Felthorpe
Mill Hill
postmill

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c.1650 sketch by Andrew Bryan
Artist's impression of c.1650 by Andrew Bryan

Felthorpe Mill Hill postmill had a roundhouse and powered 2 pairs of French burr stones and a flour mill. A large horese mill used for dressing flour was also on the site along with various outbuildings and a house that was almost certainly Mill Farmhouse that was only a few yards to the east.

Christopher West was almost certainly running Felthorpe Mill Hill post mill along with Felthorpe watermill prior to building the new Mill Farm postmill in the field opposite his farmhouse. The older Mill Hill postmill would have had common sails and an older design, whereas the new mill was built using up-to-date technology.

To be Lett
And entered upon at Michaelmas next in Felthorpe in the county of Norfolk.
A Good accustomed WINDMILL in good Repair with two Pair of French Stones, a Flour Mill & Roundhouse & likewise a Dwelling House with 12 Acres of Arable Land all inclosed & entire together, with a Barn & Stable, a Cow house & also a large Horse Mill to dress Flour, situated on a good Common with a good Right of Commonage.
For Particulars enquire of Robert Critoph.
Norfolk Chronicle - 6th & 30th May 1775

Indenture - Bill of Sale
Land and Windmill
(and conveyance by feoffment of an allotment of waste land added thereto and release of annuity charge upon the same)

1. John Howlett of Brandisaton, farmer
2. Elizabeth Howlett of Brandiston, widow
3. Christopher West of Haverland Farm, farmer
21st October 1793


A plaque on Mill Farm farmhouse is inscribed JS 1793

Sale of Farm at Felthorpe.
... Mr. Christopher West of Felthorpe, Miller will shew the premises.

Norfolk Chronicle - 6th May 1809


Notice to Debtors & Creditors of
Christopher West late of Gunthorpe, Farmer, deceased request to pay debts to Christopher West of Felthorpe, Miller one of the Executors.

Norfolk Chronicle - 27th February 1819


I have a detailed map of Felthorpe printed in 1797, Mill Farm (built 1793) should be on that map but it’s not, the windmill on Mill Hill is shown very clearly, as it took several years from starting a survey to printing a map, I’m guessing that the survey was carried out before 1793. I know Elizabeth Springall married Christopher West in 1797 and then lived in Mill Farmhouse, Christopher West then became the miller at Felthorpe. It’s likely that Christopher West was using the Mill Hill windmill until the windmill on Mill Farm was built. I can’t find a date for the Mill Farm windmill being built but I would guess about 1820. I do know that the postmill was built at the peak of windmilling technology, it would have been a fine mill indeed but time was running out and the last date I can find for the windmill still working is 1908. That’s a very short working life for a windmill, it’s possible that it carried on in a limited way until the early 1900s.

Andrew Bryan - September 2005


May 1775: Mill advertised to be let

Faden's map 1797: Felthorpe Mill

1809: Christopher West snr, miller

May 1809: Mill Farm advertised for sale


c.1819: Christopher West snr, miller - died

1819: Christopher West jnr, miller

c.1820: Mill demolished

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Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2005