Gimingham Mill
River Mun


Gimingham 1954
Gimingham Mill 1954


Gimingham watermill stood on the original Domesday site and the last mill to work there was built of local brick and flint brought in from local beaches. The original waterwheel went fairly early on, first being supplemented by steam and then replaced by a turbine with half twist drive in 1912 and then later by diesel engines although water was still used for cooling them. The mill carried on working until 30th November 1976, using its diesel power to mill animal feedstuffs. In 1807 a bake office was being operated on the site.


The Soke of Gimingham
p.59
Under the De Warrenes
Then of course there was the Water Mill & later on there were four Wind Mills as well.
p.76
Inquisition Post Mortem
(of John de Warren, deceased)
21 Edw. III
(19th July 1347)
Also there are 4 Windmills & one Watermill, which are worth by the year 40 Marks.
History of an East Anglian Soke - Christobel M. Hoare (Mrs. Ivo Hood) 1918


Mill dam with mill in the distance - c.1906
Mill dam with mill in the distance - c.1906

sign 1954   sign 1977
Gable end telephone number signs 1954 and 1977

Gimingham Mill dam was once a 20 acre broad fed by the River Mun, which has its source as the lake at Northrepps Hall. The water ran under the road to reach the waterwheel, which was probably originally overshot. The only other overshot wheels I have found so far were at Foulden, an auxiliary wheel at Buxton and Mundesley, which just happened to be the next mill down.


1977   Nov 1982
1977
 
AG 1981 on the gable end November 1982

If Gimingham Mill held up the water, then the next mill down at Mundesley was unable to run.

When Gimingham's millstones were finally taken out they were apparently placed in the grounds of Mundesley Mill House.


1977
Part of the original millpond on the opposite side of the road to the mill in 1977

Richard Plumbly's wife Maria died on 22nd February at the age of 30. She had already had 5 children.


Richard Plumly who was the miller in 1809 married Maria Swallow in 1797. Maria died young (1780-1809), probably during childbirth. During their time together they had 6 children - Ann (1798-1865), married James Crowe in 1818; Robert (1801), married Mary Cranefield in 1822; Thomas (1803), married Harriet Heldson in 1829; James (1806 - c. 1809); John (1807); James (1809), married Mary Ann Youngman in 1824.

Later on in 1809, Richard married his second wife Esther Lubbock.


 May1969 12Jan2003
May 1969
AG 1981 on the gable end 12th January 2003

The watermill was worked in conjunction with the nearby Gimingham postmill until 1877.


Desirable Freehold Corn mills
With possession immediately or at Lady day next
By E. MAYER On Thursday 27 October 1808 between the hours of three & six o'c in the afternoon At the Bear Inn in North Walsham unless sooner disposed of by private contract of which timely notice will be given.
All those capital and complete Water & Wind MILLS called Gimingham Mills, with three pairs of French burr stones, three flour mills & appurtenances belonging to the same, an excellent brick built dwelling house & baking office adjoining the same, with the building & garden thereto belonging, with or without 8 acres of land of the first quality, now in the occupation of Mr. Benjamin GOLDSMITH, the owner who has engaged a situation in the farming line. The whole of the premises are in complete repair & are well calculated for an extensive concern.
Particulars of Mr. GOLDSMITH of Gimingham aforesaid, Mr. Samuel GOLDSMITH, Corpusty, Mr. John GOLDSMITH, Fordham & of the Auctioneers, North Walsham. N.B. Letters post paid.

Norfolk Chronicle - 8th October 1808


Situation Vacant
To Millers
WANTED, a Single Man to work a POST WIND-MILL & assist in Water-Mill. Good reference required.
Apply Thomas Gaze, Gimmingham Mills.

Norfolk News - 21st September 1867


Situation Vacant
To Millers
WANTED, a Young Man to work a POST WINDMILL & assist in a Watermill.
Apply J. Gimmingham.

Norfolk News - 19th September 1868


GIMINGHAM, Norfolk
WATER CORN MILL, WINDMILL, PASTURE LAND, COTTAGES, STABLE, CART SHED & GARDEN. OCCUPATION AT MICHAELMAS NEXT.
Clowes, Tewson & Nash are favoured by directions to Sell the above by Auction at the latter end of June.
Vendor's Solicitor, Mr. I. B. oaks,
Bank Plain, Norwich
Norfolk Chronicle - 19th & 26th May 1877


GIMINGHAM, Norfolk
WATER CORN MILL, WINDMILL, PASTURE LAND, COTTAGES, STABLE, CART SHED & GARDEN. Occupation at Michaelmas next.
Clowes, Tewson & Nash are favoured by direction to Sell the above by Auction on Saturday 23 June 1877.
Vendor's Solicitor, Mr. I. B. oaks,
Bank Plain, Norwich
Further particulars of the above Sales of the Auctioneers at Bank Chambers, Norwich & Bungay.
Norfolk Chronicle - 2nd June 1877


GIMINGHAM, Norfolk
Near North Walsham Canal & Railway Station & about six miles from Cromer.
WATER CORN MILL, WINDMILL, PASTURE LAND, COTTAGES, STABLE, CART SHED & GARDEN. Occupation at Michaelmas next.
Clowes, Tewson & Nash are favoured by direction to Sell the above by Auction on Saturday 23 June 1877.
Vendor's Solicitor, Mr. I. B. oaks,
Bank Plain, Norwich
Further particulars of the above Sales of the Auctioneers at Bank Chambers, Norwich & Bungay.
Norfolk Chronicle - 9th, 16th & 25th June 1877


An unfortunate occurrence due to the subsidence of a culvert at Gimingham, has led to the cessation of work at Gimingham Watermill. On Wednesday morning Mr. Gaze, proprietor of the Mill, observing a failure in the motive power, went to discover the cause and was in time to see the remaining portion of the culvert which retains the water for the mill supply collapse. An adjoining meadow belonging to Mr. S. Gillam was flooded by the liberated water, where later on some of the juvenile population caught fish that had been swept onto the meadow. It is understood that the replacing of the culvert will involve a considerable outlay. At Messrs. Larter Bros' watermill at Mundesley, which obtains its supply from the same stream, it was seen at once that something had gone wrong higher up the stream and by opening their mill sluice further mishap was avoided, as there are several cottages and gardens in the vicinity that would have come within reach of the invading water.
Eastern Daily Press - 14th March 1924


12Jan2003 engine 12Jan2003
12th January 2003
The preserved oil engine beside the mill January 2003

Another Old Norfolk Mill Closes Down
Gimingham Mill is to close down at the end of the month. Until four years ago, animal feedstuffs were made at the mill and local grain was bought and sold but recently it has been used for the buying and reselling of feedstuffs.
The owner, Mr. W. J. Hayden, said there had been a mill on the site almost continuously for centuries. One was mentioned in the Domesday Book.
"Trade is such that only large mills can keep going," he said, referring to another victim of hard times, Dickleburgh Mill, which is to close early next year.

Steam Engine
He estimated the existing mill was about 200 years old. It had a water-wheel but changed to turbine power in 1912. This was supplemented by a steam engine. Since then, there had not been sufficient water to run the mill. Until the mill stopped producing feedstuffs, electricity was used for power.
The mill had been in his wife's family for at least three generations, said Mr. Hayden.

Mr. Clifford Burton, the mill manager, is the only person who works there. But he remembers more prosperous times. "At the peak time, 12 to 14 years ago, there were a dozen people employed here," he recalled.
Eastern Evening News - 12th November 1976


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

The original heavy oil (diesel) engine has been preserved and stands beside the road just below the mill.


Browsing through the internet in a rare free moment I came across your article on Gimingham Mill. While I can little to your knowledge of the mill, I thought it possible that you might be interested in my happy memories of Gimingham in the late '30s and early 40s. As a child I lived with an aunt and cousin in Norwich. The latter was a Jehovah's Witness who became friends through that organisation with a Sidney and Beatrice Thirst who lived at what was then Upcot Barn in Sandpit Lane.My cousin worked at Mac Fisheries in Norwich and from the age of 4 I was often put on the bus in Surrey Street station with a packet of fresh fish and strict instructions to get off at the top of the village before the bus turned right on its way to Mundesley.

If  I was not met I would then walk fearfully past the woods and the church to where civilisation began. The mill race was huge and forbidding but there was the mill and cottages on the left just beyond it. In the end cottage lived an elderly man who made peashooters for all the children - including me!

Upcot Barn was a fascinating place. I saw it from the outside some years ago and it was unrecognisable. Then it was a small cottage with a haybarn attached. Just one living / dining room to the left of the door with a small greenhouse beyond. To the right was a large kitchen, a drab cold place, more like a store than   the archetypal farm kitchen. There was of course no running water. We gathered that in buckets from the well in the garden of the house to the front of the Barn.. Upstairs were two bedrooms to the left. I always had the small one which was completely roughly wood panelled and there was always a pile of Enid Blyton's Sunny Stories awaiting me. To the right was one large room usually full of vegetables and apples in season and this room had a kind of hatch which would lead into the haybarn.

Sid and Beaty had a son, Bobby, just three days older than me. We used this hatch to get into the house when we had been intentionally barred from it. We built tunnels in the sand above the house - goodness knows how they never collapsed on us - and got up to all kinds of mischief. We walked to Mundesley and were frustrated at not being able to get on to the sands because of all the wartime wire defences. I learnt to ride a (boy's) bike on the road to Cromer when we went to gather the eggs from Sid's flock because it had soft grass verges where I could stop by falling on to them.

In 1942 while the Baedecker raids were ravaging Norwich I was evacuated to Upcot Barn for a few weeks and attended the village school. My one memory of that was being alllowed into the "big" class to do "sums" while my own class did the needlework which I hated. I was there for Mayday when a maypole was set up in he schoolyard around which we did traditional ribbon dances.The school, I noticed, has like so many others been turned into a private house.

Bobby died of meningitis in 1943 when we both were 9 years old and though I visited Upcot a few times after that it was not the same for me and far too painful for his parents who moved some time later to near North Walsham. However the previous 5 years were among the happiest of my childhood and though I left Norfolk, first in '52 when I went up to university in London, and finally in '57 when I married and went to live in Yorkshire it still holds a place in my heart. I've lived for over 30 years now in Shropshire and have not been back for some years and am not likely to but I can still recall Gimingham with such affection --all except for the awful earth closet at Upcot Barn!

Sorry if you were hoping for memories about the mill but I thought you might find this of some interest.   
                 
Veronica Oates, Shropshire - 23rd October 2009


1347: Watermill

1793: Jeremy Thursby, miller left to take over his father in law's Mulbarton_smockmill

1801: John Bond, miller

January 1801: Mill advertised for sale by auction along with the windmill

1805: John Bond, miller

April 1805: Mill advertised for sale by auction along with the windmill

1807: Benjamin Goldsmith

April 1807: Mill advertised for sale along with the windmill

October 1808: Mill advertised for sale by auction along with the windmill

1808: Benjamin Goldsmith, miller

October 1808: Mill advertised for sale by auction along with the windmill

1809: Richard Plumbly, miller

November 1809: Mill advertised for sale along with the windmill

September 1814: Mill advertised for sale by private contract along with the windmill

1814: Christopher Goulder, miller

1821: Thomas Ewing

White's 1836: John Waterson, corn miller

Census 1841: John Waterson (25) miller
Sarah Sexton (70)
John Helsdon (35) journeyman miller

White's 1845: John Waterson, miller

Census 1851: John Waterson (40) b.Swafield, master miller employing 3 men

James Gaze (21) b.Paston, journeyman miller

John Gaze (19) b.Paston, journeyman miller
Ann Coe (35) b.Erpingham, housekeeper

Census 1851: George Emerson (30) journeyman miller

8th December 1852: Richard Plumbly died aged 77

White's 1854: John Waterson, corn miller & farmer

Craven's 1856: John Waterson, miller

Harrod's 1863: Thomas Gaze, miller

White's 1864: Thomas Gaze, corn miller

Post Office Directory 1875: Thomas Gaze

Harrod's 1878: Thomas Gaze (c.1878 moved to Felmingham Mill)

Kelly's 1879: Walter James Gaze, miller

Census 1881: Thomas Gaze (46) b.Paston, miller and farmer
Mary Gaze (48) b.Southrepps;
Polly Gaze b.North Walsham
Ellen Gaze b.Gimingham
Louisa Gaze b.Gimingham

White's 1883: Walter Gaze, miller & farmer

Kelly's 1892: Walter James Gaze, miller (water & steam) & farmer

Kelly's 1896: Walter James Gaze, miller (water & steam) & farmer

Kelly's 1900: Walter James Gaze, miller (water & steam) & farmer

Kelly's 1904: Walter James Gaze, miller (water & steam) & farmer

Kelly's 1908: Walter James Gaze, miller (water & steam) & farmer

Kelly's 1912: Walter James Gaze, miller

1912: Turbine installed

Kelly's 1916: Walter James Gaze & Son, millers & farmers

Kelly's 1922: Gaze Bros. millers

Kelly's 1925: Gaze Bros. millers

Kelly's 1929: Gaze Bros. millers

Kelly's 1933: Gaze Bros. millers. TN Mundesley 68

Kelly's 1937: Gaze Bros. millers

December 1950: W. E. Gaze died

Tel. directory 1970:
Gimingham Mills Ltd.

1976: W. J. Hayden, owner. Clifford Burton, mill manager


30th November 1976: Mill ceased production

15th February 1979: Mill destroyed in fire

1981: Building rebuilt to a residential format but the wheelpit remained

2003: Mill residential but the building behind still in business use by the Gotts family



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 TG28663690
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Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2003