent granary or corn room 96 feet long. At the back of the buildings are two enclosed bullock yards with sheds, stabling, piggeries & pump house, with walled-in stack yard.
Adjoining the premises is an Inclosure of rich Pasture Land... Adjoining the Mills... Meadow Land...
The Premises are in perfect repair, considerable sums of money having been expended to render the Estate what it is universally allowed to be, the most compact & ornamental of its kind in the county of Norfolk. Burnham is distant from the Market Town of Fakenham 10 miles, from Wells & Walsingham 5 miles & from Lynn 20 miles. The Estate is situated in a remarkably good corn country & only one mile distant from the Harbour, which, combined with the powers of the Mills & the present very respectable trade carried on in them, renders the concern an object of peculiar interest to enterprising Capitalists.
The Estate may be viewed on application the the Proprietor on the premises & further particulars may be had on applying (personally or by letters post paid) to the Auctioneer, Norwich or to
Mr. WATSON at Fakenham.
By J. Culley
Norfolk Chronicle - 9th, 16th, 23rd & 30th July 1825


Mill dam June 1968 Mill dam c.1997
Mill dam June 1968
Mill dam c.1997

To Parents & Guardians
WANTED
At lady-day next
A STEADY ACTIVE YOUNG MAN as an Apprentice to a Miller.
Apply personally to Mr. Read, Burnham Overy Mills.
Norfolk Chronicle - 10th March 1838


Renovation of the complex 1998 Renovation of the complex 1998
Renovation of the complex 1998

Mill dam May 2003
Mill dam May 2003

1977 3rd May 2003
1977
3rd May 2003

Mr. J. Beck begs to announce that he is favoured with instructions to Sell by Auction on Friday September 30, 1864 all the valuable Live & Dead FARMING STOCK, Miller’s Waggons, Cart etc. the property of the late Mr. Reed.
Further particulars will appear in future papers.

Norfolk News - 20th & 27th August & 3rd September 1864

Burnham Overy
Mr. Robert Spicer will Sell by Auction on Monday 3 October, 1854 all the Excellent HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE & other Effects late the Property of Mr. James Reed, deceased, particulars of which will appear in future papers.
Norfolk News - 3rd & 10th September 1864


Burnham Overy Mills
Mr. J. Beck is favoured with instructions to Sell by Auction on Friday September 30, 1864 all the valuable Live & Dead FARMING STOCK, Miller’s Waggons, Carts etc. the property of the late Mr. Reed. …
(17th - READ)
Particulars of which will described in Catalogues to be obtained at the place of sale, of the Auctioneer & posted free of charge.
Sale to commence at 12 o’c precisely.
Norfolk News - 10th & 17th September 1864

The Bankruptcy Act 1861
Notice is hereby given that by an Indenture dated 20th June 1866 John Jarrett of Ringstead in the county of Norfolk, Baker, assigned all his Estate & effects to Alfred Lewis of Heacham in the said County, Miller & William Love Porritt of Burnham Westgate in the said County, Miller … for the benefit of the Creditors of the said John Jarrett … in like manner as if he had been adjudged Bankrupt.
Alfred Spanton,
Solicitor, Hunstanton
.
Lynn Advertiser - 21st July 1866

To Millers
Wanted at Michaelmas as CLERK & MANAGER in a Water & Wind Mill, a thoroughly practical man, married (one without a family preferred) & who can be well recommended for ability & integrity.
Apply to Mr. Porritt, Burnham Overy.
Lynn Advertiser & Norfolk News- 25th August 1866


Situations Vacant
To Millers
WANTED, in a Wind & Water Mill, a Young Man as an IMPROVER.
Apply to Mr. Porritt, Burnham Overy.

Norfolk News - 24th November 1866

Wanted in a Wind & Water Mill, a good MILLER (Married) Well recommended.
Apply to Mr. W.L. Porritt, Burnham or at the ADVERTISER’S office at 12 o’c on February 4th.
Lynn Advertiser - 1st February 1868


Burnham Overy
The FLOUR MILLS, HOUSE & LAND in the occupation of Mr. W.L. Porritt & the DWELLING HOUSES & LAND in the occupation of Rev. G.G. Hayter & Mr. Geo. Tweedy will by Order of the Trustees of the late Mr. Thos. Beeston’s Will, be offered for Sale by Auction in the month of July next.
Partridge & Edwards, Kings Lynn. 26 May 1870.

Lynn Advertiser - 28th May, 4th & 11th June & Norfolk Chronicle 28th May & 4th June 1870

Burnham Overy, Sutton & Norton
To be Sold by Auction by
Messrs. Cruso & Hawkins at the Hoste Arms Inn, Burnham Market on Wednesday 13 July 1870 at 3 for 4 o’c by Order of the Trustee of the Will of the late Mr. Thomas Beeston in the following or other lots as may be determined at the Auction
Lot 1. An excellent Double MESSUAGE or DWELLING HOUSE & PREMISES situate at Burnham Overy, Norfolk with the Plantation, Shrubbery, Gardens, Yards, Barns, Coach-house, Stables, Offices & convenient Farm Buildings belonging thereto & all that Brick TOWER WINDMILL & Brick built WATERMILL adjoining thereto & for many years post occupied therewith, with the Going Gear, Fixtures & Appurtenances; & also several pieces of Land … the whole containing together by Tithe Survey 55a.2r.5p. more or less …
This Lot & Lot 2 (30 perches of land at Burnham Sutton) are in the occupation of Mr. W.L. Porritt as yearly tenant. Rent £225.
Norfolk Chronicle, Norfolk News & Lynn Advertiser - 18th & 25th June & 2nd July 1870


Situations Vacant
WANTED, a thoroughly good MILLER. Cottage found.
Apply stating age, reference & salary required to W. L. Porritt, Burnham Overy.

Norfolk News - 2nd December 1871

Situations Vacant
WANTED, a good MILLER (Married) Cottage found.
Apply stating wages & references to Mr. W.L. Porritt, Burnham Overy.
Norfolk News - 13th July 1872


WANTED, a MILLER (Married), cottage found.
Apply stating wages & references to Mr. W.L. Porritt, Burnham Overy, Lynn.
Lynn Advertiser - 27th July 1872


Situations Vacant
WANTED, a good MILLER.
Apply stating wages & references to Mr. William L. Porritt.
Norfolk News - 8th November 1873


Wanted at Michaelmas, a good Miller. Also a Carter for Mill van.
Well recommended. Cottages found.
Apply to Mr. W.L. Porritt, Burnham Overy.
Norfolk News & Lynn Advertiser - 11th September 1875


Wanted, a good General Miller especially as flour dresser.
Cottage found. Apply stating wages required & references to Mr. W. L. Porritt, Burnham Overy.
Lynn Advertiser - 2nd October 1875


Situations Vacant
WANTED, a good GENERAL MILLER, especially as Flour dresser.
Cottage found.
Apply stating wages required & references, to Mr. W. L. Porritt, Burnham Overy.
Norfolk News - 2nd October 1875


WANTED, a Miller as foreman. Trustworthy &: well recommended, without family preferred. House found.
Apply stating age, salary & reference to Mr. W. L. Porritt, Burnham Overy, Lynn.
Lynn Advertiser - 6th October 1877


Wanted for a Miller’s Van, a steady man well recommended.
Apply to Mr. W. L. Porritt, Burnham Overy.
Lynn Advertiser - 8th June 1878


WANTED Carter for mill van. Married man who can read & write.
Well recommended. Good wages.
Apply Mr. W.L. Porritt, Burnham Overy, Lynn.
Lynn Advertiser - 7th September 1878


WANTED as Foreman & Manager in Wind & Water Mills & to help in keeping accounts. If with knowledge of merchandising & malting preferred.Apply stating age, wages required, if with family & references to Mr. W. L. Porritt, Burnham Overy, Lynn.
Lynn Advertiser - 2nd September 1882


WANTED, thorough good general Miller who well understands new processes.
Well recommended.Address, Mr. W. L. Porritt, Burnham Overy, stating terms required & references.
Lynn Advertiser - 23rd February 1884


WANTED by a Miller & Merchant for office work, soliciting orders & making himself generally useful, a sharp active man well recommended. House found. Apply stating wages (moderate) & references to Mr. W. L. Porritt, Burnham Overy.
Lynn Advertiser - 24th December 1887


IRELANDS
Sale Friday September 19, 1890 of
Live & Dead Farming Stock
For Mr. W.L. Porritt who is declining farming.
Norfolk Chronicle - 30th August 1890


ROLLER MILL –
Wanted General Miller; Knowledge of stonedressing required.
State age & reference.
Apply W. L. Porritt, Burnham Overy, Lynn.
Lynn Advertiser - 23rd April 1897


DEATH OF MR. W. L. PORRITT
… at his residence on Tuesday (17th) evening of Mr. William Love Porritt … age of 85 …
… carried on a successful business as a miller and merchant for about 40 years, retiring in 1900. He was also a most successful farmer, having farmed the Crow Hall Farm for a number of years and in his earlier years resided there. Leaving there about the year 1870 he came to Overy and resided at the Mill House until the time of his retirement. He was the son of the late Mr. David Porritt, Maltster and merchant at Burnham Sutton …
Dereham & Fakenham Times - Saturday 21st September 1912


The iron wheel 3rd May 2003   Detail of the wheel buckets
The iron wheel 3rd May 2003
 
Detail of the wheel buckets

William Love Porrit was one of the two assignees appointed to administer the estate of John Jarrett, a baker of Ringstead under a Deed of Assignment made for the benefit of Jarrett's creditors in June 1866.


BURNHAM OVERY, SUTTON & NORTON

To be Sold by Auction by
Messrs. CRUSO & HAWKINS at the Hoste Arms Inn, Burnham Market on Wednesday 13 July 1870 at 3 for 4 o'clock by Order of the Trustee of the Will of the late Mr. Thomas Beeston in the following or other lots as may be determined at the Auction.
Lot 1. An excellent Double MESSUAGE or DWELLING HOUSE and PREMISES situate at Burnham Overy, Norfolk with the Plantation, Shrubbery, Gardens, Yards, Barns, Coach-house, Stables, Offices and convenient Farm Buildings belonging thereto and all that Brick TOWER WINDMILL and Brick built WATERMILL, adjoining thereto and for many years past occupied therewith, with the Going Gear, Fixtures and Appurtenances; and also several pieces of Land... the whole containing together by Tithe Survey 53a. 2r. 5p. more or less... This Lot and Lot 2 (30 perches of land at Burnham Sutton) are in the occupation of Mr. W. L. Porrit as yearly tenant. Rent £225.
Norfolk Chronicle - 18th June 1870

The pit wheel, wallower and spur wheel above Stone nut out of mesh from the spur wheel
The pit wheel, wallower and spur wheel above
Stone nut out of mesh from the spur wheel

For Sale, iron mill shafts, backs, clamps, sails and everything complete, windlass with suitable gearing and tackle, 3 pairs of capital French burr mill stones 4 ft. and 2 pairs ditto 3ft. 6ins. one pair very close for middlings, all driving with the sun, a 'HUNTERS' Purifier' and 2 long silks.
To be sold cheaply.
Apply W.L. Porrit, Burnham Overy
Lynn Advertiser - 29th April 1893


Belt driven seed crusher 3rd May 2003 The sackhoist
Belt driven seed crusher 3rd May 2003
The sackhoist

DEATH OF MR. W. L. PORRIT.

...at his residence on Tuesday evening of Mr. William Love Porrit...age of 86...
... carried on a successfiul business as a miller and merchant for about 40 years, retiring in 1900. He was also a most successful farmer, having farmed the Crow Hall Farm for a number of years and in his earlier years resided there. Leaving there about the year 1870 he came to Overy and resided at the Mill House until the time of his retirement. He was the son of the late Mr. David Porrit, maltster and merchant at Burnham Sutton...
Dereham & Fakenham Times - 21st September 1912

When David Barrows purchased the watermill in October 2001, it had been placed on the buildings in danger list and was in a derelict condition. There was no substantial roof etc. However, all the machinery had been left as when it was working in the 1950s.


My great grandfather, also Philip Roy, my grandfather, also Philip Roy, my great uncle Sydney Roy and my uncle Robert Roy all lived in and worked the mill. As a child, I thought that the mill belonged to me because the glass addition on the front proclaimed "Philip Roy and Sons Ltd"!

I was born during the war. My father, Richard Roy, had lived and worked at the mill before the war, but then started his own market garden in Burnham in 1938. As a child in the late forties I can remember the shire horses being kept in the stables on the left of the main drive. The top half of the stable doors were always open so that the horses could look out when not working. I remember seeing all their oiled ploughing harnesses on the walls, and being allowed to saunter behind them as they walked to the field that they would be working. A blacksmith/ farrier worked on site named Wilfred Ives.The blacksmith's shop was round the corner from the stables, separated from them by the farm office on the rounded corner. I used to help pump up the forge and hand Wilfred his irons if he was in a good mood. If not, best keep away! I can still smell the odour of burnt hoof and quenched iron that emanated from there!

On the other side of the courtyard and behind the cottage was the carpenter's shop, which was run by Jimmy Pike. He was a tall, taciturn man, with no time for youngsters, so I only went in the carpenter's shop when with my grandfather. Although he owned the place, my grandfather was keen to allow every man to control his little "empire". He liked Jimmy because, as a carpenter also, my grandfather recognised his high ability. He once showed me a gate that Jimmy had made, entirely by hand, and told me that "there was not a finer gate in all Burnham!". The mill and its equipment was overseen by Archie Atkins, who was helped by other hands at busy times. Archie was a genial character with a peculiar high-pitched voice. He knew the mill and its machinery inside out. He would sometimes allow me to start the waterwheel moving- there was a large handled brake on the wall-, and he had to lift me up so that I could reach it. The rumbling sound of that wheel as it began to move, and the sight of the water dripping off the huge paddles as they rose into the air was mesmeric. There was a system of belts that drove the mill stones and also, curiously, my grandfather's circular saw outside. I think, probably, that the health and safety executive would today condemn the whole arrangement, but it really was remarkably efficient.

There were many other men who worked at the mill, lorry drivers, mechanics and labourers; it was really an industrial village. The farm secretary, Frank Holland, worked in the corner office with a female secretary, and it was his niece that I eventually married!

In later years, sadly, the embargo on private milling meant that the mill became merely a barn for the mill farm, and as the skilled men retired from their individual jobs, they were not replaced. From the late fifties the mill was used just for rearing pigs, garaging farm machinery, and housing the grain drier. I did not go there as much then; it had lost its busyness and vitality. (Though I continued to poach trout from the river when my uncle was not about....)

I wonder if there is still a message preserved on the rafters which my brother and I found once, which says "French fleet seen, 1798". It is written in lead pencil in the roof rafters near the tower, but not in the tower. I always imagined that some millhand was working in the mill one day and, seeing the sails passing far out to sea, recorded the event on the woodwork for posterity!

The mill was flooded to a depth of 7 feet in the 1953 floods. My uncle always said that he could not get wallpaper to adhere properly on the lower half of the walls because of the incipient salt.

Philip Roy - 10th September 2004


It was a real pleasure to read about the history of Burnham Overy Union Mill and the recollections of life in and around the Mill on the website.

I too have similar memories! Sidney Roy was my great uncle (through marriage) and my childhood Summer holidays were spent at Mill House.

My Mother Joan (née Beaver) and her older sister Mary were the daughters of Hilda Beaver (née Bower) who was a sister of Dorothy Roy, Sydney’s wife.

Following their father John Beaver’s death (he was a stonemason in Burnham Market - the dust caused his death) when they were only 10 and 8 years old, they were virtually brought up by Dorothy and Sydney Roy, their aunt and uncle – for some reason Hilda, their Mother, was unable to care for them herself.

My Mother married George Frederick Williams (known as Fred) in 1940 at the lovely church at the head of the Market Place. They went to live in Ipswich, Suffolk where my older brother Brian (middle name Roy for obvious family reasons!) and I were born soon after the war.

Some of the most memorable and happiest aspects of our childhood were the long, hot, carefree Summer holidays spent at Mill House where we were able to experience life at a working mill. The descriptions of Jimmy Pike, Wilfred Ives and Archie Atkins were exactly as we remember them! My brother was sometimes allowed to accompany Archie on his early morning trips in his lorry to collect the milk churns from neighbouring farms. I remember being fascinated by watching Wilfred shoeing the horses and I have a small photograph of me watching him at work, which I will scan and send.

The noisy workings of the Mill and its machinery were a mystery to me and I spent more time across the courtyard counting the sacks of corn which had holes in them, nibbled by mice, and being fascinated by the sundial, the petrol pump and Frank Holland’s office on the corner, where I had to remember to keep quiet! My brother has vivid memories of Mrs Thompson who mended the sacks and seemed to me to talk a lot (!) She was very fond of Brian.

As for Mill House it was an idyllic place to us with its conservatory, its beautiful walled garden with greengages and figs growing up the walls, the wonderful smell of home grown tomatoes in the greenhouses beyond the brick archway, the swing in the garden, playing cricket there in an evening with all and sundry, including Frank Holland on the large lawn, the boat on the water behind the mill, and collecting the eggs from the chickens through the gate from the garden.

There are also memories of the aftermath of the 1953 floods which were clearly visible when our family hired a Ford Popular once again and visited Mill House to watch the Coronation, along with what seemed like half of Burnham, all gathered round a tiny screen in a large wooden box! Maybe Philip was there too! I remember becoming bored rather quickly and spent most of the time talking to the plants in the conservatory since it was too wet to be able to play in the beautiful garden!

I haven’t yet mentioned my sister Christine who was born 3 years after the Coronation when my brother and I were 12 and 10 years old, and who therefore missed out on all these wonderful childhood experiences, which she still regrets!

A year or so after she was born we moved up to Cheshire (where I still live) but continued our visits to Burnham regularly and after Sydney’s death we stayed at Foundry House, followed by Woods View until Dorrie’s death in 1974.

We have continued to visit North Norfolk and always make sure we spend some nostalgic time in dear old Burnham, remembering such pleasures as (Dudley) Bower’s Grocer and Draper’s shop in the Market Place. Great Uncle Dudley (Dorrie’s brother) was such a character and would probably enjoy a joke even now about his shop becoming an estate agent.

Another significant place to recall is St Edmunds, close to the Market Place, where our Great Grandma Alice Bower (Dorrie’s Mother) lived till her 101 st year, outliving several of her 12 children.

Other places with happy memories include the Hoste Arms which we always make a point of visiting, the beach hut called The Bunker, where we spent such fun times as children with many of the Bower family, and we mustn’t forget the Goosebeck which was actually running during our visit in the Summer of 2001 – this deserved a photograph!

Our visit during Summer 1998 was particularly memorable as the Mill tower was covered in scaffolding (see photo attached) so as we drove past we decided to drive down the gravel courtyard and investigate the renovation. We spoke to a very friendly gentleman who invited us to look around. This was obviously going to be the last time we would have such an opportunity. We were taken (minus hard hats!) around to the river at the back where I was able to take photographs and dream!

The former barns down the courtyard on the left were also being renovated and we were invited to look around the end one (nearest to the road) which was nearing completion. It was good to see these wonderful buildings being put to use again, although of course for very different purposes.

My brother who lives in Hampshire introduced his wife Liz to the delights of Burnham more than 30 years ago, as I did with my partner Graham nearly 10 years ago, and they both agree that it is a very special place. If only they could have had the opportunity to experience the world of Grooms buns, Barker’s sausages and Harry Farrows fish and chips!

My sister and her husband Graham, living in the Midlands, have also spent some happy holidays around there with their 2 young boys. We have also enjoyed 2 joint family holidays together, one in Wells and the other in Blakeney and we all agree that it is high time we had another one!

I have distant memories of Philip Roy’s grandfather and Cobham House – a lovely house and garden, and of his grandfather’s other brother Gladstone. I also vaguely remember Bob Roy when he was living at the Mill (on the right side of the house near to the Mill as I recall) also Philip’s father whom I remember as Dick Roy. I imagine Philip may still live in or around Burnham – there is nowhere better!

Thank you for recounting the memories of the Mill, which has enabled me to enjoy recalling many of mine.

I will continue to follow the website with great interest and hope this missive provides another view of this wonderful Mill and its surroundings.
Carol Williams - 30th April 2006

The watermill was renovated and restored by David Barrows between October 2001 and October 2009. Renovations included stone dressing and repairs to the mill furniture and all the machinery by Millwrights, R. Thomson and Sons. Total repairs to the wheel and buckets by Wensum Engineering included the installation of new sluice gates. 


Burnham Overy Union Mills for sale

Summary
A Grade II listed Georgian watermill with enchanting and quintessentially English views over the mill-pond.Description
The Watermill forms part of a range of most attractive Georgian Mill buildings in a stunning setting overlooking the mill-race and mill-pond yet within a mile of Burnham Market's village centre.
The current owners oversaw the restoration of The Watermill following its purchase in 2001. Their aim was to create a spacious, comfortable family home whilst also preserving the building's heritage. Original and complementary materials have been used wherever possible; linseed paints, lime wash, pitch pine and York stone are all in evidence and the waterwheel has been fully restored. The workmanship was highly commended by the UK Federation of Master Builders upon completion.

HISTORICAL NOTE:
The Mill at Burnham Overy Town was constructed c. 1737 on the River Burn and was notable as one of only two mills in Norfolk to be powered by both wind and water from the same site. Called the Union Mill as a result of this, the Mill remained in use for over 200 years adding an engine in the 20th century (as was common practice) to complement the wheel and the sails.

ACCOMMODATION:
The accommodation is arranged over four floors and capitalises on The Watermill's charming setting above the mill-stream. The ground floor provides a well-appointed kitchen with an electric AGA and a dining room looking across the mill-pond, along with a wet room, cloakroom and mill-room in which the waterwheel is located. The first floor provides two generous reception rooms, each with windows overlooking the water on two sides. The second floor consists of three bedroom suites whilst a fourth bedroom and a further substantial reception room with a partially-glazed roof section are found on the top floor.
The dining room opens to a good-sized hardwood deck with glorious views across the mill-pond. Situated to the east of the mill buildings there is a further area of garden planted with saplings in which an old railway carriage stands, now restored to use as a summerhouse. The garden amounts to 0.6 acre (S.T.S.). Adjoining the garden is a Garage Block providing three secure bays with floored storage above one along with a log store.
Mill Farm is a small community which consists of twelve separate residential dwellings who jointly own a further 4.75 acres of amenity land consisting of water meadows and woodland. A nominal annual charge is levied by a Management Company for the upkeep of the shared land.

Bedfords Sale Details - August 2015

O. S. Map 1886

O. S. Map 1886
Courtesy of NLS map images


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

1737: Mill built along with reconstructed watermill. Date on watermill

1798: French fleet seen from the top of the towermill

Poll Book 1802: Thomas Beeston, miller

1814: Thomas Beeston, miller

1825: Thomas Beeston, miller

Bryant's map 1826: Mill

Wednesday 3rd August 1825: Mills offered for sale at auction but were not sold. Rented by James Read

Pigot's 1830: James Read, miller

White's 1836: James Read, corn miller

Census 1841:

James Read (50) b.Wighton, miller
Mary H. Evitts (16) visitor
Caroline Warren (or Warnes) (17) female servant
Mary Buston (55) independent
Elizabeth Lunn (or Dunn) (55) female servant
Elizabeth Lunn (or Dunn) (30) female servant

White's 1845: James Read, corn miller

Census 1851:

James Read (60) b.Wighton, miller
Ann Read (20) b.Burnham Overy (daughter)
Kate Read (18) b.Burnham Overy
Elizabeth Powell (33) b.Walsingham (visitor)
Sarah Ayers (20) b.Burnham Thorpe, house servant
Address: Town

White's 1854: James Read, corn miller & farmer

Harrod's 1863: James Read, miller

1864: James Read died

White's 1864: Executors of James Read (was living near the church)

August 1864: Business effect of James Read advertised for sale by auction

Kelly's 1865: William Love Porrit, farmer, maltster & merchant (son in law of James Read) renting at £225 pa

1866: William Love Porritt

1870: Mill put up for auction by trustees of Thomas Beeston

Kelly's 1879: William Love Porritt, farmer, miller, maltster & merchant; & at Burnham Market & Burnhm Sutton

Kelly's 1883: William Love Porrit

Kelly's 1892: William Love Porritt, farmer, miller (wind & water) maltster & merchant; & at Burnham Sutton

1893: Windmill dismantled and machinery sold

April 1893: Windmill machinery advertised for sale

Kelly's 1896: William Love Porritt, miller, roller mills (steam & water) merchant & farmer

Kelly's 1900: William Love Porritt

1900: William Love Porritt retired

Kelly's 1904: Philip Roy, miller

Tuesday 17th September 1912: William Love Porritt died aged 86

Kelly's 1922: Philip Roy, miller

Kelly's 1925: Philip Roy & Sons Ltd - Gas

1926: Windmill derelict

May 1935: Windmill tower burnt out


Kelly's 1937: Philip Roy & Sons Ltd - Oil

1926: Windmill derelict

31st January 1953: Mill flooded to a depth of 7 feet

1953: Sidney Roy - wheel still used to crush oats etc

Norfolk County Council Report 1969: Mill used for storage only

1999: Mill bought by David Barrows

2003: Mill being renovated under the ownership of David Barrows

May 2006: Mills advertised for sale by Bedfords for c.£1,250,000

August 2015: Mills advertised for sale by Bedfords for c.£1,850,000


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 TF 84234262
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Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2004