Sedgeford towermill


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Norfolk Windmills


c.1896
c.1896

Sedgeford towermill was a small 3 storey mill standing alongside various outhouses that included a bakery. The tower was built of flint rubble and then cement rendered on the outside and plastered on the inside.. The only brick was around the door, the windows and the curb. The ogee cap was quite ornate and held a gallery and fan.


The above photograph clearly shows where the sails have scraped against the side of the tower.


At ground level the inside diameter of the tower was 14ft 6ins with the wall being 2ft 9 ins thick. The brickwork at the top of the tower was originally around 3ft thick. The single door was double leaf and there was one window to each floor.


To Capitalists & others
Absolute Reversion
To be Sold by Auction by Messrs. Cruso & Hawkins
At the Globe Hotel, Lynn, on Wednesday 18 January 1871 at 6 for 7 o'c in the evening in One Lot.
All that REVERSIONARY INTEREST of James Yaxley in a certain real estate situate in Sedgeford, in the county of Norfok & to which he is absolutely entitled on the deaths of Susanna Catton & Jemima Yaxley, both of Sedgeford aforesaid, the former of whom is now in her 72nd year & the latter in her 71st year, comprising a valuable piece of

HIGHLY PRODUCTIVE ARABLE LAND
SITUATE in Sedgeford aforesaid, conmtaining 0a. 2r. 32p. or thereabouts with the
TOWER WINDMILL
now standing thereon in the occupation of Mrs. Wagg
The whole producing an annual rental of £31.
Apply to M. B. Bircham,
Solicitor, Fakenham
or to the Auctioneers, Kings Lynn
Lynn Advertioser & Norfolk News - 7th & 14th January 1871

Situation Vacant
TO MILLERS
Wanted, a Man to Work a Windmill. One who has some knowledge of Baking preferred. Good character indespensible.
Apply T. Leggett, Sedgeford, Kings Lynn.

Norfolk News - 4th September 1875


To Bakers
WANTED, a hand in the above line; on with some knowledge of milling preferred.
T. J. Leggett, Sedgeford.

Lynn Advertiser - 27th September 1884


c.1905
c.1905

Interment at Docking of William Lake, died 10 February. Born 1828. Apprenticed to a miller at Sedgeford. Soon afterwards entered service of Robert Brooks of Thornham, miller, baker and seed merchant.
Dereham & Fakenham Times - 19th February 1910


18th July 1979
18th July 1979

In 1979, Frederick Huggins showed some photographs to Harry Apling. One photo showed three men from the village: On the left was George Henry Jacobs, listed as newsagent & subpostmaster in Kelly's Directories from 1900 - 1937. In the centre was Mr. Drury of whom no information was known and on the right was Thomas Raines, who was also listed in Kelly's Directories. In 1908 he was shown as a coal dealer & boot repairer; 1912 as a coal dealer & farmer and in 1922 as a farmer.
Frederick Huggins also still had one of the damsels fdrom the mill.


In 1982 Harry Apling reported that in a photocopied list of Norfolk windmills painted by Karl Wood and held in the Usher Gallery in Lincoln, it was mentioned that the mill had been Struck by lightning in 1910 and burnt out.


My 'Wagg' family have a long association with Sedgeford, going back at least to the very early part of the 18th Century. However, I think that the James Wagg and the 'Mrs Wagg' mentioned in your list were based in Heacham. (The 1861 census indicates that James was born in Sedgeford, but the 1851 version says Heacham. I'll crack this one when I have a little more time.)
Anyway, James appears in the 1841 census as a baker in Heacham. In the 1851 census, he's listed as a baker and flour dealer, employing 2 men and an errand boy, also in Heacham. By 1861, he's employing 3 men and a boy. He is dead before the 1871 census, but his wife - Sarah - is recorded as a 'miller and baker', living at the Bakers Shop in Heacham. It would seem that the 'Mrs Wagg' appearing in your entry is Sarah Wagg, the widow of James.

Mike Thurlow, South Africa - 17th December 2007


White's 1836: James Yaxley, farmer

White's 1845: Paul Leggitt, baker

White's 1845: William Yaxley, farmer
White's 1845: Alice Yaxley, grocer & draper

White's 1854: Paul Leggitt, baker
White's 1854: Mr. William Yaxley

White's 1864: Paul Leggett, baker
White's 1864: Mr. William Yaxley

Kelly's 1879: Miss Yaxley

Kelly's 1892: Miss Yaxley

Kelly's 1896: Miss Yaxley

Kelly's 1900: Miss Yaxley


O.S. map 1824: Windmill

Bryant's map 1826: Windmill

White's 1836: Mrs. Yaxley, miller & grocer

1839: William Yaxley, miller, grocer & draper

White's 1854: James Wagg, corn miller - also at Heacham postmill

1871: Mrs. Wagg, tenant miller at a rent of £31 per annum for the mill and land - also at Heacham postmill

January 1871: Reversionary interest of James Yaxley advertised for sale by auction

1875: Thomas James Leggett, miller

Kelly's 1879: Thomas James Leggett, baker & miller

1884: Thomas James Leggett, miller

O.S. map 1890: Windmill

Kelly's 1892: Thomas James Leggett, baker & miller (wind)

Kelly's 1896: Thomas James Leggett, baker & miller (wind)

Kelly's 1900: Thomas James Leggett, baker

Kelly's 1904: Thomas James Leggett, baker

c.1905: Mill with one pair of stocks only; cap and fanstage intact but no fan

Kelly's 1908: Thomas James Leggett, baker

1910: Mill struck by lightning and burnt out

Kelly's 1912: Thomas James Leggett, private resident, Mill House

Kelly's 1916: Thomas James Leggett, private resident, Mill House

Kelly's 1922: Thomas James Leggett, private resident, Mill House

Kelly's 1925: Thomas James Leggett, private resident, Mill House

1926: Mill derelict

Kelly's 1929: Thomas James Leggett, private resident, Mill House

Karl Wood painting 1934: Cap frame with windshaft and a broken sail still in place

1949: Mill reduced to a stump

O.S. map 1963: Windmill

O.S. map 1974: Windmill

1979: Mill site was part of garden; 20ft - 25ft shell of tower rendered and tarred and being used as a store

1979: Mr. & Mrs. Frederick Huggins, Mill House, Ringstead Road

March 2015: John Conroy, Mill House



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 2005