Yaxham
towermill


Contact

Drainage Windpumps
Steam Mills


c.1900
c.1900

Yaxham tower mill was built by William Critoph in 1860. The 48 foot, six storey tarred tower had a ground diameter of 20 feet that narrowed by 2 feet per floor culminating with a horizontally boarded ogee cap with a 6 bladed fan, a gallery and a ball finial that was still a garden ornament in the 1980s. The four double shuttered sails, each with 10 bays of 3 shutters, drove 3 pairs of underdriven stones, at least one pair of which were composite.
A stage was set around the second floor.


Brick tower, tarred
6 storeys. All floors intact. Top floor concreted
No cap, sails or fantail
Built 1860/61
Had white ogee cap with ball finial and gallery. Ball finial still in garden
6 bladed fan
4 double shuttered sails
Ceased working by wind when sails removed 1922
Worked till 1954, steam then diesel
Applewood cogs to wooden brakewheel
Wooden wallower
Upright shaft iron
Iron windshaft
Iron curb
Room for 3 pairs underdriven stones on 2nd floor
One pair driven by auxiliary power
Composition stones
All machinery removed 1940
3 millstones standing outside mill

Peter Unwin - 1972


Reuben Tilney ran Yaxham_smockmill in Paper Street from 1845-1853 and this was bought by William Critoph who then moved the mill to his own property that he had bought, complete with a postmill in 1857. The towermilll was built using timber sawn on a bench within the smockmill. Reuben Tilney moved on to Mileham_postmill and towermill and William Critoph was one of the executors to his will when he died in 1877.


c.1905
c.1905

The postmill had been built in 1810 by Michael Hardy on copyhold land he had bought from one Daniel Nicholson using a £300 mortgage he had obtained from Dereham farmer, James Nicholson. Michael Hardy put the postmill with two pairs of stones and land up for auction on Friday 5th September 1828. However, it appears that Michael Hardy finally sold the mill and premises to John Banyard in 1829 for £600 with a further £275 for the land.


c.1905
c.1905

The postmill was again put up for auction in May 1834 but may not have been sold. John Banyard died in 1842 and Mrs. Charlotte Sophia Astley, who had already taken over the mortgage, bought the property in 1847, only to die later that year. The postmill was left to Ellen, who was the wife of Revd. Frederick Brewster Thompson, although a dispute in ownership validity arose at this point. Eventually the mill was run by tenants Robert Springhall, 1834 - 1840 and then his son Robert Aldous Springhall 1845 - 1857, both of whom also worked Garveston_postmill. William Critoph purchased the mill and land at auction on Friday 18th September 1857 for £400.


William Critoph was also working Mattishall_Mill_Road_towermill in 1883 and he was a descendent of Robert Critoph of Gresham who in turn was probably related to the Critoph milling family of Sheringham and Upper Sheringham.


William Critoph bought and moved the smockmill to his own property that he had bought, complete with the postmill in 1857. The towermill was then built using timber sawn on a bench within the smockmill.
Thus at that time, uniquely, he had one of each of the three main types of windmills on the same property.


In 1853 Reuben Tilney moved to Mileham_postmill and towermill when William Critoph bought Yaxham_smockmill where Reuben Tilney was miller. William Critoph was one of the executors to Reuben Tilney's will when he died in 1877.


Situations Vacant
WANTED, a strong active Lad as an APPRENTICE to the MILLING Business. A small premium required.
Apply to Mr. Critoph, Yaxham Mills.

Norfolk News - 9th August 1862


Situations Vacant
WANTED, a strong active Lad as an APPRENTICE to a MILLER.
Apply to W. Critoph, Yaxham Mills, East Dereham.

Norfolk News - 10th December 1864


Situations Vacant
WANTED, a strong active LAD as an Apprentice to a Milling Business.
A small premium required.
Apply to W. Critoph, Yaxham Mills, East Dereham.

Norfolk News - 9th December 1865


Situations Vacant
WANTED, a steady young man APPRENTICE or IMPROVER to the Milling Business.
Apply to W. Critoph, Yaxham Mill, Dereham.

Norfolk News - 7th April 1866


Situations Vacant
To Millers
WANTED, a steady Young Man.
Apply to W. Critoph, Yaxham Mills, Dereham.

Norfolk News - 12th January 1867


Situations Vacant
WANTED, a steady Single Young Man to assist in a TOWER MILL and occasionally go out with a cart..
Apply to Mr. Critoph, Yaxham Mills, East Dereham.

Norfolk News - 7th December 1867


Situations Vacant
To Millers
WANTED, a Steady MAN to Work a Windmill.
Apply W. Critoph, Yaxham Mills, Dereham.

Norfolk News - 12th September 1868


Situations Vacant
WANTED, a steady Single Man as IMPROVER to assist in a Tower Mill.
Apply W. Critoph, Yaxham Mills, East Dereham.

Norfolk News - 28th September 1872


EAST DEREHAM. Thunderstorm.
On Monday Afternoon a tempest of an unusual violent character passed over the town . . . The Lightning struck the premises of Mr. Critoph, Miller, Yaxham . . .

Norfolk News - 6th April 1872


Situations Vacant
WANTED, a steady Single Young Man who is able to GRIND, to assist in a Tower Mill.
Apply W. Critoph, Yaxham Mills, East Dereham.

Norfolk News - 25th January 1873


Situations Vacant
WANTED, a good Practical MILLER, either married or single, to work a Tower Windmill.
Apply to W. Critoph, Yaxham.

Norfolk News - 15th March 1873


William Critoph:-
Co-executor to the Will of Reuben Tilney
Mileham Mill, 1877


Critoph family tree

In February 1904, Thomas William Stebbing Parlett took over running the mill and installed a Tatershall Half Sack Midget Mill Roller Plant.


DEATHS
CRITOPH.
On January 9th at Woodbine Cottage, Yaxham, William . . .
aged 83.
Dereham & Fakenham Times - 13th January 1912


YAXHAM
The late Mr. William Critoph, retired miller and merchant of Yaxham, who passed away last week at the age of 83 . . . Born at Felthorpe, he entered when quite a lad the milling business of his father. It is interesting here to note that there are four generations of the Critophs as millers. In 1850 the deceased gentleman married Mary Dennis of Cawston (who survives him) and soon afterwards went to reside in Yaxham. He built the present mill and carried on in business there for over 50 years . . .
Dereham & Fakenham Times - 20th January 1912


c.1920
c.1920

In its heyday the mill was providing flour to the adjacent bakery, which produced bread for sale at the shop on the same site. The site included workers' cottages, the bakery and the miller's house, now the Yaxham Mill restaurant with accommodation.


April 1935
April 1935

A replica smockmill was built near the railway line in the 1970s to generate electricity.


c.2010 c.2010
c.2010
c.2010

I bought the Yaxham Mill complex in 2006 from the Skipper family who in turn had purchased the business from Dot and Mick McCarthy. Last year I sold the pub and restaurant to Hugo and Anna Stevenson and the outhouse cottages to Ann Goodfellow. I still own the mill itself and the attached accommodation block. My daughter Sarah lives in the mill and runs the b&b business for me.
Ray Newton - 25th April 2012


I have been researching the William Critoph who owned Yaxham Mill. His youngest daughter (Flora May Mary Critoph) married Arthur John Farrow of Mattishall. Mr Farrow ran a haulage business in Mattishall and was one of the biggest employers we have ever had in the village.  
Ray Taylor - 30th March 2015


O. S. Map 1882
O. S. Map 1882
Mill to the east of the village
Courtesy of NLS map images

1860: Mill built by William Critoph (descendent of Robert Critoph of Gresham probably related to the Critoph milling family of Sheringham and Upper_Sheringham

1862: William Critoph, miller & corn merchant

1863: William Critoph, miller & corn merchant

1864: William Critoph, miller & corn merchant

1865: William Critoph, miller & corn merchant

1868: William Critoph, miller & corn merchant

1872: William Critoph, miller & corn merchant

April 1872: Mill struck by lightning in a
'tempest of unusual violent character'

1875: William Critoph, miller & corn merchant

1878: William Critoph, miller & corn merchant

1879: William Critoph, miller & corn merchant

O.S. map 1882: Windmill (Corn)

c.1883: Auxiliary power via a stationary steam engine powered by a vertical boiler from a steamship

White's 1883: William Critoph, miller & corn merchant

1888: William Critoph, miller & corn merchant

1892: William Critoph, miller & corn merchant

1896: William Critoph, miller & corn merchant

1900: William Critoph, miller & corn merchant

1st February 1904: Towermill and postmill conveyed to Thomas William Stebbing Parlett for £780

1904: Thomas Stebbing, miller & baker

1908: Thomas Stebbing, miller & baker

1912: Thomas Stebbing, miller & baker

9th January 1912: William Critoph died aged 83

1916: Thomas Stebbing, miller & baker

Prior to 1917: Postmill dismantled

1920: Steam engine sold to Dereham Gas Works and was replaced by a Crossley diesel and later an Armstrong diesel

1922: Thomas Stebbing, miller & baker

1922: Towermill sails removed and wind power ceased

1925: Thomas Stebbing, miller & baker

1926: Mill lying derelict

1929: Thomas Stebbing, miller & baker

1932: Walter Last bought the towermill and complex from Thomas Parlett.

1935: Mill derelict but still with cap, windshaft, gallery and fan frame

Karl Wood painting 1937: Mill derelict but still with cap, windshaft, gallery and fan frame

1940: Mill machinery removed and dust floor concreted over for use as a store

1947: Walter Last Ltd.

1949: Mill used as a store

1953: Walter Last died

1947 - 1956: Walter Last Ltd

1954: Mill ceased working having been powered by wind, steam and then diesel

1956: Mill sold to Basil Last

O.S. map 1969: Windmill

1990s: Mill sold to Mick & Dot McCarthy

October 1996: Outhouses renovated and mill house opened as pub

1999: Mill renovated

September 2003: Peter and Tracy Skipper, private residential use with accommodation in adjacent Mill pub

December 2006: Mill bought by Ray Newton to be run as Yaxham Mill restaurant with accommodation.

2012: Mill being run as b&b accommodation by Sarah Newton with much of the complex having been sold off


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 TG 01321045
Top of Page

Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2004