Walsoken
smockmill


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Drainage Windpumps
Steam Mills

c.1900
c.1900

Walsoken smockmill was built in Norfolk on the outskirts of Wisbech. On 1st April 1990 the county border was realigned and the site became part of Cambridgeshire. The mill stood on the south side of the Old Lynn Road in Lerowe Field, opposite the Black Bear pub.


The mill used two pairs of single shuttered patent sails, although these had been reduced to one pair by c.1910. The Norfolk boat shaped cap held an 8 bladed fan.


c.1910
c.1910
Left to right:
Francis Leach (b. 1833); Susan Leach (b.1836); Francis Leach (b.1867)
Kate Leach (b. 1870); Francis Leach (b.1904)


The mill came into my family's ownership sometime between 1861 and 1871 and remained with them into the very early years of the 20th century. They also purchased Leach's Mill just over the Norfolk border in Wisbech. My father was the last flour miller there and it was owned by him along with his father, brother and sister until the mid to late 1960's.
Nick Leach - 18th November 2009


c.1910
Remains of sails beside mill c.1910
Francis Leach (b.1904); Kate Leach (b.1900)

c.1910
Remains of sails beside mill c.1910
Left to right:
Francis Leach (b. 1833); Susan Leach (b.1836)
Francis Leach (b.1867); Francis Leach (b.1904)

Utting's Marshland map 1826 as redrawn by Harry Apling
Utting's Marshland map 1826 as redrawn by Harry Apling

Kelly's 1879: Robert Leach, cattle dealer

White's 1883: Robert Leach, cattle dealer
White's 1883: Robert Leach, farmer

White's 1890: Mrs. Jane Leach, farmer


O.S. map 1826: Windmill

Bryant's map 1826: Windmill

Utting's map, Marshland 1826: Windmill

White's 1836: William Giddens, corn miller

White's 1845: William Giddens, corn miller

White's 1854: William Giddens, corn miller

1858: William Giddens, miller

1863: John Leach, miller & dealer

White's 1864: Francis Leach, corn miller & flour dealer

Census 1871: Francis Leach (37) b.Tilney All Saints, master miller employing 1 man
Susan Leach (35) b.Walsoken
Francis Leach (4) b.Walsoken, scholar
Arthur Leach (1) b.Walsoken
Joseph Hubbard (69) b.Blunsham, Hunts., agricultural labourer, annuitant - widower fthr in law
Susan Tawn (16) b.Walsoken, visitor - neice

Kelly's 1879: Francis Leach, miller

Census 1881: Francis Leach (47) b.Tilney All Saints, miller employing 2 men, 3 boys;
farmer, 132 acres 5 men, 14 boy
Susan Leach (45) b.Walsoken
Francis Leach (14) b.Walsoken
Arthur Leach (11) b.Walsoken
Susan Leach (26) b.Walsoken, dressmaker - neice
J. W. Torn (16) b.London, Middx., (corn) miller apprenticed - nephew

White's 1883: Francis Leach, corn miller, corn dealer, and farmer

O.S. map 1888: Walsoken Mills (Corn)

White's 1890: Francis Leach, corn miller, corn dealer, and farmer

Census 1891: Francis Leach (57) b.Tilney All Saints, miller
Susan Leach (55) b.Walsoken
Francis Leach (24) b.Walsoken, miller's assistant
Arthur Leach (21) b.Walsoken, miller's assistant
Fanny Leach, (14) b.Walsoken - neice daughter of Robert Leach (listed as daughter)

Kelly's 1892: Francis Leach & Sons, millers (wind & steam)

Sunday 24th March 1895: "Windy Sunday" Mill fantail blown off

Kelly's 1896: Francis Leach & Sons, millers (wind & steam)

Kelly's 1900: Francis Leach & Sons, millers (wind & steam)

Census 1901: Francis Leach jnr. (34) b.Walsoken
Kate Louisa Leach (31) b.Tydd St. Giles, Cambs
Kate Leach (4 mnths) b.Walsoken

Kelly's 1904: Francis Leach & Sons, millers (wind & steam)

Kelly's 1908: Francis Leach & Sons, millers (wind & steam) & fruit growers

Kelly's 1912: Francis Leach & Sons, millers (wind & steam)

Kelly's 1916: Francis Leach & Sons, millers (wind & steam)



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 TF47401075
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Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2009