Reedham
Polkey's
drainage mill
River Yare



c.1948
c.1948

Polkey's Mill at Reedham, was built as a 3 storey tarred red brick tower to lift water into the River Yare. The mill was probably built on the site of an eariler mill and beams from a smockmill were incorporated into the mill tower when it was built. The mill was was also known as South Mill and was originally one of an open group of three mills along with the North Mill and Cadge's Mill.

The mill had a Norfolk boat shaped cap and was originally built with common sails and when these were upated to 70 ft. patent sails, the tower was heightened to accommodate the additional necessary sail length. The four clockwise patent sails powered a scoop wheel to move water up into the river.

June 1974 June 1988
June 1974
June 1988

The name of Polkey's Mill probably came from the nickname of someone from the Thaxter family who farmed and lived on the marshes in the 1800s.

Polkey's Mill with North Mill in foreground in June 1989
Polkey's Mill with North Mill in foreground in June 1989

In 1881, the landowner John Rose commissioned Richard Barnes to build Reedham Marsh Steam Engine House where as single cylinder horizontal coal fired steam engine drove a turbine when there was insufficient wind for the mills.

23rd March 2007
23rd March 2007

5th April 2007
5th April 2007

By 1988 the mill had been fitted with a temporary aluminium cap and still had two stocks, the remains of three patent sails, and all the internal machinery except the pit wheel. The scoop wheel with its paddles was also in situ on the outside of the tower. A red brick engine house and chimney were situated nearby and the whole site was very overgrown.

5th April 2007
5th April 2007

The management and restoration of Polkey's Mill and Cadge's_Mill was undertaken by The Norfolk Windmills Trust between 1999 - 2006.

O. S. Map 1904
O. S. Map 1904
Polkey's mill - red; North mill - green; Cadge's mill - blue
Courtesy of NLS map images

c.1880: Mill built

1880: Steam engine installed to provide drainage in times of insufficiant wind

1941: Mill ceased working along with Cadge's Mill and North Mill as a diesel system was installed nearby

c.1965: Steam engine sold for scrap

2002: Nigel Pargeter, millwright, started on work to restore the mill

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 44420349
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Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2007