Sea Palling Brograve Level
drainage mill
Waxham New Cut



1837
1927

Brograve drainage mill at Waxham is 1 mile north of Horsey Mere and is now a Grade II listed building. The mill was originally built by Sir Berny Brograve in 1771 and an external datestone is inscribed BB1771. The 3 storey mill tower without any windows had a Norfolk boat shaped cap with a petticoat and an 8 bladed fantail with a tailpole. Four patent sails on an octagonal windshaft powered an internal turbine to drain the Brograve levels into Waxham New Cut. The nearby Lambridge Mill also drains into the same Cut.

July 1950 10th April 1972
July 1950
10th April 1972

Derelict, slightly tarred red brick tower without cap, leaning and distorted in bad condition. 1¾ stocks with fragments of 2 patent sails and spider, windshaft, brakewheel, fan cradle askew, striking chain wheel, gear inside; squat with only slight batter. Isolated at junction of 2 dykes leading to Breyden Marshes And Horsey Mere. Private.
Arthur C. Smith - 10th April 1972

Approach to the mill 1986
Approach to the mill 1986

Sir Berney Brograve had a fierce pack of hunting dogs (not surprising) but his kennel keeper went to the Royal Sovereign Inn in Hempstead where the landlord had a reputation as a fortune teller, reluctantly and at much insistence from the kennel keeper, he told the kennel keeper he would come to a violent end and his body would never be buried. A few days later, whilst cleaning out the kennels the dogs turned and attacked the kennel keeper - all that was left were the brass buttons from his breeches on the kennel floor.
Anne Grand - 8th February 2015

1986 Stocks 1986
1986
Stocks 1986

Interior 1986 Fantail assembly 1986
Interior 1986
Fantail assembly 1986

There is a legend that Sir Berney was chased by the devil into the mill one night. The devil pounded his hooves on the door trying to get in, but Sir Berney stayed put, too afraid to come out. When he woke the next morning the door was covered in hoof prints.
Cheryl Nicol - 24th January 2016

1998
1998

Another story concerns the subsidence. Apparently the devil was annoyed at old Sir Berney for trying to drain his land and tried to blow the mill down.
Cheryl Nicol - 24th January 2016

E. Rose, the Norfolk CC archaeologist, wrote in 1985 that Brograve mill had subsided in five places and was straightened on five different occasions. As a result it has become known locally as Devil's Mill.
Cheryl Nicol - 24th January 2016

10th September 2006
10th September 2006

18th November 2012
18th November 2012

3rd September 2017 Windshaft assembly 4th September 2017
3rd September 2017
Windshaft assembly 4th September 2017

O. S. Map 1884
O. S. Map 1884
Courtesy of NLS map images

1771: Mill built by Sir Berney Brograve, 1st Baronet (1726-1797)

O.S. map 1884: Brograve Mill (Draining Pump)

c.1930: Mill ceased working

2006: Mill leaning to the west and derelict, used by cormorants as a lookout point and to dry their wings

2010: Bernard & Stuart Ellis, farmers and owners

January 2016: Sir Berny Brograve, A Very Anxious Man by Cheryl Nicol published

2017: Mill machinery open to the elements and becoming derelict

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 44802358
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Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2006