Pentney Mill
River Nar


24th August 2003
24th August 2003


Pentney watermill originally belonged to the nearby priory. When the priory closed and the village moved towards Narborough, the mill became quite remote from the village and this probably contributed to its demise during the 1800s. A smock_windmill stood about half a mile to the north east.

The base of the building was constructed using locally made white brick. It appears probable that the upper storeys were also constructed of the same material.


Headrace 24th August 2003 Mill remains with the priory behind
Headrace 24th August 2003
Mill remains with the priory behind

Faden's map of 1797 shows the mill as Pentney Mill whereas Bryant's map of 1826 shows the mill as the Windmill Inn. It is possible that the building took a change of use or at least an additional use by taking advantage of the opening of the Nar navigation in 1759. However, navigation on the upper reaches of the Nar above Narborough_Mill as far as West Acre was relatively short lived and had probably closed by 1810, although navigation to Narborough remained open until about 1885.


Faden's map 1797
Faden's map 1797

During the 1800s the work of the watermill was doubtless taken over by the windmill some half a mile away.


Up until the 1800s, the lane leading to priory was lined with houses, most of which had been built to house those working for, or trading with the priory. Doubtless many of the occupants would walk the few hundred yards to the Windmill Inn.


The mill is listed as a pub in several directories published during the 1800s.


Pub landlord, William Ranns was mentioned an inquest of December 1858. One Thomas Valentine had died by drowning and it was alleged by some that he had fallen over the bridge into the river after having been struck by William Ranns.


Inquest of Thomas Valentine


O. S. Map 1884

O. S. Map 1884
Courtesy of NLS map images



Original brickwork 24th August 2003
Original brickwork 24th August 2003

16th March 2008
Priory behind the mill 16th March 2008

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

Kelly's 1900: John Valentine, coal dealer

Kelly's 1904: John Valentine, coal merchant, carter & carriage contractor & dairyman

Kelly's 1908: John Valentine, coal dealer & dairyman

Kelly's 1912: John Valentine, coal dealer & dairyman

Kelly's 1916: John Valentine, coal dealer
Kelly's 1916: David Bunfield, farmer, Abbey Farm

Kelly's 1922: John Valentine, coal dealer
Kelly's 1922: David Bunfield, farmer, Abbey Farm

Kelly's 1925: David Bunfield, farmer, Abbey Farm (over 150 acres)


Faden's map 1797: Pentney Mill

Bryant's map 1826: The Windmill Inn

White's 1836: William Wiseman, victualler,

Census 1841:
William Wiseman (59) publican
Alice Wiseman (50)
Rebecca Spruce (19) female servant
Frances Dye (31) no occupation
Marian Dye (1)
Address: Pentney Mill

White's 1845: William Wiseman, victualler, Mill

White's 1854: William Rands, Mill

1858: William Ranns, landlord of
The Mill

December 1858: Thomas Valentine drowned in the river after an autocation with William Ranns, landlord

Census 1861:
William Rands (48) b.Marham, publican & farmer
Rebecca Rands (35) b.Gayton
Frank Rands (7) b.Pentney
Thomas Hudson (16) b.Pentney, servant
Address: Pentney Mill

White's 1864: Rebecca Story, Windmill

Kelly's 1879: Henry Storey, Windmill

Census 1881: Pentney Mill Inn, Richard Storey

White's 1883: Henry Storey, miller, Windmill (N.B. mistake for victualler
JJN)

White's 1890: Henry Storey, beerhouse

Kelly's 1892: William Storey,
Pentney Mill P. H.

Kelly's 1896: Charles Bunfield, Pentney Mill P. H.

Kelly's 1900: Charles Bunfield, Pentney Mill P. H.

Kelly's 1904: Charles Bunfield & Son, Pentney Mill farm

Kelly's 1908: Charles Bunfield & Son, Pentney Mill farm

Kelly's 1912: Charles Bunfield & Son, Pentney Mill farm



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 TF69711206
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Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2003