Croxton
towermill
(Near Thetford)


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Croxton towermill was built and run as a combination of a cornmill and a sawmill.


To be Sold by Auction in the month of May 1842
A Modern & Comfortable Dwelling House with Stables & Outbuildings & Brick Tower Windmill for grinding CORN & Sawing Wood & 5 acres of Land at Croxton, within one mile of the excellent Market Town of Thetford in the county of Norfolk.
Apply to Mr. C. Clarke, Solr. Thetford or Messrs. Bell & Hett, Solrs. Downham Market.
Norfolk Chronicle - 2nd & 9th April 1842


CROXTON
To be Sold by Auction at the Bell Inn, Thetford on Saturday 4 June, 1842 at 6 o'c
A very convenient new built Dwelling House & a Brick Tower Windmill which is constructed for the purpose of Grinding Flour & Sawing Wood at the same time with 5 acres of capital Land within a mile of the excellent town of Thetford.
The whole of the Property is Freehold & situate in the parish of Croxton.
Apply to Mr. Clarke, Solr. Thetford or Messrs. Bell & Hett, Solrs. Downham Market.
Norfolk Chronicle - 28th May 1842



CROXTON, Thetford
Dwelling House, Mill & Land To be Let
A very compact & comfortable Dwelling House with 5a. 0r. 0p. of Capital Land & Stables & other Outbuildings & a Brick Tower Windmill constructed for the purpose of grinding Flour & sawing Wood. The above are situate at Croxton within a mile of the Market Town of Thetford in the County of Norfolk.
Apply to Mr. Clarke, Solr. Thetford or Messrs. Bell & Hett, Solrs. Downham Market.
Norfolk Chronicle - 23rd July 1842


Tithe Award & Map 1846
Owner: Assigns of John Read, Junior
Occupier: William Taylor
No. 118 House, Mill & Land 5 acres. Vicar 5s. Impr. £1. 5. 6


Tithe map 1846
Tithe map 1846 - reproduced by Harry Apling

Hill House c.1945 Hill House c.1965
Hill House c.1945
Hill House c.1965

In 1940 my farming parents John and Marion Roper with family, moved from Wiltshire to ‘Hill House Farm' just over the Thetford boundary into the parish of Croxton. I was born later in 1948 and raised at ‘Hill House' (the then designated name) and assumed it had always been a farmhouse. But, even as a youngster I wondered about the oddly connected farmhouse and buildings, together with the dilapidated chalk-block wall around the yard to the rear of the property.
In my late 40s, a virus attacked the pulse path in my heart. With the dedicated help of Papworth Hospital and my wonderful wife Margaret (bless her soul), I made an unexpected recovery. It was a long recovery period and to keep me sane I decided to research and document my family history. Internet searches revealed loads about my Ropers and where they lived but nothing about Hill House. By chance one search included ‘Croxton and Thetford', and up popped a plan layout of Croxton Towermill which I immediately recognized as Hill House. Then a second written document advertised the property For Sale with full details.
The location was clearly correct but a couple of differences existed: Firstly it shows a towermill (now missing) and secondly the house and stables were not joined on the plan (as they are now).
I have photos of Hill House from the late 1940s onward but nothing earlier and/or including the towermill. An oddity that stands out is the bricks used for constructing the property. The main house was/is brick with knapped flint facings, the barn/stables of chalk block (like the yard walls) and there now was a different-brick addition of two cottages filling in the right-angled corner between the house and barn/stables.
The towermill obviously fell into disrepair and then got demolished but the boundary wall remained for some time after. I have been unable to find any information as to when this happened. I often wonder if bricks from the towermill were used to construct the two cottages. It would be great is somebody has further information and/or photos to share.

Steve Roper - 7th February 2018

O. S. Map 1882
O. S. Map 1882
Mill stood in the area with 4 trees just to the west of Hill House
Courtesy of NLS map images

White's 1836: William Taylor, shopkeeper & wheelwright

April 1842: Mill advertised for sale by auction

May 1842: Mill advertised for sale by auction

July 1842: Mill advertised to be let

White's 1845: William Taylor, shopkeeper, smith & wheelwright

Tithe Award 1846: John Read jnr, owner; William Taylor, occupier

White's 1854: William Taylor, shopkeeper, smith & wheelwright

White's 1864: William Taylor, smith & wheelwright

Kelly's 1879: William Taylor, blacksmith & wheelwright

White's 1883: Walter Taylor, wheelwright & blacksmith

O.S. map 1891: Hill House marked on site of mill shown on 1846 tithe map

1940: John & Marion Roper bought Hill House


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 TL87408485
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Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2006