North Lopham
smockmill


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Norfolk Windmills


Baker Womack & William Crowe - c.1900
Baker Womack & William Crowe - c.1900

North Lopham smock windmill stood to then east of the village and was often known as Tann's Mill and it stood in a small field at Town Lands Farm on the northeast side of Tann's Lane and was the most southerly of the mills within the parish. The wooden mill had 8 sides with a pronounced batter. The wooden upper structure was set over a single storey brick base The 4 storey mill had a Norfolk boat shaped cap, with a petticoat and a six bladed fan. Two pairs of double shuttered patent sails without vaned, each with 8 bays of 3 shutters that were struck by rack & pinion, drove 2 pairs of stones, a flour mill and jumper.


Willm. Bacon of the Parish of Stowmarket in the County of Suffolk, Gent. as Mortgagee of Thoms. Wallage, Draper.
On a House stud built and thatch'd situate in the Parish of North Lopham in the County aforesaid in the Occupation of the said Thos. Wallage - £100.
On a House stud built and thatch'd situate in the Parish aforesaid in the Occupation of John Betts, Miller - £100.

Royal Exchange Fire Insurance - 18th March 1756

To be Sold by Auction By Wm. Burt On Monday 12 August 1805 precisely at 12 o'c At the Lion in Banham.
Lot 2. A Wind Corn-mill in North Lopham with about one rood of land in the occupation of Mr. Lorrimer.
Lot 5. Two pieces of land containing together 7a. 3r. 13p. more or less, situate in North Lopham in the occupation of Mr. Lorrimer.
Apply to Mr. Houseman, Lopham Park near Kenninghall, Norfolk & of Messrs. Foster, Son & Unthank, Attornies, Norwich.
Norfolk Chronicle - 10th August 1805


Mr. Womacks mill North Lopham repaired 1830.
Diary of Thomas King of Thelnetham - 1804-1837


Tithe map 1846 - as redrawn by Harry Apling
Tithe map 1846 - as redrawn by Harry Apling

Tithe Award 1846
Map by S. C. Algar, surveyor, Diss, 1845
Owner: Thomas Buckenham
Occupiers: John Pratt & Thomas Reeve

No. 220

Cottage, mill & meadow

Pasture

14a. 3r. 26p.

7/-


The Census of 1851 enumerated eleven Womacks as heads of households in North Lopham and two in South Lopham. These included six farmers, a miller, a baker, a wheelwright and two linen-weavers.
The History of the Lophams - Michael Serpell


1910
1910

To be Let with Possession at Michaelmas next A substantial well built TOWER WINDMILL working two pairs of Stones with Flour Mill, Jumper etc. complete.
Also a cottage with land if required.
Apply to Mr. Buckenham, North Lopham.
Norfolk Chronicle - 24th September 1853


William & Baker Womack - c.1913
William & Baker Womack - c.1913

The above photograph shows William Womack, landlord of the King's Head on the left, his dog Ponto and William Newson 'Baker' Womack on the right.


O. S. Map 1883

O. S. Map 1883
Courtesy of NLS map images


I think our 'Whitsuntide' was dropped after the first war, we had high Jinks on the Kings Head green. I think it had something to do with either the Oddfellows club or the Foresters . . . I don't know if we had any music apart from a big drum, but I think there must have been, because I remember people dancing. We started at the Kings Head, first stop. Womacks farm across the meadow, then down Tann's lane, stopped at the Mill which was owned by another Womack (William), then on to the Lodge-Farmer named Brown (Charles)-then from there to the Park farm - 'Tom' Womack. I don't know if the men collected money but they had drink brought to them & by the time we arrived back after a stop at the Cherry Tree & the Bull, a matter of at least 4 or five miles the banner was at an angle of 45 degrees & the sound of the drum was very erratic but lost nothing in volume.
The History of the Lophams - Michael Serpell


As far back as 1883 Robert Womack had operated a steam mill in South Lopham.
The History of the Lophams - Michael Serpell


Auction sale today of Windmill demolished a few days ago.
Eastern Daily Press - 16th November 1926


LOPHAM
BALLAD OF LOPHAM MILL
Produced by the County Crafts Community, North Lopham, written by Mr. P. S. Beales.
Eastern Daily Press - 29th December 1926
See also South Norfolk Windmills - Philip Unwin published in Norfolk Fair - June 1974


Slender white smock mill on a one-floor brick base.
Cap: Deep & deep skirted boat shaped.
4 double-shuttered sails.
Pulled down about 1926.
The Miller - 17th November 1947


Smock mill, 6 sided. Cap turned by chain.
Struck by lighning 1910-11.
William Crowe, last miller, killed in World War I.
Mill demolished 1922-24.
Sidney Aves, The Willows, Fersfield Common - 5th May 1971
Sidney Aves used to live next door to the mill


Willam Crowe was William Newson Womack's nephew and he worked the mill until 1916, when he was obliged to join the armed forces. Before leaving, he took the unusual step of removing every shutter from the sails to prevent anyone working the mill in his absence. However, he never returned,
The mill remained well preserved and was sold at auction in November 1926. A few days later, much to the consternation of local villagers, the mill was pulled down.
The mill's demise inspired the poem by a local man, related below.


Twelve men came up from Flanders way,
Twelve ghosts to Lopham came;
The ghosts of Lopham men were they,
Twelve men of Lopham name.

'How fare ye, living kindred? say!
Dead men from Flanders Plain --
Dead men this bitter Armistice Day
Bid ye awhile remember
One bleak and far November
Twelve men for you were slain.'

Twelve ghosts paused at the churchyard gate
To hear the sweet bells ring.
Twelve men, as was their wont before,
Stole on to seek the loveliest thing
Of all their village store.
They hunted hard, they hunted late --
The Mill -- it was no more.

'Farewell, our living kindred! We
Drift back to Flanders Plain
In tenfold bitter agony.
Ye bells in in Lophgam steeple
Now chide the Lopham people --
Yea! Bid them well remember
This chill night of November
Twelve men were SLAIN AGAIN
In tenfold bitter pain.'

Twelve men came up from Flanders way,
Twelve ghosts to Lopham came;

The ghosts of Lopham men were they,
Twelve men of Lopham name.


P. S. Beales


White's 1836:

James Womack, farmer (yeoman)
John Womack, wheelwright & blacksmith
Michael Womack, farmer
Robert Womack, farmer (yeoman)
Robert Womack jnr, farmer (yeoman)
Thomas Womack, farmer (yeoman)
Thomas Womack jnr, farmer (yeoman)
William Womack, linen manufacturer
White's 1845: James Womack, farmer (owner)
John Womack, baker
Robert Womack, farmer (owner)
Thomas Womack, farmer (owner)
William Womack, farmer (owner)
William Womack jnr, farmer
William Womack, linen manufacturer
White's 1854: James Womack, farmer
John Womack, baker
Robert Womack, farmer
Robert Womack jnr, farmer
Robert Womack, maltster
Thomas Womack, farmer
William Womack, farmer
William Womack, linen manufacturer

1756: John Betts, miller

1805: Mr. Lorrimer, miller

August 1805: Mill advertised for sale by auction

1830: Mill repaired

White's 1836: Robert Womack, miller (South Lopham)

Census 1851: ? Womack, miller

White's 1845: Robert Womack, miller

Tithe Award 1846:
Owner: Thomas Buckenham; Occupiers: John Pratt & Thomas Reeve

1850: Micah Womack, miller

1853:
Thomas Buckenham, owner

September 1853: Mill advertised to be let

Kelly's 1854: William Garrood, miller

White's 1854: John Pratt, corm miller (South Lopham)

1858: William Womack, miller

White's 1864: William Womack, miller

Kelly's 1879: William Womack, miller

White's 1883: William Womack, miller, corn merchant and landowner; and Kenninghall Lopham Rd mill

O.S. map 1884: Windmill (Corn)

1888: William Newson (
Baker) Womack, miller

White's 1890: William Newson Womack, miller and cricket bat manufacturer

Kelly's 1892: William Newson Womack, miller (wind)

Kelly's 1896: William Newson Womack, miller (wind)

Kelly's 1900: William Newson Womack, miller (wind)

Kelly's 1904: William Newson Womack, miller (wind)

Kelly's 1908: William Newson Womack, miller (wind)

1911: Mill struck by lightning

Kelly's 1912: William Newson Womack, miller (wind)

Kelly's 1916: William Crowe, miller (wind)

November 1926: Mill sold at auction and demolished a few days later

Eastern Daily Press, 16 November 1926: Report of demolition of the mill



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Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2004