Drainage Mills (Windpumps)
Steam Mills


Hemsby towermill was built on Mill Hill c.1836 by George Durrant Starling, who was local farmer, miller and wheelwright. The mill used two pairs of patent sails struck via a tailpole to drive two pairs of stones and a flour mill. The tower had a Norfolk boat shaped cap with a gallery and fantail. Alongside was the Mill House, an orchard and a millman's cottage.

George Durrant Starling, who built the mill was born in 1805. He married Clemantia Davey and they had a son, George Davey Starling in 1825. George Durrant Starling emigrated to Australia in 1858.

George Davey Starling took over running the mill. His eldest son was born in 1847 and was given exactly the same name as his father.

F.G. Durrant who was miller and baker installed a steam engine for auxiliary power some time between 1896 and 1900

A Norfolk Archaeology manuscript mentions that Walter Roper was also a miller at one point

Robert Davy had moved to Winterton postmill by 1851

Brick Tower Windmill, Dwelling-house, Shop, large Premises & Garden
Re G. D. Starling a Bankrupt
Clowes & Flowerday are favoured with instructions to Sell by Auction on Wednesday 16 September 1857 at the White Horse Inn, Great Yarmouth, at 3 for 4 o'c in one lot the above very desirable & eligibly placed Property.
Apply to Mr. Clowes, Solr. Gt. Yarmouth, Messrs. Miller, Son & Bugg, or at the Auctioneers office St. Andrews Hall Plain, Norwich.

Norfolk Chronicle - 5th & 12th September 1857

To be Sold or Let
A Brick built Tower Windmill having patent sails & two pairs of stones with flour dresser, good Dwelling-house & garden with thriving orchard & millman's cottage. Mill now doing a good retail trade.
Possession at Michaelmas next at which time present tenant who has occupied for 15 years quits to take possession of his own mill.
Apply to Messrs. Clowes & Son, Solrs. Great Yarmouth.

Norfolk Chronicle & Norfolk News - 15th May, 12th June & 31st July 1875

Miller's Employment
Now open for letting

A Mill in full trade & Miller's House & cottage with orchard; present tenant retiring after 25 years occupation to own mill.
Rent east & good connection.
Situate at Hemsby, with immediate possession.

Apply to Messrs. Clowes & Son, Solrs. Great Yarmouth.
Norfolk Chronicle & Yarmouth Independent - 25th September, 16th & 23rd October 1875
Norfolk News - 25th September 1875

Miller's Situation
To Lett with Immediate Possession, a BRICK TOWER MILL worked by Patent Sails, Self-winding & Driving two Pair of stones, Miller's & Millman's Residences & suitable Premises including a thriving Orchard, in the Parish of Hemsby, the rent easy. The late tenant occupied for fifteen years & has retired to his own Mill at a considerable distance..
Apply Messrs. Clowes & Son, Solicitors, Great Yarmouth.

Norfolk News - 16th October 1875

Hewling Luson Warnes moved to Sea_Palling_towermill in 1875, where he stayed until he died a few years later. It is probable that Hewling Warnes was a relative of Elizabeth Warnes, who was running the mill in 1864 and it is presumed she was the widow of Henry Warnes. Thus Hewling Warnes moved to take over a mill already in the family.

To be Let With occupation at Michaelmas Old Style.
A Brick TOWER WINDMILL with patent sails, usual self-winding gear, working three pairs of stones at DILHAM & a similar MILL working two pairs of stones, with a double Dwelling House at HEMSBY in this county.
Further particulars of Messrs. Clowes & Son, Solrs. Great Yarmouth.

Norfolk Chronicle - 16th September 1876

Thompson, Robert, Jun. late of Hemsby & Martham, now of Diss, formerly miller & corn dealer, now farmer.

Norfolk Chronicle - 10th January 1891
Robert Thompson was a farmer at Diss Heywood

Frederick George Durrant carried on trading as a baker until 1920

The mill was demolished in 1928 by Humphrey, a builder from Ormesby who wanted to use the resulting rubble, according to Ada Elizabeth Fakes who died in 1987 at the age of 106 - And he had no business to pull it down.

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

c.1836: Mill built by George Davy Starling

White's 1836: George Starling, corn miller

O.S. map 1837: Mill

Census 1841:

Robert Davy (30) miller
Anne Davy (30)
Henry Davy (5)
Clementia Davy (6 days)
Samuel Hall (15) servant
Isabel Haylett (35) nurse

White's 1845: George Starling, corn miller

Census 1851:

George D. Starling (26) b.Ormesby, master miller employing 2 apprentices
Triphena M Starling (28) b.Horning
George D. Starling (4) b.Hemesby
Jane T. Starling (2) b.Hemesby
Adrian A. Starling (1) b.Hemesby
Ambrose Starling (3mnths) b.Hemesby
Harriet Hall (14) b.Flegg Burgh, house servant
Samuel Saunders (18) b.Flegg Burgh, apprentice miller
Edgar Page (14) b.Ludham, apprentice miller
Address: Mill Lane

1853: George Starling, miller

White's 1854: George D. Starling, corn miller

1856: George Davey Starling, miller

1857: George Davey Starling bankrupt

September 1857: Mill advertised for sale by auction

1858: Hewling Luson Warnes, miller & farmer

Census 1861:

Hewling Warnes (38) b.Haynford, miller
Anne E. Warnes (36) b.Palling
Address: Cottages by Mill

Census 1861:

John Hunt (26) b.Hemsby, journeyman miller
Elizabeth Hunt (23) b.Hemsby
Address: Cottages by Mill

White's 1864: Hewling Warnes, farmer & corn miller

Census 1871:

Hewling Warnes (48) b.Horsford, master miller & farmer
Elizabeth A Warnes (45) b.Sea Palling
English C. Elizabeth Warnes (17) b.Sea Palling, domestic servant (neice)
Elizabeth Warnes (9) b.Sea Palling, boarder (neice)
Address: Mill House, Common

James Roberts (23) b.Hainford, miller
Ellen Roberts (23) b. East Ruston
James Roberts (3) b. Horning
George Roberts (1) b. Dilham
Address: Mill Yard

George Beck (34) b.Ormesby, miller & farmer
Susannna Pu? (51) b.High Wycombe, Berks, housekeeper servant
Address: Decoy Farm

May 1875: Mill advertised for sale or let as tenant Hewling Warnes leaving to take over his own mill after 15 yrs

September 1876: Mill advertised to be let

1878: Robert Thompson, miller

Kelly's 1879: Robert Thompson, miller

Census 1881:

Robert Thompson (26) b.East Ruston, miller & merchant
Sarah E. Thompson (20)
Lillie Thompson (2) b.Hemsby
Berthat B. Thompson (8mnths) b.Hemsby
Address: Mill Road

Census 1881:

Alpheus Starling (27) b.Hemsby, journeyman miller
Ann Starling (19) b.Hemsby

White's 1883: Robert Thompson, corn miller

1891: Robert Thompson, bankrupt

1888: Walter Montague Roper, miller

c.1896: Steam auxiliary power installed

Kelly's 1892: Walter Montague Roper, miller (wind)

Kelly's 1896: F. G. Durrant, miller (wind)

Kelly's 1900: Frederick George Durrant, miller (wind & steam) baker & shopkeeper & fruit grower, Mill house

Kelly's 1904: Frederick George Durrant, miller (wind & steam) baker & shopkeeper & fruit grower, Mill house

c.1905: Mill ceased working

Kelly's 1908: Frederick George Durrant, baker & fruit grower, Mill house

1905-1920: Baking business

1928: Mill demolished by builder Humphrey from Ormesby and bakery turned into a piggery

1972: Cecil W. Gislam, Mill House (3rd of block end on to road)
1972: Mrs. Margaret Watson, Mill Yard (centre of block)

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 TG48361760
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Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2005