Thornage Mill
River Glaven



May 1967
May 1967

Thornage watermill was situated in a field adjacent to a farm and was not on the road. The mill was almost certainly on a site recorded in Domesday and in the 1200s was known as Feldmille. It was built entirely of brick and pantile and once had a two storey lucum but by 1967 only the support beams were left. The breastshot 13' x 6' wheel was made entirely out of wood and powered 4 pairs of stones that were driven from above and controlled by two sets of flyball governors. Three pairs of French burr stones still remained in 2003.

The mill has been disused since 1938 although in 1972 the owner was talking of reopening it.

The mill was finally sold in the 1980s and converted into a private residence.


May 1967
May 1967

Conveyance by Hamon de la Grene de Hunworth to Ralph bishop of Norwich of mediety of watermill called Feldmille in Thomage with easements and liberties, holding of fee of land Ralph and his successors as bishop of Norwich.
Records of the Dean and Chapter of Norwich Cathedral - 2nd November 1291
Mediety means the same as Moiety - a share of part of half of ...


March 2003
March 2003

1977 March 2003
1977
March 2003

1977 16th March 2003
1977
16th March 2003

In 1977 it was noted that all the machinery was intact including the wooden wheel.
In 2003 the machinery was still intact having been incorporated into the living area of the converted mill.


Headrace in 1977 Headrace in March 2003
Headrace in 1977
Headrace in March 2003

The wheelhouse in 1977 The wheel in March 2003
The wheelhouse in 1977
The wheel in March 2003

Unusually, the spur wheel is situated above the stones and thus also provided the drive from above. The only other Norfolk mills found to share this arrangement so far are Hunworth, Snettisham, Stoke Holy Cross and Weybourne. Possibly it is simply coincidence that Hunworth happens to be the mill above Thornage.


Spur wheel, stone nuts and stones May 1982
Spur wheel, stone nuts and stones May 1982

16th March 2003 16th March 2003
The wallower and post with the pit wheel behind March 2003
The spur wheel 16th March 2003

May 1982 16th March 2003
May 1982
16th March 2003

Originally there was virtually no light coming into the southern elevation. Nearly all the doors and windows shown on the photographs were added during conversion.


The original area of the dam March 2003
The original area of the dam March 2003

The course of the Glaven was moved to the west in order to construct the mill in an area able to hold the mill dam without flooding the surrounding area and in order to be more accessible to heavy transport.


4th September 2004
4th September 2004

5th August 2007 9th February 2008
5th August 2007
9th February 2008

O. S. Map 1885

O. S. 6" Map 1885 (not to scale)
The dotted line of the parish boundary to the east of the mill denotates the original watercourse
Courtesy of NLS map images


O. S. Map 1885

O. S. 25" Map 1885 (not to scale)
Courtesy of NLS map images


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

White's 1836: James Cooke, farmer (yeoman)
White's 1836: John & Thomas Cooke, gent.

Harrod's 1863: James Cooke, farmer, Hill house


2nd November 1291: Hamon de la Grene de Hunworth conveyed a moiety to Ralph bishop of Norwich

Greenwood's map 1834: Mill

White's 1836: Cooke & Sons, corn millers (& Glandford)

White's 1845: William & R. Cooke

Census 1851: Robins Cooke (54) master miller employing 6 men. William Melbon (31) journeyman miller
Robert Russell (31) journeyman miller
George Fox (20) jorneyman miller. Mark Fox (15) brother, apprentice miller
William Woods (33) corn miller carter

Harrod's 1863: William & Robins Cooke, millers and coal and lime merchants

White's 1864: Robins Cooke

Kelly's 1883: Frederick Alexander Buttram

Kelly's 1892: Frederick Alexander Buttram

1938: Mill ceased operation

Norfolk CC Report 1969: Disused and dilapidated

1982: Mill sold by Lord Hastings' estate to Peter Miller of Thornage Hall

c.1983: Converted to residential use

July 2003: Advertised for sale by FPD Savills at a guide price of £815,000


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 TG 06113675
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Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2003