Drainage Mills (Windpumps)
Steam Mills

Sail repairs c.1905
Sail repairs c.1905

Holt tower mill was 5 storeys high and built of brick c.1790. The mill had four double shuttered sails, each with 8 bays of 3 shutters that drove 2 pairs of stones. The boat shaped cap with a gallery and petticoat held an 8 bladed fan. Unusually, the stage was set around the first floor.

View of Holt and the mill from Spout Hills - c.1900
View of Holt and the mill from Spout Hills - c.1900

Charles Kendle
Signatory to Notice re SACK ASSOCIATION

Norfolk Chronicle 7th & 21st May 1791

All that capital & new erected WINDMILL situate in Holt in Norfolk, consisting of a roundhouse completely fitted up, capable of containing twenty lasts of corn, with accounting house, lodging room & a horse mill for dressing flour in the same, with every other needful apparatus.
Likewise two capital GRANARIES for corn adjoining, with a lodge for carts & wagons, stables & hayhouse, all new built & well situated for trade, with two acres & a half of freehold Land thereto belonging.

For price & particulars enquire of Charles Kendle of Holt, the proprietor, who will shew the premises; of Mr. John Dew, Swanton Novers or Mr. Robert Akers, Hindolveston.
Norfolk Chronicle - 30th June, 21st & 28th July 1792

To be Sold by Auction
On Saturday 13 October 1792 at the Feathers Inn in Holt, between the hours of 4 & 5 o’c in the afternoon.

All that capital new-erected WINDMILL with Granaries, Stables etc. thereto belonging, situate in Holt in the county of Norfolk, with two acres of Freehold Land to the same, all inclosed.
Norfolk Chronicle - 29th September 1792


WINDMILL to Let. With Immediate Possession
Together with a large & convenient COTTAGE, a Stable & near Three Acres of Land all attached & pleasantly situated with five minutes walk of the Market in Holt.
Apply, if by letter post paid to Mr. J. Lane, on the premises.

Norfolk Chronicle - 10th February 1827

I, SHORE OLIVER of Holt in the county of Norfolk, Miller, do hereby caution all persons against paying any monies or outstanding accounts or delivering any effects belonging to me to WILLIAM GREEN, my late FOREMAN at HOLT MILLS, I having discharged him from my service and he being no longer authorised to receive any property belonging to me. I also caution all persons against giving credit to the said William Green on my account as I will not discharge any Debts or engagements he may hereafter contract or enter into in my name.

Holt, May 7, 1828
Norfolk Chronicle 10th May 1828

Olive Chapman and friend with the mill behind - 1911
Olive Chapman and friend with the mill behind - 1911

Tithe map 1839
Tithe map 1839 - as redrawn by Harry Apling

Tithe Award 1841
Map, J. D. Hawkes. Surveyor, Holt, 1839
Owner: William Harris
Occupier: do

No. 88
No. 89

House, Mill & Premises


0a. 2r. 6p.
0a. 3r. 16p.
1a. 1r. 22p.

10s. 3d.

William Daplyn, journeyman miller in 1851, went on to run Holt Heath postmill.

Mill working with two sails - c.1912 c.1912
Mill working with two sails and missing shutters - c.1912

Suicide of Mr. Harris
Mr. Harris, Miller & Merchant, who has resided in Holt for several years & carried on a prosperous business, became about two years ago the subject of very gloomy & desponding spirits which settled into an intense dislike to be seen by anyone, even by his own friends. On Thursday, while temporarily left in his bedroom for a short time, he hung himself with a handkerchief to the top of the bedstead ...
... verdict of Temporary insanity ...

Norfolk News - 11th May 1861

To be Sold by Auction by Messrs. Whiting & Leggatt on Friday May 17, 1867 at the Lion Inn, Holt at 3 o’c
All that substantially built Brick TOWER WIND CORN MILL driving two pair of stones, with patent sails, tackle & machinery thereto belonging. Also a commodious RESIDENCE, barn, stables, cartsheds, granary & other buildings required for the occupation of the said mill, with Garden & Pasture Land adjoining, the whole containing 1a.0r.38p. or thereabouts.
The Property is well situated for trade in the Market town of Holt, is a freehold tenure & a large business was for many years carried on in it by the late Mr. William Harris.
Immediate Possession may be had.
Outgoings Land Tax 5s.

Apply to Messrs. Wilkinson & Slann, Solrs. Holt or to the Auctioneers, Holt.
Norfolk Chronicle - 11th May & Norfolk News - 4th & 11th May 1867

24th May 1937
24th May 1937

Messrs. Cooper & Isaacks will Sell by Auction under a Bill of Sale without reserve on Tuesday, February 18, 1868 at 12 o’c to the minute, on the Premises of Mr. John Ward, Miller, Holt, a quantity of superior wheat, oats, beans, barley, peas, offal, bran; several loads of turnips, a few sacks of flour, 2 excellent young horses, 5 sets of harness, a miller’s wagon, 4 carts, a light spring cart, plough & sundry farming implements & stable utensils; beam, scales & weights; 8 fat pigs, about 50 fowls, a superior flour dresser, root pulper, strapping and gear to wind mill, a capital saw bench with circular saws; about 30 sleepers & a quantity of timber, several lots of excellent Household Furniture & various other effects.
On view three days prior & morning of sale.

Catalogues on the Premises or will be forwarded by post on application at the Mill; or the Auctioneers’ Offices, 78 Gloucester Street, Pimlico, London, S.W.
Norfolk News - 8th & 15th February 1868

Fri. Feb. 28 John Ward, Tower Mill, Holt, Norfolk, Miller.
Norfolk Chronicle - 7th March 1868

John Ward, Holt, Miller. March 12
Norfolk News - 7th March 1868

To Millers, farmers & others
HOLT MILL, Norfolk
Messrs. Cooper & Isaacks will sell by auction under Bill of Sale without reserve on
Tuesday 18 February 1868 at 12 o'c on the premises of Mr. John Ward, Miller, Holt
Wheat ... utensils etc. ... household furniture ...
Catalogues on application to the Mill or the Auctioneers' offices
78 Gloucester St., Pimlico, London, S.W.
Norfolk Chronicle - 8th February 1868

Preliminary Notice
... HOLT ...
Mr. Henry Denney has received instructions from the Executors of the late Mr. Samuel Bird, to Sell by Auction at the Lion Hotel, Holt, early in April, the following PROPERTIES in several Lots.
A Brick Tower WINDMILL & Double COTTAGE, situate near the Cley Road, two DWELLING HOUSES & SHOP facing the Market Place ...
Particulars may shortly be had at the office of Mr. Sydney Cozens-Hardy, Solr. Castle Chambers, Norwich & of the Auctioneer, Thurgarton Lodge, Norwich.
Norfolk Chronicle - 17th March 1888

HOLT ...
Mr. Henry Denney has received instructions from the Executors of Samuel Bird, deceased to Sell by Auction on 4th April next at the Lion Hotel, Holt at 4 for 5 o'c the following valuable PROPERTIES.
Lot 1. All the substantially built Brick Tower WIND-MILL driving two pairs of Stones & Machinery of the best description, with Granaries, two excellent Enclosures of pasture GROUND, with well built Brick, Stone & Tiled DOUBLE-COTTAGE, large Barn, with Bullock Sheds, Stables, Yard & other Buildings, now in the occupation of George Bird & others, at an aggregate rental of £54. 17s. 6d.
Particulars of the Auctioneer, Thurgarton Lodge or of
Mr. Sydney Cozens-Hardy, Solr. Castle Chambers, Norwich.
Norfolk Chronicle - 24th & 31st March 1888

26th May 1970 c.1970
26th May 1970

I've been up this mill scores of times and sat on the top cap. A school chum of mine once climbed up the sails and sat on the very top one. The little wheel is from 12 to 14 ft across it.
Handwritten on postcard postdated 20th October 1908

Mill site 27th March 2004   27th March 2004
Mill site 27th March 2004
27th March 2004

Not long after A.G. Wright Ltd. bought the site to expand their cah & carry business in January 1973, the mill was declared structually unsafe, possibly as a way of providing a fuss free way of allowing the tower to be removed. Mill towers are extraordinarily strong and it is unlikely the tower would have posed a safety threat if basically maintained. However, during demolition the circular concrete cap's fixings were loosened and the heavy cap collapsed in a cloud of dust.

O. S. Map 1886
O. S. Map 1886
Courtesy of NLS map images

O.S. Map 2005
O.S. Map 2005
Image reproduced under licence from Ordnance Survey

c.1790: Mill built

1791-2: Charles Kendle, miller

June 1792: Mill advertised for sale

Poll Book 1802: John Mandell, miller

1827: J. Lane, miller

February 1827: Mill advertised to be let

1828: Shore Oliver, miller

Pigot's 1830: Henry Barnard, miller, Holt

White's 1836: William Harris, corn miller residing in Fuller St

Robson's 1839: William Harris, miller

White's 1845: William Harris, corn miller residing in Chapel St or Fairstead Row

Census 1851:

William Daplyn (30) b.Hindringham, journeyman miller
Susanna Daplyn (35) b.Waybourne
Elizabeth Bullock (13) b.Holt, general servant
Address: Withers Street

Robert Haynes (33) b.Hindringham, journeyman miller
Elizabeth Haynes (29) b.Hunworth, cake seller
Sarah E. Haynes (10) b.Hempstead, scholar
Walter Haynes (6) b.Whiting, scholar
Charles H. Haynes (1mnth) b.Holt
Ann Grimes (19) b.Hempstead, dressmaker (visitor)
Address: Obelisk Plain

Kelly's 1854: William Harris, corn miller, Chapel street
Kelly's 1854: William Daplin, foreman miller

White's 1854: William Harris, corn miller, residing Chapel St

1858: William Harris, miller

Thursday 9th May 1861: William Harris committed suicide at his home

1863: Benjamin Harris, miller

White's 1864: Benjamin Harris, corn miller, Cornhall St

1865: Mrs. Harriet Harris, miller (widow of William Harris)

17th May 1867: Mill sold at auction at the White Lion Hotel and was bought by John Ward

1868: John Ward, miller

1868: John Ward, miller - bankrupt

Februay 1868: Business & personal effects of John Ward advertised for sale by auction

March 1868: John Ward declared bankrupt

1868: Austin Dady, miller

1872: George Bird, miller

Kelly's 1879: George Bird, miller, Fairstead Row

White's 1883: George Bird, corn miller, home Beckham hall

March 1888: Mill advertised for sale by auction due to the death of Samuel Bird (owner)

Kelly's 1892: George Bird, miller (wind), Fairstead Row & (water), Hempstead mill

Kelly's 1896: George Bird, miller (wind), Fairstead Row & (water), Hempstead mill

1896: Mill bought by Sydney Stephen Burroughes, miller and general merchant

Kelly's 1900: Sydney Stephen Burroughes, baker, corn, coal & manure merchant & miller (wind), New Street

Kelly's 1904:
Sydney Stephen Burroughes, baker, corn, coal & manure merchant & miller (wind), New Street; & depot at station

c.1905: Mill sails underwent repairs

1911: Mill working with two stocks and two sails with many shutters missing

c.1912: Steam auxiliary power used to supplement wind power

Kelly's 1912:
Sydney Stephen Burroughes, corn, coal, manure, hay & chaff merchant & miller (wind & steam) & carting contractor, New street; depot at Station

Kelly's 1916:
Sydney Stephen Burroughes, corn, coal, manure, hay & chaff merchant & miller (wind & steam) & carting contractor, New street; depot at Station T N 7

1918: Mill ceased production

Kelly's 1922:
Sydney Stephen Burroughes, corn, coal, manure, hay & chaff merchant & miller (wind & steam) & carting contractor, New street; depot at Station T N 7

Spring 1922: Sails removed

Saturday 5th May 1923: Mill damaged by fire

1926: Mill derelict

c.1932: Machinery removed

1937: Karl Wood painting showing mill with an uncapped tower at full height

1937: Mill with an uncapped tower at full height with visible curb rack

1949: Mill used as corn store

1932-1973: Mill used for storage and lower two floors painted white in later years

January 1973: Mill sold to A.G. Wright Ltd, grocery cash & carry

1973: Mill demolished as presumed structurally unsafe

c.2000: Mill site developed into a housing complex


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 TG07653900
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Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2004