All the names of Norfolk watermills in the lists below have a direct link to a separate page many of which contain at least one photograph.
At the time of Domesday, in the 11th century, there were some 580 recorded watermills in Norfolk, but no windmills.
Watermills operating at the time of Domesday were mostly very small, some set over small streams and only capable of working during times of winter rain. Small mills of this type were almost certainly constructed entirely of wood and used a horizontal wheel to power a single set of stones set directly above. Mills of this type have survived the centuries in the Shetland Isles.
Sadly over the future years, in many water mill, I would be involved with removing the mill stones and installing modern hammer mills. These involved high speeds and it was impossible to gear the water wheels up to this speed (3,000rpm). So, we installed diesel engines and later electric motors to drive them leaving the water wheel to drive the hoist, oat crusher, maize cutter and other machinery. The introduction of roller mills for producing flour, the cost of dressing mill stones, heavy maintenance, lack of demand for stone ground flour and only small amounts of meal for animal feed saw the end of most of the water mills. In Norfolk only one water mill remains working today as it did years ago, it is at Letheringsett near Holt. It is well worth a visit and you can even buy stone ground flour there which is produced at the mill. As for the others, they were knocked down, burnt down or turned into flats, this was their fate. In the Domesday Book (1086) there were 500 water mills listed in Norfolk and Suffolk.
|Caistor St Edmund
Horsham St Faith
Kings Lynn - Kettle
Kings Lynn - Oyle
Kings Lynn - Town Mill
Marsham - see Bolwick
Narborough Bone Mill
Newton by Castle Acre
Stoke Holy Cross
Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2007