Gt Fransham


Drainage Mills (Windpumps)
Steam Mills


Gt. Fransham towermill was a four storey mill that stood at Mill Farm and was later described as a very wide-towered Mill, not very high, but thick & heavily built. The mill used four patent sails to power two pairs of French burr stones. A pulley wheel was set onto the outside of the mill to allow auxiliary power via a belt from a steam engine. In 1886, two windmills were advertised to be let along with a bake office on the same site.

Melancholy & Fatal Accident
On Thursday in last week a distressing accident accompanied by a fatal termination occurred in Mr. Perkins’ mill, the unfortunate victim being a respectable & steady married man in his service, named Crispin Howard. About ten minutes before eleven in the forenoon Mr. Perkins left the deceased following his usual avocation. On his return shortly after eleven, Mr. Perkins thought the mill was not working so smoothly as before he left & on looking upwards he discovered the lifeless body of his workman resting on the beam to which he had been elevated after having been drawn in & passed between the two cog wheels. From the nature of the wounds inflicted, it was obvious death must have been instantaneous. The dead man who was fifty five years of age leaves a widow & three children to mourn his loss & for whom much sympathy is felt. At the inquest held on Saturday, the only verdict that could be found in the circumstances was returned – that of “Accidental death”.
Norfolk News - 10th February 1866

Fatal Accident.
Inquest on Jonathan Perkins, Miller, aged about 67 ...
(Fatally injured on being thrown out of a pony cart when it hit a gatepost.)
Lynn Advertiser - 2nd May 1874

Great Fransham
Messrs. John Standley & Sons are favoured with instructions to offer for Public Competition at the George Hotel, Swaffham on Friday 3 July 1874 at 3 for 4 o’c the following valuable Freehold Property.
Lot 1. All the Brick & Tile Dwelling house with Barn, Stables, Cart lodges, cow house, Piggeries & other convenient Outbuildings together with an excellent BRICK TOWER WINDMILL with four Floors driving two pairs of French Stones, with Fly Wheel attached for Steam Power; also two Brick & Tile Cottages & about 10a.2r. of excellent Arable & Pasture LAND adjoining lands in the occupation of Mr. J. Flood & Thos. Boddy & the high road to East Dereham & low road to Beeston.
The Property is well situated for business being within One Mile of Fransham Station & Six Miles from Dereham & Swaffham & a good trade has been carried on for many years thereon.
The Tithe rent charge & Land tax will be apportioned upon the above Property at the time of Sale.

Particulars of Mr. Thomas Palmer, Solr. Swaffham & the Auctioneers Wymondham.
Lynn Advertiser & Norfolk News - 16th & 23rd May & Norfolk Chronicle - 20th June 1874

TO Millers, Merchants & others
To Let at Michaelmas next. Two Wind-mills with Dwelling House & Bake Office & two other Houses & about ten acres of Land. Doing a good trade.
Apply to the owner, Mr. Henry Rix, Curds Hall, Great Fransham, East Dereham, Norfolk.

Lynn Advertiser - 18th & 25th June 1886

To Let on lease (by tender) at Great Fransham, possession at Michaelmas, Wind-Mill, Mill-House & Premises, Two Cottages, 18a. 2r. 0p. Arable Land, 8a. Pasture Lans (mre or less). Tenders to be sent to J. E. Godfrey, Secretary, A, O. F., Swaffham, on or before July 5th.

Lynn Advertiser - 30th June 1899

TO LET ON LEASE at Great Fransham, possession at Michaelmas, Wind
Mill, Mill House & Premises, Two Cottages, 18a. 2r. 0p. Arable Land, 8a. Pasture Lans (mre or less). Rent £54; rent without cottage £47.
Apply J. E. Godfrey, Secretary, A, O. F., Swaffham, on or before August 7th.

Lynn Advertiser - 21st July 1899

On Wednesday September 27th.
By Order of Mr. J. Stibbard

Lynn Advertiser - 1st September 1899

On Wednesday September 27th.
All the Live & Dead FARMING STOCK, Implements & Carriages, Harness etc. by order of Mr. I. STIBBARD, who is leaving.

Lynn Advertiser - 8th September 1899

On Wednesday September 27th at 2 o'c
Alexander BANHAM
Is favoured with instructions from Mr. J. STIBBARD to Sell by Auction 6 Horses ... together with the Agricultural Implements, Miller's cart on springs, square cart, tumbrils & the dairy utensils.
Catalogues on application.

Lynn Advertiser - 15th & 22nd September 1899

(Sale at George Hotel, East Dereham, 23 August 1909)
Mr. Heyhoe next offered the substantial built brick tower windmill situate at the Mill Farm, Great Fransham. This contained patent sails, two pairs of stones, shafting gear and fittings in good order and were sold subject to being removed from the occupation by 11 October next, from instructions from the trustees of Court 1246 A. O. F. (Swaffham). Mr. Crane was the purchaser for £7.

Dereham & Fakenham Times - 28th August 1909

Lynn Advertiser - 13th August 1909
Lynn Advertiser - 13th August 1909

Lynn Advertiser - 20th August 1909
Lynn Advertiser - 20th August 1909

On 23rd. ult. at E. Dereham, in Norfolk, the brick tower windmill at Great Fransham, fitted with patent sails, two pairs of stones, shafting, gear and fittings, all in good order, was sold under the hammer, to be taken down by October 11, and disposed of for the modest sum of £7 to Mr. Crane.
The Miller - 6th September 1909

O. S. Map 1883
O. S. Map 1883
Courtesy of NLS map images

Bryant's map 1826: Windmill

4th June 1828: George Perkins son of Jonathan Perkins (miller) & Martha Perkins née Whitby christened

22nd June 1835: Eliza Perkins daughter of Jonathan Perkins (miller) & Martha Perkins née Whitby christened

White's 1836: Henry Perkins, corn miller

29th March 1839: Jane Howard daughter of Chrispin Howard (miller) & Mary Howard christened

26th December 1839: Adam Lyon Merry West of full age, miller, son of John West, married Catherine Flood

Census 1841: Jonathan Perkins, miller aged 30

Census 1841:

Jonathan Perkins (30) b.Necton, miller

Christophen Howard (25) miller (employee)

White's 1845: Jonathan Perkins, miller

8th February 1846: Robert Howard son of Chrispin Howard (miller) & Mary Howard christened

2nd March 1850: Elizabeth Jane Howard daughter of Chrispin Howard (miller) & Mary Howard christened

Census 1851: Jonathan Perkins (44) b.Necton, farmer & miller, employing 3 labourers
Henry Savage (21) b.Holme Hale, farm servant

Chrispane Howard (41) b.Gt. Fransham, miller's man - Front Street

White's 1854: Jonathan Perkins, farmer & corn miller

Census 1861: Jonathan Perkins (54) b.Necton, farmer of 70 acres employing 2 labourers & son (owner?)

Chrispin Howard (44) b.Gt. Fransham, miller

White's 1864: Jonathan Perkins, corn miller & farmer (owner)

Thursday 8th February 1866: Crispin Howard, employee, crushed to death in mill machinery

Census 1871: Jonathan Perkins (54) b.Beeston, farmer, Mill Farm (owner)
Charles Dunn (26) b. East Dereham, miller servant

Frederick Trundle (33) b.Necton, miller, Mill Cottage

April 1874: Jonathan Perkins, miller, killed in a road accident

20th June 1874: Mill advertised for sale by auction

1875: Richard Curtis, miller

1878: Richard Curtis, miller

Kelly's 1879: John Garrod Hazell, miller & farmer

Census 1881: John C. Hazell (50) b.Ashby, miller & farmer of 26 acres employing 1 man, 1 boy, Mill Hse
William Fryer (17) b. Forest Hill, London, millers's boy

1883: John Garrod Hazell, miller & farmer

25th October 1885: Elizabeth Ann daughter of James Stibbard, miller, married William Marlborough Rush

1886: Henry Rix, owner

June 1886: Two windmills advertised to be let

White's 1888: John George Hazell, miller

1888: James Stibbard, miller

Census 1891: Robert Ellis (45) b.Diss, miller, Barton Road
Bartelle Ellis (15) b.Burston, miller

Conrad Rollinson (62) b.Gt. Fransham, agricultural labourer, Barton Road
Robert Rollinson (21) b.Gt. Fransham, miller

Kelly's 1892: Jesse Stibbard, miller (wind) & farmer

27th March 1894: Robert Rallison (miller) married Hannah Susannah Moore

Kelly's 1896: Jesse Stibbard, miller (wind & steam) & farmer

June 1899: Mill advertised to be let by tender

July 1899: Mill; advertised to be let at a rent of £54 per annum

1899: James Stibbard, miller

September 1899: Mill advertised for sale by auction along with business effects of James Stibbard

Kelly's 1900: Charles Carter, miller (wind)

2nd April 1900: Jessie Carter daughter of Charles Carter, miller, married Benjamin Stacey

Census 1901: Charles Carter (47) b.St. Peter's, miller & farmer
George M. Carter (24) b.Terrington St. Clements, miller & farmer

Walter Yull (52) b.Lt. Dunham, farm labourer
Frederick Yull (25) b.Gt. Fransham, miller

Thomas H. Parker (34) b.Whissonsett, wood sawyer
Thomas Anerton Parker (16) b.Whissonsett, miller's carter

Kelly's 1904: Charles Carter, miller (wind)

Kelly's 1908: John Ellis, miller (wind & steam)

23rd August 1909: Mill sold at auction to a Mr. Crane for £7, to be demolished by 11th October 1909

1909: Mill machinery dismantled

Census 1911: George Mason (44) b.Poringland, miller

1926: Mill derelict

1970: Mervyn Cresswell, Mill Farm

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 07836 675369 or

Nat Grid Ref TF 89841340
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Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2007