Turf Fen
drainage pump
River Ant


Drainage Windpumps
Steam Mills


Irstead Turf Fen drainage mill was built by Yarmouth millwright, William Rust c.1875 to drain Horning marshes into the River Ant and is thus similar in design to High's_mill at Potter Heigham. Although the tower only had two floors, it was 31' high with a Norfolk style boat shaped cap, four double shuttered sails of seven bays and a six bladed fantail. This mill, very unusually, has a double scoop wheel with a choice of high or low gears.


1990 1st August 1999
1st August 1999

18th November 2012
18th November 2012

3rd August 2018
3rd August 2018

The mill ceased working around the 1920s when cattle no longer grazed the marshes.

This mill is on the river Ant in Irstead. The water levels around the mill are now kept very high and there is no footpath or land access to the mill. The mill can be seen by boat from the river Ant or from How Hill on the Ludham side of the river. 
Alison Yardy - 6th November 2008

1976: Norfolk Windmills Trust took over responsibility for the mill and set about major restoration project

1986: Mill returned to pristine condition and fitted with a new cap and new sails

31st January 2007: New wood paddles fitted to the scoop wheel by trainee millwrights

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 07836 675369 or

Nat Grid Ref TG36961882
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Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2004