Upwell Fen
smock drainage mill
Popham's Eau

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Norfolk Windmills

c.1905 with the newly built steam pump behind

Nordelph Upwell Fen drainage mill was an brick based smock mill, standing beside Silt Road that pumped water from Upwell Fen into Popham's Eau that in turn flowed into the Middle Level Drain. Popham's Eau was hand dug in 1904. The mill had a Norfolk boat shaped cap with a petticoat and was turned to wind via tail pole. Power to the external scoop wheel was via four common sails.

c.1920 crew dismantling the mill
Gang foreman - Mr. Seymour

c.1998 pumphouse containing electric pumps
c.1998 pumphouse containing electric pumps.
One of the two diesel exhausts still in situ.

Some of my ancestors of the Pepper family lived in the mill before the steam was introduced. The photo of the demolition crew shows the bungalow in the background which would have been built to accommodate the pump operator.
The steam pump was replaced by the modern building and diesel pumps in about 1933-4 on the site of the old windpump. I can just remember it being built. The pumps are still working but have now been converted to electric. The corner of the operator's bungalow is visible on the right hand side of the photograph and is still occupied.

Ron Stannard, Nordelph - 8th July 2008

O.S. Map 2005
O.S. Map 2005
Image reproduced under licence from Ordnance Survey

Kelly's 1892: Wiliam Pepper, machine owner

Kelly's 1896: Wiliam Pepper, machine owner

Kelly's 1900: Wiliam Pepper, machine owner & market gardener

Kelly's 1904: Wiliam Pepper, machine owner & market gardener

1905: Mill working with newly constructed steam pumping station behind

c.1933: Diesel pumps installed

c.1933: Mill dismantled

1998: Electric pumps working on the site

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 TF54412 01005
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Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2008