Forncett End
white postmill


Drainage Mills (Windpumps)
Steam Mills

orncett End white postmill c.1910.
White mill and mill house c.1910

Forncett End had two postmills within a few hundred yards of each other. One was an open trestle white mill and the other a black_mill that stood just to the northeast of the crossroads. The white mill had a leanto porch that was the whole width of the mill and the mill was turned into the wind with a tailpole. One pair of patent sails and one pair of common sails turning anticlockwise, drove two pairs of 4ft 6ins French burr stones and a flour mill and a dressing machine.

White mill left background c.1910
White mill left background c.1910

Forncett St. Peter, May 17, 1791
To be SOLD And entered upon immediately

A Capital POST WINDMILL with two pair of French Stones & a Flour Mill within her, situated at Forncett St. Peter in Norfolk, with or without a Dwelling house, Granary & other convenient Buildings & one acre of exceeding good Land, with an advantageous right of Commonage.
Enquire of Mr. John Limmer, Tibenham
Norfolk Chronicle - 21st & 28th May & 4th June 1791

John King of Forncett St Peter made a will on 5th July 1802 and it was proved on 18th November 1802. John King's wife Frances and their son James King were appointed as executors.
Everything was left to Frances - ... personal estate whatsoever, and any monies to arise from the sale of my said land and windmill, if not sold by wife before her death.

John King's money was to be divided up in fourths.

¼ to son James King,
¼ to William Long, of Bunwell, farmer, upon trust to place at interest the said ¼ to be applied to the maintenance & support of John King's daughter Sarah, wife of James Stebbings.

¼ to daughter Frances, wife of James Moor.

¼ to grandson John King at 21 etc……….

Anothe rreference to the windmill - to Bargain, sell and dispose of all that piece of land with the windmill, going gears and outhouses etc ....

The King family remained in Forncett working as millwrights.

White mill left background c.1914 with black mill foreground

To Millers
To be Sold by Private Contract.
All that capital POST WIND-MILL in full trade together with two pairs of French stones, flour mill and dressing machine, together with a new built dwelling house and half an acre of land, situate in Forncett St. Peter, in the county of Norfolk, all of which is freehold. May be entered upon at Michaelmas next or sooner if required.
Apply to Mr. Henry Knights on the premises.

Norfolk Chronicle - 6th August & 3rd September 1808

Tithe Award 1841
Map 1839
Owner: Henry Knights
Occupier: do

No. 105

Mill etc

0a. 2r. 34p.

Pt. of 16/4d

Tithe map 1839
Tithe map 1839 - as redrawn by Harry Apling

When William Lent died intestate in March 1842, his son George Lent swears on a bond that his father is his lawful father and a widower. In 1843, administration is then given to George Lent, miller of Forncett St. Peter, together with Joseph Lent & Timothy Lent, respectively, milllers of Tibbenham. George and Joseph signed the administration and Timothy made his mark.

To be Sold by Auction by Mr. John Standley on Monday 25 July 1853 at 4 o'c at the Kings Head Inn, Bunwell.
By order of the Trustees for sale thereof under the Will of Mr. Henry Knights deceased.
Lot 1. A Messuage & Baking Office, barn, stables, granary, cart lodge & other convenient outbuildings, yard & garden.
Also a good Post Windmill with 2 pairs of excellent French Stones in Forncett St. Peter.
Mr. Knights carried on an extensive business upon this property for many years.
Late in the occupation of Mr. Henry Knights & possession may be had at Old Michaelmas next.
Apply to Messrs. Mitchell & Clarke, Solrs. or the Auctioneer, Wymondham.

Norfolk Chronicle - 9th & 16th July 1853

To be Sold by Private Contract.
A Messuage & Baking Office & a good Post Windmill
A Piece of artable land containing 1a. 0r. 20p. near the Turnpike Rd.

Norfolk Chronicle - 20th May 1854

To be Sold by Private Contract.
A Messuage & Baking Office & a good Post Windmill
land ...
The above Property was for many years in the occupation of the late proprietor, Mr. Henry Knights, decd.
Apply to Mitchell & Clarke, Solrs. Wymondham.

Norfolk Chronicle - 21st July 1855

Frederick Fox (34) timber carrier, was charged with stealing half a bushel of beans, a peck of barley and a sack, the property of Mr John Knights, at Forncett St Peter and Robert Gray (28) labourer was charged with receiving them, knowing them to be stolen.
John Knights..miller at Forncett St Peter. On the 5th of July he went to a place where a sack was a hedge..contained barley and oats. Watched that night with a person called night they watched again and at about half past eleven o'clock at night they heard a rustling and on looking saw the prisoners coming towards the gate some 20 or 30 yards from where the sack was secreted. Gray had the sack on his shoulder. Tapped Gray on the shoulder and asked where he had got it. He said he did not know. Fox said “you had better lay it down Robert” The sack belonged to one of the prosecutors employers. The beans were such as he had been grinding...defence set up that the articles ere taken for Mr Knights pony. Fox was Knight's servant. Gray was acquitted...Fox guilty..six weeks imprisonment.
The County Assizes

Norfolk News - 28th July 1855

To be sold by Auction by Mr. John Standley on Monday 24 July 1856 at 4 o’c at Queen’s Head Inn, Bunwell.
By order of the Trustee for Sale thereof under the Will of Henry Knights decd.
Lot 1. A Messuage & Baking Office, barn, stable, granary, cart-lodge & other convenient outbuildings, yard & gardens:Also a good POST WINDMILL with two pairs of excellent French stones 4 ft. 6 ins. diameter.
The above property is Freehold & situate in Forncett St. Peter adjoining the road leading from New Buckenham to Norwich & upon which Mr. Knights carried on an extensive business for many years.
The whole of the above property is now in the occupation of .. Knights & possession thereof may be had at Old Michaelmas next.
Apply to Mitchell & Clarke, Solrs. or the Auctioneer, Wymondham.

Norfolk Chronicle - 12th July 1856

In 1867, Miles Blomfield sold the mill and land at Forncett St Peter to James Spratt with the transaction being handled by Standley & Co., Solicitors of Norwich & Wymondham.

The Knights family aslo aowned and ran the Jolly Farmers pub nearby.

John Knights, miller and publican made a will in 1867.

At Forncett End, Norwich, till after the Great War, there was an open trestle post-mill – that is, a post-mill without a round-house – but a gale in 1919 left it a sorry remnant, and it has since been cleared away. In the Forncett End Mill … the main bearers rested on four brick piers about five feet high. A scale model of the Norfolk mill can be seen at the Bridewell Museum at Norwich.
Old Watermills & Windmills - R. T. Hopkins

O. S. Map 1882
O. S. Map 1882
Courtesy of NLS map images
White mill to the west and Black mill to the east

The mill finally collapsed and fell over at 3.00a.m. on Sunday 25th November 1917, after one end of a crosstree gave way and it was not noticed in time to save the mill.

Post in Jolly Farmers c.1970
Part of
mill post in
Jolly Farmers pub c.1970

In 1970, Harry Apling noted that a section of the mill post had been set above the fireplace in the bar of the Jolly Farmers and was inscribed:

May 2
Also shown was an engraving of the nearby smockmill

May 1791: Mill advertised for sale

1793: I. King, miller

1802: John King, miller, died

August 1808: Mill advertised for sale by private contract

Bryant's map 1826: Windmill

Greenwood's map 1834: Windmill

White's 1836: Henry Knights, corn miller

Census 1841:

Henry Knights (48) farmer & miller
Sophia Knights (46)
Jonathan Knights (28) miller
Caroline Knights (19)
John Knights (15)

White's 1845: Henry Knights, corn miller

1846: Robert Knights, miller & farmer

1850: Henry Knights, miller

Census 1851:

Henry Knights (62) b.Carleton Rode, miller & farmer of 78 acres employing 3 men
Tabitha Knights (30) b.Forncett St Peter
Miles Knights (28) b.Forncett St Peter
Caroline Knights (26) b.Forncett St Peter
John Knights (24) b.Forncett St Peter, miller

1853: Henry Knights, miller

July 1853: Mill advertised for sale by auction

Index of Wills.1853: Henry Knights, miller

May 1854: Mill advertised for sale by private contract

White's 1854: John Knights, corn miller

1855: John Knights, corn miller

July 1855: Mill advertised for sale by private contract

July 1856: Mill advertised for sale by auction

1856: Henry Knights jnr, miller

1858: Henry Knights jnr, miller

1863: John Knights, miller

White's 1864: John Knights, miller & beerhouse

1865: Henry Knights jnr, miller

1868: Henry Knights jnr, miller

1872: John Knights, miller

Kelly's 1879: John Knights, miller & beer retailer

White's 1883: George Knights, corn miller

1888: Judith Knights (Mrs), miller

Kelly's 1892: Judith Knights (Mrs), miller (wind) & beer retailer

Kelly's 1896: Judith Knights (Mrs), miller (wind) & beer retailer

Kelly's 1900: Judith Knights (Mrs), miller (wind) & beer retailer

Kelly's 1904: Judith Knights (Mrs), miller (wind) & beer retailer

Kelly's 1908: Judith Knights (Mrs), miller (wind) & beer retailer

3.00a.m. Sunday 25th November 1917: Mill fell over

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

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Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2007