Briningham
postmills


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Norfolk Windmills


Robert Richmond c.1870
Robert Richmond c.1870

Two postmills stood side by side down Mill Lane. The roundhouse and remains of the earlier mill can be seen behind the ladder of the later mill in the above photo. The older mill had a 300 foot diameter footprint and had probably ceased working by 1845.

The newer mill above had two pairs of French Burr stones for flour production.
Briningham postmill was only slightly lower than Upper Sheringham postmill, which was the highest postmill in Norfolk.


Emanuel Bowen's map of 1749 showed a total of 8 corn mills:

Briningham postmill,
East Wretham postmill
Fincham postmill
Poringland postmill
South Creake Common postmill
St. Benet's Abbey towermill
Strumpshaw smockmill
Tacolneston postmill


Wm went to Barningham Mill afternoon to git a Last of wheat cut.
Mary Hardy's diary - 16th March 1785
(Almost certainly Briningham)


To Millers
To be Sold by Private Contract

A Capital POST WINDMILL with Roundhouse and going Gears complete and hald an Acre of Land attached, situate at BRININGHAM in Norfolk.
The mill is in excellent repair, drives two pairs of French Stones and is in full employ.
The above has a considerable Bag Trade and is well adapted for an industrious Man with a small Capital.
Apply to Mr. Kent, Solicitor, Fakenham.

Norfolk Chronicle - 5th & 12th March 1831

To Millers
To be Sold by Private Contract

To be Sold by Auction by Mr. BENJ. LEAKE on Wednesday 11 May 1831 at 3 o’c at the Queens Head Inn, Holt.
A Capital POST WINDMILL with Roundhouse and going Gears complete and hald an Acre of Land attached, situate at BRININGHAM in Norfolk.
The mill is in excellent repair, drives two pairs of French Stones and is in full employ.
The above has a considerable Bag Trade and is well adapted for an industrious Man with a small Capital.
Apply to Mr. Kent, Solr, Fakenham & Mr. WITHERS, Holt

Norfolk Chronicle - 16th April & 7th May 1831

The mill remained unsold and was readvertised for sale by auction on 11th May 1831, however it was sold privately to William Sexton before the auction date. William Sexton ran both the mill and a local beerhouse until c.1846 when he let it to Thomas Chambers, followed by George Scarlett the village baker in 1854 then finally Robert Richmond. William Sexton also owned and worked Hainford_Chapel_Street_towermill from 1853 to 1865 as well as leasing the wind and steam mill in Jetty Street on the Denes at Gt Yarmouth that was demolished in December 1880.


Notice is hereby given that the POST WINDMILL & half an acre of LAND at Briningham advertised for Sale by Auction at the Queens Head, Holt on Wednesday 11 May instant (see First Page of this Paper) has been SOLD by PRIVATE CONTRACT.
Fakenham, May 5, 1831.
Norfolk Chronicle - 7th May 1831


In 1854 George Scarlett, miller and baker rented the mill from William Sexton.


BRININGHAM, Norfolk
WOOLVERTON & GEORGE
Will Sell by Auction at the Crown Hotel, Fakenham on Thursday November 13, 1879 at 4 pm. precisely the following

PROPERTY
Lately belonging to Mr. William SEXTON deceased.
Lot 1. Three Cottages…
Lot 2. A WINDMILL with DWELLING HOUSE & Stable, Cart Lodge, Outbuildings & piece of land abutting on the Mill Lane, Briningham & property of Lord Hastings.
Immediate possession of Lot 2 may be had.

Particulars of the Auctioneers & of Mr. Charles DIVER, Solicitor, Great Yarmouth.
Lynn Advertiser 8 November 1879

BRININGHAM, Norfolk

WOOLVERTON & GEORGE will Sell by Auction at the Crown Hotel, Fakenham, on Thursday November 13, 1879 at 4 p.m. precisely, the following PROPERTY lately belonging to Mr. William Sexton, deceased.
Lot 1. Three Freehold COTTAGES situate at Briningham.
Lot 2. A DWELLING HOUSE standing on high ground abutting on the Mill Lane, Briningham and property of Lord Hastings, WINDMILL with piece of LAND, Cart Sheds, Stable, Room formerly used as Bake Office and Outbuildings adjoining. Immediate possession of this Lot may be had.
Tenure partly Freehold and partly Copyhold of the Manor of Melton Constable.
Particulars of the Auctioneers or Mr. Charles Diver, Great Yarmouth.

Norfolk Chronicle - 8th November 1879

O. S. Map 1885

O. S. Map 1885
Courtesy of NLS map images


Robert Richmond was recorded in the 1851 census as an employee miller working at Corpusty Black Mill, along with his son John aged 12. By the time the census was taken in 1861, Robert Richmond had moved to Briningham. Besides being Briningham village postmaster, he also owned Barney towermill and by 1871 was in severe financial difficulties there, necessitating a Bill of Sale by auction of his mill, horse, harness, cart, household effects etc. However he remained at Briningham postmill until William Sexton died in 1879.


Robert Richmond's son John who was 12 years old in 1851, was presumably 22 at the time of the 1861 census when his wife and 3 children were recorded as living on Toftwood Common, John not being recorded there. The 1871 census lists John Richmond as a miller at Gaywood and the 1881 census shows him as being a corn miller in Highgate. It is probable that although he was skilled, he was not a miller in charge of a mill, this being illustrated by the fact that the 1881 marriage certificate of his son John jnr lists John snr as being a stone dresser. John jnr married the daughter of James Anderson, who was a mill employee at Narborough. The 1901 census records John Richmond snr as a pauper miller and an inmate of Lynn Union, with his wife living with other family members in Gaywood. John Richmond snr died in 1905.


Frank & Mrs. Celia Burch, Mill Lodge, Mill Lane, Briningham, Melton Constable, NR24 2OA bought the property from P.H. Thompson’s son 1985 after Frederick Harold Thompson had died.


Emanuel Bowens map 1749: One mill shown (along with 7 other mills on the map)

Corbridge's map 1765: Mill (along with 6 other corn mills)

Faden's map 1797: Mill

Poll Book 1802: John Locksmith, miller (older mill)

Bryants map 1826: Two mills shown

1831: William Sexton

1831: Mill advertised for sale and sold by private contract

White's 1836: Richard Locksmith, miller (older mill)
William Sexton, corn miller & beerhouse (newer mill)

Poll Book 1836: Robert Locksmith, miller (older mill)

O.S. map 1838: 2 mills

White's 1845: miller & baker

c.1846-1853: Thomas Chambers rented the mill from William Sexton - also at Gt. Yarmouth Jetty towermill

O.S. Map 1838: Two mills shown

White's 1854: George Scarlett, miller

White's 1864: Robert Richmond, miller

1871: Robert Richmond, miller and village postmaster rented the mill from William Sexton

October 1872: Robert Richmond died

1875: Mill post and piers of older mill still remained

1879: William Sexton died

Thursday 13th November 1879: Mill sold at auction and possibly never worked again

1984: Foundations of later mill and a 8 foot free standing post

c.1971: Leslie Allan of Mill house died

1974: Frederick Harold Thompson, Mill Cottage

1985: Frank & Mrs. Celia Burch, Mill Lodge, Mill Lane



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Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2006