Salthouse smockmill

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Watercolour c.1820

Salthouse smockmill stood on Mill Ridge, some 50 yards northwest of Salthouse church at the end of a track leading west from Grout's Lane. The mill used two pairs of French burr stones and jumper.


The mill appears in two paintings, one of which was a watercolour dated 1831 by Norwich School artist John Thirtle (1777-1839)


John Thirtle watercolour 1831

To Millers
To be Sold by Auction By Wm. Kendle On Monday 28th instant
At the sign of the Dun Cow in Salthouse, Norfolk at 4 o'c (Unless sooner disposed of by Private Contract)
A Good new built Dwelling house, brick, stone and tiled, with a Shop or Flour house, yard garden and pightle of Land to the same belonging, the pightle containing one acre (more or less), also a small TOWER WIND CORN MILL newly erected on the said pightle of land. Possession may be had at Lady day next.
The above Premises are all Freehold and situate in Salthouse aforesaid which is within two miles of Cley, a sea port town and four miles of Holt where a good Corn Market is held.
Apply (if by letter post paid) to Mr. Ranson, Solr., Holt.

Norfolk Chronicle - 19th & 26th March 1825


To Millers
An Excellent WIND-MILL, Dwelling house etc. at SALTHOUSE near Holt To be Sold by Auction by Wm. Spelman At the Feathers Inn, Holt On Friday August 11, 1826 at 3 o'c
An exceedingly well built and substantial MESSUAGE with a Cottage and other Buildings, a Garden and piece of good Arable Land adjoining containing about one acre. Also a small Tower Wind Corn Mill situate in Salthouse within two miles of the port of Cley and four mile of Holt, late in the occupation of Mr. James Mackrell.
The Mill stands exceedingly well for wind and the situation altogether is extremely desirable for a miller.
If required one half of the Purchase Money may be had on Mortgage.
Possession may be had at Michaelmas next.
To view the Mill and for further particulars apply to Mr. Ransom, Solr. Holt or to Mr. Cuddon, Conveyancer or the Auctioneer, both of Norwich.
Norfolk Chronicle - 5th August 1826


Plot 44: owner Parlett Starling; occupier George Larner Neave
Dwelling house, Stable, Hayloft and Garden, Cottage, Wood Smock Mill containing Two Pairs of Stones, Flour Mill Jumper, Lower Room, Store Floor, and Stage Chamber
Tithe Award 1839


The Tithe Award of 1839 valued the property at £17 7s 6d and the tithe was £1 1s 10d


Notice to Debtors and Creditors of LEEDS RICHARDSON of Salthouse, Miller
Deed of Assignment for benefit of Creditors.
Mr Stokes, Solicitor, Fakenham. 18 September 1834.
Norfolk Chronicle - 20 September 1834


Sale by Wm Ansell on Tuesday 30 September 1834

All the STOCK in TRADE, Household Furniture, etc. of Mr. Leeds Richardson of Salthouse, Miller (Under a Deed of Assignment for the benefit of his Creditors) at 11 o'clock. Comprising about 8 coombs of wheat, seven and a half sacks of flour, quantity of meal and offal, sacks and sack barrows, bags, beams, scales and weights with all the mill fixtures belonging to the tenant such as jigger, jumper, straps, wedges, roller, brushes, sail cloths, lever, ladders, flour and meal bins and sundry other property in the mill. Also two flour carts and harness, capital harness mare, saddle and bridle, sow and 8 pigs, hay engine, iron crow, water cart, wheel-barrow, grindstone, about half a rood of potatoes, four pig troughs, small quantity of barley, small piece of hops, bushel and other measures, etc.
The Household Furniture……

Norfolk Chronicle - 27 September 1834

To Millers
To be Let with Immediate Possession

A Small TOWER WINDMILL situate at Salthouse near the Market Town of Holt, driving two pair of French Stones, with comfortable Dwelling house, Garden and about one acre of Land.
Enquire of Mr. Ransom, Solicitor, Holt; if by letter, free of postage.
Norfolk Chronicle - 11 October 1834

To be Sold or Let. A small Tower Wind-Mill, driving two pair of stones, with comfortable dwelling house, cottage, land and appurtenances, situate at Salthouse, near the Market Town of Holt. Immediate possession may be had. Apply to Mr. Ransom, Sol'r. Holt.
Norfolk Chronicle - 15th November 1834


To be Sold or Let
All those PAPER MILLS at Sheringham...
Also a small TOWER CORN WINDMILL situate at Salthouse...
Apply to Mr. Ransom, Solicitor, Holt.

Norfolk Chronicle - 11th January 1840


At the time of the above sale both mills were probably owned by Samuel Critoph of Sheringham


The Salthouse marriage register of 21st February 1894, shows William Parsons snr miller, as father of the groom William Parsons jnr (55). William Parsons snr was probably either a former miller at Salthouse smockmill, or a retired employee at Salthouse_towermill, as he was probably in his seventies by the time of his farmer son's second marriage.


Gerald Cubitt, whose family had lived in the village for generations said that the mill was destroyed when it broke free from the chains that normally held it. It could either have blown over or could have moved round and tail winded when it broke free. This effectively meant that the sails would probably have been ripped off as the wind hit the back of the sails with the mill uncontrollable. It was also said that the mill workers tried in vain to slow the sails by using coarse sand and gravel, presumably to act against the brakewheel.


In the 1950's flint foundations were discovered some 18" below the ground in the garden of the property next to the church.


There is little doubt now in my mind that the foundations I have found at the west end of my garden are those of the mill. In the 1930s these were more in evidence, because the local children used to play around them. One of the oldest inhabitants in Salthouse, Mrs. Radley, has told me that her parents (or other relative) told her that the mill blew down in a gale. The phrase she used was 'It ran away with itself!'
Norfolk Chronicle - 11th January 1840


Tithe map 1838

c.1825: Mill built

March 1825: Mill advertised for sale by auction

1826: James Mackrell

August 1826: Mill advertised for sale by auction

Bryant's map 1826: Windmill

1834: Leeds Richardson, tenant miller insolvent

October 1834: Mill advertised to be let

White's 1836: George Larner Neave, corn miller

Tithe map 1838: Windmill

Tithe Ward 1839:
Owner Parlett Starling; occupier George Larner Neave

January 1840: Mill advertised for sale or let

Mill blew down in a gale having probably been tail winded

1984: Dr. A. C. Palmer of Cambridge, owner


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 TG07544372
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Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2004