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Norfolk Windmills


Peafield towermill in New Lakenham was also known as Spratts's Mill and The Black Mill and various times. As of 2005, this is the only surviving windmill in Norwich itself. Henry_Lock built it at a cost in excess of £2,000 in 1824, he also built and owned Lakenham_Bracondale_towermill and Poringland_towermill.

Thomas Spratt was the original miller. He may have employed Henry Spratt, who was bankrupt in 1828 and was petitioning for relief from bankruptcy in 1830, the mill being marked on that year's map.

Henry Spratt, formerly of Tharston, near Long Stratton, Norfolk, Miller, then of Norwich, Baker, then of the Hamlet of Lakenham in the County of the said City, Miller and Baker, then of Chapel Field Row, Norwich, Baker, and then of Norwich unemployed, Bankrupt.
London Gazette - 25th February 1830

The Court for the relief of Insolvent Debtors.

THE Matters of the Petitions and Schedules of the Prisoners hereinafter named (the same having been filed in the Court) are appointed to be heard as follows:- At the Court House, at the city of Norwich, on the twenty-second day of March, 1830, at Ten o'clock in the Morning precisely HENRY SPRATT, formerly of Tharston (near Long Stratton) in the county of Norfolk, Miller, then of the parish of Saint George of Colegate, in the city of Norwich, Baker, afterwards of the parish of Saint Mary, in the same city, then of the hamlet of Lakenham, in the county of the said City, Miller and Baker, then of Chapel Field Row, in the said city, Baker, and late of Mill-street, Crook’s Place, in the hamlet of Heigham, in the county of the said city, unemployed.
9, Cook’s Court, Lincoln’s Inn, London.
For DYE, Solicitor, Norwich.
Norfolk Chronicle - 27th February 1830

Thomas Spratt also had the watermill and towermill at Tharston, the latter being described as “new-built” in 1827. He was listed in Pigot’s Directory of 1830 and he left Peafield mill in 1833.

To Millers, Bakers & Others,
On Monday, March 25 th, 1833.

ALL the HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE, Stock in Trade, and other Effects of Mr. THOMAS SPRATT, Miller, Peafield, in the hamlet of Lakenham, Norwich.
The stock, &c. consist of five sacks of flour, 12 sacks of sharps, 13 score of pollard, two coombs of peas, barley meal, 380 capital flour sacks, 20 flour cloths, sack barrow, shovels, two bushel measures, set of ditto, crow bar, flour tins, corn sieve, meal trough, writing desk, flour bin, two grindstones, ladder, wood, splittles, quantity of carpenter’s tools, deal boards, scantling, two old cylinders, carpenters bench, three gates, rack and manger, door and jambs. deal partitions, long ladder, water tubs, two chickens’ coops, wheelbarrow, pair of wheels, donkey harness, fork and shovels, two pigs’ sties, pair of steel springs, blocks, corn bin, sundry old iron, &c. &c.
Sale to commence at Eleven o’clock.
Norfolk Chronicle - 23rd March 1833


A Capital Brick Tower WINDMILL, with Winding Tackle and Patent Sails, driving three pair of French Stones; two Flour Mills and jumper, with all necessary Machinery & Fittings for carrying on an extensive Flour Trade, situated at the Pea Field, at Lakenham, near Norwich, amidst a large Population, where many advantages are combined.
For Particulars apply to Messrs. Francis, Turner and West, Solicitors; or to Mr. Henry_Lock, Millwright, King Street, Norwich, who will shew the Premises.
Norfolk Chronicle - 20th April 1833

Notice re Bankruptcy of
Henry_Lock of Bracondale, Millwright, Builder & Engineer, Dealer & Chapman.

Norfolk Chronicle - 5th March 1836

Charles Clare was the next miller. He was born c.1801 at Little London, Norfolk. The mill was marked on the 1834 and 1838 maps. Charles Clare left in 1838 to take Bixley towermill.

Charles Clare was followed by James Faulke who was born c.1794 at Happisburgh. In 1841 he was given as a miller aged (40-44) living in St. Stephen’s Road, St. Stephen’s with his wife Rebecca, (40-44), and sons James, 20-24, a miller and Robert, (20-24). He was listed in Blyth’s Directory of 1842 as being at the Tower mill, Peafield, with a home address in St. Stephen’s Gates. He was at the mill until 1845 and in 1851 was given as a proprietor of houses living at 25 Victoria Street, Lakenham with his wife Rebecca, (53), and son Robert, (28).

Valuable Brick Tower Windmill,
Veterinary Establishment.
Warehouse, and Policy of Assurance,
At the Royal Hotel, Norwich,
On Tuesday, the 19th day of August, 1845,
At Three for Four o'clock in the Afternoon,
The following desirable properties:-

Lot 1. An excellent Freehold Round Brick Tower Windmill,
In the Hamlet of Lakenham, Norwich,
WITH patent sails, driving three pairs of stones; also stables, cart lodge, and about 60 rods of Land, in the occupation of Mr. Falke. The mill has 9 floors, was erected about 20 years since, at a cost of upwards of £2000, and has recently, with the machinery, been put into complete repair.

Lot 4.
A Policy of Assurance,
No. 11,325,
In the Norwich Union Life Insurance Office, for £500 on the life of Mr. Thomas Spratt, late of Mulbarton, miller, now in the 46th year of his age. – The policy is dated 20th January 1834, and carries bonuses to the amount of £29. 13s. 4d. Annual premium, payable in January, £11. 8s. 4d. For Particulars and Conditions of Sale, apply to Mr. Edward Field, Solicitor, St. Stephen’s, or to the Auctioneer, Theatre Street, Norwich.

Norfolk Chronicle - 9th August 1845

In 1845, Isaac Hardy was described as miller at Peafield during the trial of his cousin William Hardy, manager of Saxlingham Thorpe towermill who was eventually convicted of stealing wheat from his employer. It is likely that Isaac Hardy was an employee.

The mill was bought by Barnabas Feltham who had moved from Saxlingham_Nethergate_towermill and was worked by his sons Jonathon and Mark, who were listed in hunt and Co.’s directory of 1850 as millers at Lakenham. Barnabas Feltham was born c.1791 at Fundenhall, Norfolk and in 1851 was given as a farmer of 40 acres employing 2 men at Saxlingham Nethergate.

Jonathon Feltham was born c.1821 at Saxlingham Nethergate. He went to Brooke towermill and then to Loddon watermill by 1851, where he ran both the watermill on the River Chet and the towermill nearby. He died in July 1878.


FELTHAM. – On the 7th inst., very suddenly, Mr. Jonathan Feltham, of Sisland, for many years a merchant and miller at Loddon, aged 58.
Norfolk Chronicle - 13th July 1878

Mark Feltham was born c.1824 at Saxlingham Nethergate. In 1851 he was given as a miller and merchant aged 27 living at 2, Mill Yard, Lakenham with his wife Hannah (28), son Randall (4) daughter Agnes (3) and son William (10 mnths),. He was listed in White’s Directory of 1854 as a miller at Peafield.

Barnabas Feltham died in 1855 and the mill was put up for auction in July of that year.

Tower Windmill, and Two recently-built Dwelling-houses, situate at Lakenham;
and Four Cottages, situate in Crook’s Place.

HAVE received instructions from the Executors of the late Mr. BARNABAS FELTHAM, to SELL by AUCTION, on Thursday, July 19 th, at Six o'clock in the Evening, at the Norfolk Hotel, the following Property, situate in the City of Norwich.
Lot 1. – A Brick Tower WINDMILL, (formerly known as Spratt’s Mill,) with four patent sails, drives three pairs of 4ft. 6in. stones, two flour mills and jumper; also a stable cart-house and piggery adjoining. – The Mill is occupied by Mr. Mark Feltham, stand well for wind, in a very populous district, near the Victoria Railway Station, and possession may be had at Michaelmas.
Lot 2. – Four Cottages, situate opposite the John Bull public-house, in Crook’s Place, occupied by Oldman, Harmer, Poll, and Browne.
Particulars and Conditions of Sale may be had of Messrs. Brightwell and Son, Solicitors, Norwich, and of the Auctioneers, Norwich and Yarmouth.

Norfolk Chronicle - 23th June 1855

To be SOLD by Private Contract,

ALL that capital Brick TOWER WINDMILL, situate at Lakenham, near the Victoria Railway Station, and formerly known as “Spratt’s Mill,” with four patent sails and driving three pairs of 4 feet 6 inch stones, two flour mills, and a jumper; with a stable cart-house, and piggery adjoining, now in the occupation of Mr. Mark Feltham.
Also two newly-built Dwelling-houses, adjoining the mill, with gardens, each house containing a parlour, kitchen, wash-house, and three sleeping-rooms.
For further particulars apply to Messrs. Brightwell and Son, Surrey-street, Norwich, or to John Feltham, of Saxlingham.

Norfolk Chronicle - 19th January 1856

The mill was not sold and was put up for auction in March 1856.

In Norwich and Saxlingham,
On Saturday, the 22nd day of March,
At Three o'clock in the Afternoon, at the Norfolk Hotel,

Lot 1.
ALL that capital Brick Tower Windmill, situate in Lakenham, formerly known as “Spratt’s Mill,” with four patent sails, driving three pairs of 4ft. 6in. stones, two flour mills, and jumper. Also, a stable, carthouse, and piggery adjoining.
And two new-built Dwelling-houses, adjoining the mill, with gardens, each house containing a parlour, kitchen, wash-house, and three sleeping-rooms.
This Mill, which will be sold without reserve, was erected by Mr. Spratt at a cost, exclusive of the houses, of Two Thousand Pounds, and stands well for wind, and in a very populous district near the Victoria Railway Station. Possession may be had immediately.
For Particulars and Conditions of Sale apply to Brightwell & Son, Solicitors, Surrey-street, and to the Auctioneers, St. Giles’ Street, Norwich.

Norfolk Chronicle - 8th March 1856


In 1858, Barnabas Feltham jnr. took over the mill, having previously been running a tower mill in Saxlingham Nethergate. He was born in Saxlingham Nethergate c.1819. Mark Feltham went to West_Winch_towermill in February 1859 but he went bankrupt in August 1861.

In 1861 Barnabas Feltham jnr. was given as a miller aged 46, employing 2 men, living at The Black Mill, Lakenham with his wife Elizabeth (37), son Samuel (7) and daughter Harriet (15).

Barnabas Feltham junior’s youngest daughter Elizabeth died on the 29 th January 1864. Barnabas Feltham jnr. appeared in Court in November 1856, charged with having deficient weights.


Barnabas Felton, of Lakenham, miller, was charged with having in his possession two deficient weights and two unstamped weights. – Mr. Mendham prosecuted and Mr. Chittock defended. – The charge was proved, but not being of a very serious nature, the defendant was only fined 10s. and costs.

Norfolk Chronicle - 1st December 1856


The mill was marked on the 1874 map. Barnabas Feltham was listed in Hamilton’s Directory of 1879 as a miller at the Tower Mill, New Lakenham. In 1881, he was given as living at Mill Close, Lakenham with his wife Elizabeth (58) and children Harriet (37) and Samuel (27). He was listed in Eyre’s Directory of 1883 as a miller in Mill Close, Lakenham. The mill was marked on the 1884 map and was damaged in a gale on the 26th January 1884.

The Gale. – Saturday evening’s gale in Norwich, though of short duration, will be remembered for its phenomenal character. ~ The mill at Lakenham, in the occupation of Mr. B. Feltham was stripped of its fan or “flier,” a portion being carried from the mill close across the railway cutting into Mill-street, where it descended into the back bedroom of a cottage occupied by a person named Abel. – a distance of some 200 yards. ~
Norfolk Chronicle - 2nd February 1884

Barnabas Feltham jnr. was listed in White’s Directory of 1886 as a miller at Mill Close, Lakenham. He died on the 25th March 1888.


Mr. B. Feltham, a miller, living in Mill Close, Lakenham, and who has carried on business for upwards of 30 years, died very suddenly on Sunday night. He had been seized with violent pains during the afternoon, but after receiving medical attention he became better. When he had retired to his room at night, a noise of a fall was heard, and his son and daughter found their father lying dead on the floor.
Norfolk Chronicle - 31st March 1888

1st August 1932
1st August 1932

Messrs Fiddy and Smith then took over the mill. Robert W. Fiddy had been at Keswick_watermill in 1883. Mark Smith was born c.1853 in Newton Flotman and in 1881 he was given as a miller aged 28 living at 13 Long Row, Lakenham with his wife Emma (27), son Mark (3m) and daughter Anna (4).

Robert Fiddy was born c.1858 in Eaton. In 1881 he was given as a corn merchant aged 23 living in Swan Yard, St. Peter’s St., St. Peter’s Mancroft with his wife Laura (21). In 1882 a daughter, Mildred was born, in 1883 a son, Cecil Claude was born, in 1885 a daughter, Olive Laura was born and in 1889 a daughter, Nellie Violet was born.

In 1891 Robert W. Fiddy was given as a farm merchant aged 35 living in St. Peter St., St. Peter Mancroft with his wife Laura (31), son Cecil (7) and daughters Mildred (9), Olive (6) and Nellie (2). Robert W. Fiddy was listed in Kelly’s Directory of 1892 as living at 101 Trinity St., Norwich. Later, Robert W. Fiddy ran the mill on his own until 1905, when the mill was put up for auction.


Preliminary Advertisement
Sale of valuable Trade Properties and a Suburban Residence.
Also two Valuable Life Policies.

S. MEALING MILLS is instructed to Sell by Auction at the Royal Hotel, Norwich, on Friday September 8 th, 1905, at 7 pm. precisely in Seven Lots.
Lots 3 & 4 The Valuable Freehold
WIND AND STEAM GRIST MILL with GRANARY, WAREHOUSES, LARGE STABLING, TWO DWELLING HOUSES AND LEASEHOLD LAND adjoining, situate at Eleanor Road, near Trafford Road, New Lakenham occupied by Mr. Fiddy, jun.
Further particulars in future papers.
Mr. J. W. C. Daynes,
Opie House Chambers,
Castle Meadow, Norwich - Vendor’s Solicitors.
Messrs. Mills & Reeve
69 London Street,

Norfolk Chronicle - 26th August 1905

Cecil Claude Fiddy died on the 19th November 1908 aged 19, he was buried in the Rosary Cemetery, Norwich. Laura Fiddy also died in 1908, aged 48 and she was also buried in the Rosary Cemetery.
Robert W. Fiddy died in 1920 aged 62 and was buried in the Rosary Cemetery, Norwich.

9th May 1976
9th May 1976

Charles Edward Woodrow became the next owner of the mill, his father, Edward Woodrow having been tenant miller at Billingford_towermill, Scole_towermill and Horsford_towermill. He was listed in Jarrold’s Directory of 1911 as: - Peafield Mills, Wind and Steam Miller and Forage Merchant, Eleanor Road; 58, Angel Road, Roseberry Road, and 111, Barrack Street. He employed John Quantrill as miller until about 1914 when the mill was damaged by fire. In 1914, Martins’, the Beccles millwrights, removed the sails. Charles Edward Woodrow was listed in Kelly’s Directory of 1916 as a miller, Eleanor Road, New Lakenham: corn & flour dealer, 4, Heigham Street & 58, Angel Road, New Catton.

The mill was fitted out with electrically driver roller milling machinery in 1920, when Russell Quantrill was the miller. The cap was still on the mill in 1932, but it is thought that it was removed during the war. Milling continued until 1965 when C. E. Woodrow & Sons merged with R. J. Read Ltd. to become Read Woodrow Ltd. The mill was used as a grain store for a few more years and in 1970 it was acquired by Norwich Corporation and partly converted to living accommodation in the form of a one bedroomed flat. The mill was sold in 1990 and the rest of the tower, which still stood to its full height of 80’ to the curb as originally built, was then converted to residential accommodation.

The one mill in Norfolk that was a constant during my childhood was the one in Eleanor Road,(off the Trafford Road near the old N and N hospital) which was barely 100 yards from my home and was producing flour all through the war. I vaguely remember its sails but they went in the 40s. The mill was a sheer delight for us children even though our presence was not encouraged!
On my last visit to Norwich some years ago I found the buildings had all been turned into "luxury" flats - another treasured memory gone.

Veronica Oats - 28th November 2009

July 1991
July 1991

O. S. Map 1883
O. S. Map 1883
Peafield mill left centre
Courtesy of NLS map images

Harrod's & White's 1868: Barnabas Feltham jnr., corn miller, New Lakenham

Census 1871: Barnabas Feltham (57) miller, Mill House, Mill Street, St. Mark’s, Lakenham
Elizabeth Feltham (47)
Samuel Feltham (17)
Harriet Feltham (27).

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 23010734
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