Forncett St Peter smockmill

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Forncett St Peter smockmill stood on the west side of Mill Lane and was built with common sails. In 1850 the mill was using one pair of common sails and one pair of patent sails to drive two pairs of stones, a flour mill and jumper. However, by 1867 the remaining two common sails had been exchanged for patent sails.


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……….

Another reference 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.

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 from the nearby white mill had been set above the fireplace in the bar of the Jolly Farmers and was also engraved with a picture of the smockmill.


Tithe Award 1841
Map 1839
Owner: Thomas Hardy
Occupier: William Lent

No. 249

House, Mill & Garden

0a. 0r. 16p.

Pt. of £48. 7s. 5


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

William Lant was born in Tibenham in 1788. He married Hannah Ludkin of Bunwell in 1813. Hannah died in 1837. When William Lant died intestate in March 1842, his apprentice miller son, George Lant, aged 16, swore on a bond that his father was his lawful father and a widower. In 1843, administration was then given to George Lent, miller of Forncett St. Peter, together with Joseph Lant & Timothy Lant, respectively, milllers of Tibenham. George and Joseph signed the administration and Timothy made his mark. At that time Joseph would have been aged 36 and Timothy aged 79.


Forncett St. Peter
To Millers & others
To be Sold
AN excellent WOOD TOWER WINDMILL with two of the sails patent, winding herself & driving two pair of 4 ft. French Stones & Flour Mill & convenient Dwelling house, Stables & other Outbuildings belonging thereto situate at Forncett Saint Peter & now in the possession of Mr. John Chambers. The Mill & Premises are in good repair & an excellent trade attached to the Mill. An arrangement can be made for immediate possession if desired.
Apply to Mr. Chambers as above.

Norfolk Chronicle & Norwich Gazette - 9th November 1850

FORNCETT ST. PETER
Mr. Ives
Has received instructions to Sell by Auction at the Safety Valve Inn, near the Railway Station at Forncett on Thursday 24 September 1857 at 5 for 6 o'c precisely in the afternoon (unless previously disposed of by Private Contract)
All that TOWER WINDMILL, Dwelling House, Granary, Stables, with the Yard & Land thereto belonging, now occupied by William Bunting, & in which an extensive & lucrative trade has for many years been carried on.
Apply to Messrs. Jay & Pilgrim, Solrs. or the Autioneer, Crown Bank-plain, Norwich
.
Norfolk Chronicle & Norfolk News - 12th & 19th September 1857

Windmill & House
FORNCETT ST. PETER
Mr. Ives
Messrs. Spelman have received instructions to Sell by Auction on Saturday June 6, 1865
(error for May) at 12 for 1 o'c at the Norfolk Hotel, Norwich.
A WINDMILL, Dwelling house, Granary, Garden, Stables etc. situate about a mile & a half from the Station at Forncett, occupied by Mr. Bunting at the annual rent of £30. (error for £36) The Mill winds herself, drives two pairs of stones, has patent sails, flour mill, jumper etc. & does a good trade.
Apply to Messrs. Jay & Pilgrim, Solrs. Norwich or the Autioneers.
Norfolk Chronicle & Norfolk News - 22nd & 29th April 1865

Forncett St. Peter
To be Sold by Private Contract
A WINDMILL, Dwelling house, Granary, Garden, Stable etc. situate about a mile & a half from the Station at Forncett, occupied by Mr. Bunting at the Annual Rent of £36. The Mill winds herself, drives two pairs of Stones, has Patent Sails, Flour Mill, Jumper etc. & does a good trade.
The Estate is held under a Lease for 99 years of which 41 were unexpired at Michaelmas last, at the Annual Ground Rent of £4.4s. At the expiration of the Lease the Windmill & Roundhouse may be removed & all other Buildings are thereby covenanted to be paid for by the Leasor, according to a valuation to be made in the usual way.
Apply to Messrs. Jay & Pilgrim, Solrs. Norwich or Messrs. Spelman, Auctioneers, Norwich & Yarmouth.

Norfolk Chronicle & Norfolk News - 20th & 27th May 1865

Windmill & House at Forncett St. Peter
R.S. Perfitt has received instructions to Sell by Auction on Tuesday August 29, 1865 at 1 o’c at the Safety Valve Inn, Forncett St. Peter
A WINDMILL, Dwelling house, Granary, Garden, Stable etc. situate about a mile & a half from the Station at Forncett occupied by Mr. Bunting at the annual rent of £36.
The mill winds herself, drives two pairs of stones, has Patent Sails, Flour mill, Jumper etc. & does a good trade.
Apply to Jay & Pilgrim, Solrs. or the Auctioneer, Long Stratton.

Norfolk Chronicle & Norfolk News - 19th August 1865

Windmill & House at Forncett St. Peter
R.S. Perfitt has received instructions to Sell by Auction on Thursday June 27, 1867 at 6 for 7 o'c at the Safety Valve Inn, Forncett St. Peter
A WINDMILL, Dwelling house, Granary, Garden, Stable etc. situate about a mile & a half from the Station at Forncett occupied by Mr. Bunting at the annual rent of £36.
The mill winds herself, drives two pairs of stones, has Patent Sails, Flour mill, Jumper etc. & does a good trade.
Apply to Jay & Pilgrim, Solrs. or the Auctioneer, Long Stratton.

Norfolk Chronicle - 15th June 1867

Forncett St. Peter
To be Sold by Public Auction on Thursday June 27, 1867 at the Safety Valve Inn, Forncett St. Peter at 6 for 7 o’c in the Evening by Mr. R.S. Perfitt
A WINDMILL with Dwelling house, Granary, stable, Garden & Outbuildings situate about a mile & a half from the Railway Station at Forncett, occupied by Mr. Bunting at the annual rent of £36. The Mill winds itself, drives two pairs of stones & has patent sails, flour mill, jumper etc. & a good trade is being done.
For particulars apply to Messrs. Jay & Pilgrim & to Messrs. Simpson & Son, Solicitors, Norwich & to the Auctioneer, Long Stratton.

Norfolk News - 15th & 22nd June 1867

After the sale, William Bunting moved to Fundenhall postmill and Benjamin Gibson snr took over the mill with his son, Benjamin Gibson jnr, having moved from Aslacton towermill.


Sale advertisment - November 1885
Sale advertisment - November 1885

O. S. Map 1883
O. S. Map 1883
Courtesy of NLS map images

Davenport's map 1565: Windmill - probably a postmill

1793: Mill with common sails depicted on the centrepost of Forncett End White Mill

Map 1817: Smockmill

Bryant's map 1826: Windmill

Greenwood's map 1834: Windmill

White's 1836: William Lant, corn miller

Tithe map 1839: Smockmill at Enclosure 249 owned by Thomas Hardy

Tithe Award 1841: Owner: Thomas Hardy; Occupier: William Lent

Census 1841:

William Lent (50) miller
George Lent (15) apprentice miller
Mary Lent (15)
Martha Lent (11)
Edward Moore (13) servant
Address: Forncett End

March 1842: William Lant, miller, died

1842: George Lant, miller

White's 1845: John Chambers, corn miller

1850: John Chambers, miller

November 1850: Mill advertised for sale

Census 1851: Thomas Hardy (23) b.Forncett St Mary, miller employing 2 men

Census 1851:

Isaac Hunt (34) b.Stratton St Michael, journeyman miller
Eunice Hunt (28) b.Tacolnestone
Ephriam Hunt (8) b.Forncett St Peter, scholar
Eliza Hunt (6) b.Forncett St Peter, scholar
Asa Hunt (4) b.Forncett St Peter, scholar
Louisa Hunt (3) b.Forncett St Peter
Susannah Hunt (7mnths) b.Forncett St Peter


White's 1854: Thomas Hardy, corn miller

1857: William Bunting, miller

September 1857: Mill advertised for sale by auction

White's 1864: William Bunting, corn miller

1865: William Bunting, tenant miller at an annual rent of £36

April 1865: Mill advertised for sale by auction

May 1865: Mill advertised for sale by private contract

August 1865: Mill advertised for sale by auction

1867: William Bunting, tenant miller at an annual rent of £36

June 1867: Mill advertised for sale by auction after which William Bunting moved to Fundenhall postmill

Census 1871: Benjamin Gibson, miller

1876: Benjamin snr died aged 77, leaving Benjamin Gibson jnr aged 33 running the mill

Kelly's 1879: Benjamin Gibson, miller

Census 1881: Benjamin Gibson, master miller

White's 1883: Benjamin Gibson, miller

1885: Benjamin Gibson sold all his household furniture, Holmes 4hp engine, mill tools and farm stock

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 07836 675369 or

Nat Grid Ref TM15639296
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