Shouldham Thorpe
Fodderstone
towermill


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Drainage Windpumps
Steam Mills

c.1932
c.1932

Shouldham Thorpe Fodderstone towermill was a five storey, 50 foot mill with yellow-pink facing bricks on the outside and red brick on the inside. The mill, built to replace an earlier postmill at Mill Farm in 1830, stood on the south side of the road to the east of Fodderstone Gap, which in turn stood to the north of Shouldham Thorpe. Fodderstone or Foston Gap was originally a separate parish belonging to the Bishop of Ely. The mill ran three pairs of overdriven stones and a smut machine.

A datestone was set above the meal floor door on the west side:
G.A.
1830
 

Miller Wanted.
WANTED, a steady Single Man as FOREMAN in a TOWER MILL. A Wesleyan and personal application preferred.
Apply James Pollard, Shouldham Thorpe Mill, Norfolk.
Norfolk News - 21st February 1863

Situations Vacant
WANTED, an experienced Single Man about 30. Also an APPRENTICE or Young Man as IMPROVER.
Apply Mr. James Pollard, Miller & Merchant, Shouldham Thorpe Mill, Norfolk.
Norfolk News - 12th September 1863

Situations Vacant
WANTED, a Single Man as FOREMAN in a Tower Windmill. Also a young man as an IMPROVER.
Apply to M. J. Pollard, Shouldham Thorpe Mill.
Norfolk News - 10th September 1864

Situations Vacant
WANTED, a Single Man as SECOND HAND.
Apply to Mr. James Pollard, Shouldham Mills.
Norfolk News - 13th October 1866


STOW HALL ESTATE
FODDESTON WIND-MILL
in the parish of Shouldham Thorpe near the village of Shouldham and the high road leading from Lynn to Stoke.
with DWELLING HOUSE, ample Granary and Stores, Stable, Waggon Lodge etc. all in perfect repair and working order, together with 1a. 1r. 18p. of LAND as at present in the occupation of James Pollard.
These premises are particularly well suited to any party engaged in the Corn and Cake trade.
Apply to Mr. W. Bussens, Stow, Downham Market or to Mr. Charles Ives, Portland Street, Lynn.
Lynn Advertiser - 3rd & 10th June & 2nd September 1871


STOW HALL ESTATE SHOULDHAM THORPE
To be Let From 11th October next, a good Brick-built Tower Windmill five storeys, driving 3 pairs of Stones and Smut Machine, with Dwelling House, ample Granary and Stores, Stable, Waggon Lodge etc. all in perfect repair and working order, together with 1a. 1r. 18p. of LAND. These premises are particularly well suited to any party engaged in the Corn and Cake trade.
Apply to Mr. W. Bussens, Stow, Downham Market or to Mr. C. T. Ives, Portland Street, Lynn.
Lynn Advertiser - 24th June, 15th July & 9th September 1871


STOW HALL ESTATE
SHOULDHAM THORPE, Norfolk
To be Let From 11th October next
Good Brick-Tower-WINDMILL, five Storeys, driving three pairs of Stones and Smut Machine, with DWELLING HOUSE, ample Granary and Stores, Stable, Waggon Lodge etc. all in perfect repair and working order, together with 1a. 1r. 18p. of LAND. These premises are particularly well suited to any party engaged in the Corn and Cake trade.
Apply to Mr. W. Bussens, Stow, Downham Market or to Mr. C. T. Ives, Portland St. Lynn.
Lynn Advertiser - 24th June, 15th July & 9th September 1871


Situations Vacant
To Millers
WANTED, a single Man, must be a good STONEMAN.
Apply to Mr. James Pollard, Eight Sail Mill, Wisbech.
Norfolk News - 21st October 1871

In 1871 James Pollard sold his milling and farming effects at Mill_Farm to take over the eight sailed mill at Wisbech. In 1887, his business at Shouldham Thorpe became insolvent and a Deed of Assignment was made for the benefit of his creditors. His effects were then sold by auction.

Preliminary Notice
SHOULDHAM THORPE MILLS
7 Horses, Miller's Wagons, Carts, Cow, Implements, 70 sacks of Flour, 500 sacks, Harness etc.
Messrs. MILES & SON
Will Sell by Auction at an early date the above upon the premises of Mr. Jas. Pollard.
Particulars in future papers.
Offices, Athenaeum Chambers, King's Lynn.
Lynn Advertiser - 2nd April 1887


SHOULDHAM THORPE MILLS
7 Horses, Miller's Wagons, Carts etc.
Messrs. MILES & SON
Have received instructions from the Trustees under the assignment of Mr. James Pollard to Sell by Auction on Thursday April 21, 1887
Comprising ... (horses) ... splendid strong van almost equal to new, capable of carrying 5 tons, 3 miller's carts, dog cart, light cart, tumbril and reaper, 60 fowls, harness for 6 horses, implements and various effects.
Also 70 sacks of Seconds and Thirds Flour.
Sale at 12 o'clock
Offices, Athenaeum Chambers, King's Lynn.
Lynn Advertiser - 9th & 16th April 1887


TO BE LET Immediately, FODDERSTON MILL with House, Premises and 18 acres of Land.
Apply to Wm. Bussens, Stow Hall, Downham or T. A. H. Hamond, 56, Lincolns Inn Fields, London.
Lynn Advertiser - 7th, 14th & 21st May 1887

24th August 1980
24th August 1980

SHOULDHAM THORPE MILL, Norfolk
To be Sold by Auction by
Messrs. MILES & SON
On Monday September 19, 1887 part of the
HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE
... mare ... horse ... 2 very strong miller's carts, several sacks of flour, dog cart, harness, plough, scarifier, harrows, corn and meal sacks, cart and wagon cloths ... and other effects, upon the premises in the occupation of Mr. James Pollard.
Sale at 2 o'c.
Offices, Athenaeum Chambers, King's Lynn.
Lynn Advertiser - 17th & 24th September 1887


O.S. Map 1891
O.S. Map 1891
Image produced from the www.old-maps.co.uk service with permission
of Landmark Information Group Ltd. and Ordnance Survey


George Sporne married Ann Bywater on 23rd February 1854; he was 22 and she was 19. George was born Sept-Oct 1831 at Burnham Westgate, the son of John Sporne (b.1802) and Susan Sporne (née Payne) of Kings Lynn.
Ann Sporne
(b. early March 1834) was the daughter of Mary Addison who married William Bywater when Ann was about 18 months old and Ann grew up as Ann Bywater. Ann Sporne died 24th March 1871 aged 37.

MILL FARM, MILL ROAD, SHOULDHAM
Detached farmhouse and extensive range of outbuildings, including a former windmill together with paddock area, in all about 1 acre (subject to Survey.
The farmhouse is built of brick and flint, with a pantiled roof.
The circular brick former tower mill: now redundant, but providing storage on five floors.
Granary with loft over.
Butcher's shop premises.
The Business: Is mainly that of a Butcher, also selling eggs and vegetables in season. The Butcher's business has been established in its present form for about two years and has a turnover of about £600 per week, entirely on passing trade, with scope for improvement.
Rateable value: £78
PRICE: £55,000 FREEHOLD.
Viewing: By appointment with the Agents Please.
Deans & Partners - June 1982


DEANS & PARTNERS, Norwich
Nr. King's Lynn
Small, modernised character FARMHOUSE, with an extensive range of outbuildings, some suitable for conversion, situated in about one acre, including a disused windmill. 3 bedroom accommodation with oil c.h. Pony paddock. The owner might sell more land.
Price £55,000
SWAFFHAM OFFICE.
Eastern Daily Press - 25th June 1982


My G-grandfather was George Sporne. The 1861 census shows he lived at Shouldham Thorpe Mill with wife Ann and young children Thomas, John, Edward and daughter Harriet

It looks like he moved to Fincham_Corn_Mill with his family in 1863 and his sons Thomas and John went on to run the mill and the bakery

The 1871 census shows George Sporne living at Mill Cottage, Downham Road, Fincham as Miller & Baker with his children (Thomas now 17 and working with his father.) Dear Ann died a week or so after her 37th birthday and days before the 1871 Census. Her gravestone stands in the graveyard of St Martin's Church, Fincham.  

George Sporne then married Martha Sporne in August 1872 and my grandfather George F. Sporne was born on 6th July 1873, in Fincham and his brother Alfred C. Sporne was born in 1876, also in Fincham. By the 1881 Census, George had left Martha to bring up the two boys by herself. I believe George emigrated to New Zealand, possibly in 1879-80 but I have no evidence of this.
John R. G. Sporne - 27th December 2007

By 1980 the mill had a conical roof with a finial with foliage growing out of the edges of the tower, which was becoming derelict.

I have always wondered why this mill had a gaping square hole in the top of the tower, which it had at least as far back as 1965. I wonder if the mill would have been used as an observation post in the War, as a number of windmills were. However, Marham airfield is to the east, and as far as I can make out, the hole in the dust floor faced south west. Somebody, possibly Peter Dolman, suggested that an owner had started to truncate the mill while leaving the roof in situ.
It was a house by 1989, when I saw this mill when on a coach trip, with a turreted top and the crumbling top floor removed.

Anon - 30th June 2014


Shouldham Thorpe; by this year had had crenellations removed and trendy new windows, single pane with dark grey frames. As shown on a trig- point enthusiasts' website.
Sue Burden - 1st December 2016


O.S. Map 2011
Image reproduced under licence from Ordnance Survey

White's 1864: Amy Pollard, baker (Shouldham)

White's 1836: Robert Elmer, corn miller

White's 1845: William Newton Butter, corn miller

1846: William Newton Butter, miller

1853: Matthew Alflatt, miller

White's 1854: Matthew Alflatt, corn miller, Foston's Gap

1858: Matthew Alflatt, miller


Census 1861: George Sporne (29) b.Burnham Westgate, miller
Ann Sporne (27) b.Fincham
Thomas William Sporne (7) b.Fincham, scholar
John George Sporne (5) b.Fincham, scholar
Edward Henry Sporne (4) b.Fincham
Harriet Eliza Sporne (5mnths) b.Shouldham, infant
Elizabeth Bywater (18) b.Fincham, nurse (sister in law) (half sister to Ann Sporne)
George Lord Skeming (52) b.Tunstall, Suffolk, miller's man (lodger)
Address: Thorpe Mill

c.1862: James Pollard took over running the mill that formed part of the Stow Hall Estate

1863: James Pollard, miller

White's 1864: James Pollard, miller

1866: James Pollard, miller - also at Shouldham Mill Farm towermill

1871: James Pollard, miller - also at Shouldham Mill Farm towermill t

June 1871: Mill advertised to be let

Kelly's 1879: James Pollard, miller

White's 1883: James Pollard, corn miller & corn merchant, Foston's Gap & Wisbech
William Pollard, corn miller's manager, The Mill

April 1887: Business effects of James Pollard advertised for sale by auction under Deed of Assignment

May 1887: Mill advertised to be let

19th September 1887: Additional effects of James Pollard sold

O.S. map 1891: Windmill

Kelly's 1892: Robert Thomas Pollard, miller (wind)

Kelly's 1896: Robert Thomas Pollard, miller (wind)

Kelly's 1900: Robert Thomas Pollard, miller (wind)

c.1904: Mill ceased to operate

1926: Rex Wailes described mill tower as a stump

Karl Wood painting 1933: Mill tower with conical roof

1949: Mill used as a store

1970: Roy Cragg, Mill Farm

O.S. map 1974: Windmill

June 1982: Mill and property advertised for sale by Dean & Partners of Swaffham for £55,000

2014: Mill tower with crenellations

2016: Mill tower without crenellations


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