Mill Loke


Drainage Mills (Windpumps)
Steam Mills


Horning Mill Loke post mill stood at the top of Mill Loke. The mill had a roundhouse and 4 double shuttered sails each with 9 bays of 2 shutters. The original common sails were replaced by patent sails that were 28 ft long and 9 ft wide and were fitted by Englands, millwrights from Ludham. A fantail turned the mill to wind and a horsemill was also operated on the site.

Mill Loke postmill was probably the first postmill and possibly even the first windmill ever, to be fitted with William Cubitt's patent sails (patented in 1807) that were eventually to be used by virtually all Norfolk windmills. Stalham_smockmill is the only other known contender and the timing would have been some time after 1807.
Pockthorpe smockmill had been fitted with a fantail to automatically turn it to wind by 1803.

Horning had two postmills in the 1700s and early 1800s that stood close to each other in a 6 acre field to the northeast of the River Bure as it ran through the village. Mill Loke postmill stood just to the north of the other mill, which had been demolished by 1838. Both mills were under the same ownership when they were put up for auction in 1801.

Mrs Ann Ramsdale of Ingworth owned the mill in 1759, along with East_Ruston_postmill and
Happisburgh_postmill when she became insolvent, forcing the sale of all three properties. According to the terms of her Deed of Assignment, a dividend was paid to her creditors in May 1759 and a final one in 1760.


To be Sold separately
THREE DWELLING HOUSES with a WINDMILL to each house, late of Ann Ramsdale of Ingworth, situate in the several Parishes of Horning, Happisburgh and East Ruston.
For Particulars Enquire of Mr. Thomas Cubitt of Horning aforesaid, Mr. John Gill, of Bintree or Mr. Richard Kemp of Swafield.

Norwich Mercury - 17th February 1759

The Trustees of the estate of Anne Ramsdale of Ingworth, widow, will meet at the Black Boys in Aylsham on Tuesday 22 May Instant in order to make a Dividend of the said Estate, of which the Creditors of the said Anne Ramsdale are desired to take Notice; all such Persons as are indebted to the the said Ann Ramsdale are desired to pay such Debts on that Day or they will be sued for the same.
Norwich Mercury - 12th May 1760

The Creditors of ANN RAMSDALE & THOMAS RAMSDALE lat of Ingworth are desired to take Notice That a final Dividend will be made by the Assignees on Tuesday 1st Day of July next at the Black Boys i n Aylsham ...
Norwich Mercury - 7th & 14th June 1760

Mills etc.
To be Sold by Auction By Wm. Burt (Unless disposed of by Private Contract)
At the Bull Inn in Magdalen Street, Norwich On Saturday 4 July 1801 precisely at 4 o'c.
Lot 1. A very good Dwelling House with convenient buildings & about 6 acres of Land at Horning in Norfolk with two capital CORN WIND MILLS standing thereon.
A Horse Mill adjoins the above.
The Mills are situated very near the navigable river running from Horning to Yarmouth & in a good corn country.
Lot 2. Three Cottages etc. ...
Part of the purchase money may remain upon the premises.
Apply to FOSTER, SON UNTHANK & FOSTER, Attornies, Norwich.

Norfolk Chronicle - 20th & 27th June & 4th July 1801

Mills etc. To be Sold by Auction By Robert Ansell At the Kings Head, Hoveton St. John, Norfolk On Wednesday 5 August 1801 precisely at 4 o'c
A Very good Dwelling House with convenient buildings & about 6 acres of Land situate at Horning, with two Capital CORN WIND MILLS standing thereon & a Horse Mill adjoining the above. The Mills are near the river which is navigable up to Aylsham & down to Yarmouth.
Norfolk Chronicle - 25th July & 1st August 1801

Flour Mills
To be Peremptorily Sold by Auction By Charles Martin
Precisely at 12 o'c in the forenoon On Wednesday 14 November instant at the Maids Head Inn, St. Simons, Norwich.
A Valuable ESTATE comprising two capital Wind Flour-Mills, a very convenient Dwelling House, excellent Granary, Horse Flour Mill, Stable, Yards & Garden well planted with fruit trees, with six acres or thereabouts of very good Land. The premises are in complete repair, three hundred pounds having been expended on them in the last three years. The above premises, of which possession may be had immediately, are situate in Horning in Norfolk, adjoining the navigable river to Yarmouth & 10 miles from the City of Norwich.
The premises may be viewed by applying to George Wright at the Swan, Horning & further particulars known by application to Mr. Bygrave, Attorney, Norwich or Mr. Henry Watson, George Street, Yarmouth.

Norfolk Chronicle - 23rd & 10th November 1804

A deed dated 19th November 1819 records that Thomas Osborn Springfield of Norwich mortgaged the mill to Robert Woolsey of Holveston for £2,500. Included were: a Tower Windmill and a Post Windmill as well as messuages or dwellinghouses, granaries, millhouses, malthouses, baking office cottages, quays, staithes, yards, lands etc.  along with the stones, sails, tackle, furniture implements, going-gears, etc. 

Tithe Award 1841
Map, Robert Pratt & Son, Surveyors, Norwich, 1840
Owner: Thomas Osborne Springfield
Occupier: Robert King

No. 251
No. 252
No. 253

Mill Close
House & buildings

Part of
Part of

3a. 0r. 34p.
3a. 3r. 16p.
0a. 3r. 5p.
67a 3r. 2p.
68a. 2r. 32p.

£ 8. 14/- Vic.
£19. 2/- Appr.

No mills shown on map

The Estate of the late T. O. Springfield, Esq. at Horning
Messrs. Butcher are instructed to SELL by AUCTION sometime in July unless sooner disposed of by Private Contract
An excellent roomy POST WINDMILL with Round House, well situated for wind at Horning, within about 200 yards of the Navigable River from Aylsham to Yarmouth.
Also a steam mill, etc.
Particulars of Mr. Dalrymple, Solicitor, St. Giles, Messrs. Butcher, Auctioneers, Theatre St., all of Norwich.

Norfolk Chronicle & Norfolk News - 19th June 1858

Messrs. Butcher are instructed by Osborn Springfield, Esq., to sell by auction at the Norfolk Hotel, Norwich on Saturday 31st July 1858 at 4 o'c the undermentioned Valuable Estates viz.
Lot 7. In Horning
An excellent roomy POST WINDMILL with Roundhouse well situated for wind at Horning, within about 200 yards of the navigable river from Aylsham to Yarmouth.
Also Steam Flour Mill etc.
& 70a. 3r. 2p. Arable, Pasture & Marsh Ground in the occupation of Mr. Jonathan Nicholson.
Apply to Mr. Dalrymple, Solr. Norwich or Messrs. Butcher, Auctioneers, Norwich & 37 Bedford-row, London.

Norfolk Chronicle & Norfolk News - 10th July 1858

Thurs. 5 Jan.

NICHOLSON, Miller, Horning
6 Bill Drifts
by Thurgate, "Waggon & Horses"
Smithdale's Day Book 1876/80

James Woolverton will Sell by Auction by direction of Mr. Jonathan Nicholson, who is declining Farming & Milling, on Tuesday September 23, all his valuable Live & Dead FARMING STOCK, Millers Utensils of Trade, two Wherries etc. & on Friday September 26 the capital HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE & other effects.

Norfolk Chronicle - 30th August 1884

O.S. Map 1881
Courtesy of NLS map images

A photo entitled The Windmill which dominated Horning until 1879 was published in Life in a Norfolk Village. The Story of Old Horning, edited by Charles F. Carrodus in 1949.

2007 map
2007 map
Image produced with permission of Ordnance Survey

1758: Mill owned Mrs Ann Ramsdale of Ingworth

1759: Mill advertised for sale by auction

1759: Thomas Cubitt, miller

Poll Book 1768: Robert Pratt, miller

Poll Book 1780: Robert Pratt, miller

Poll Book 1784: Robert Pratt, miller

Poll Book 1786: Robert Pratt, miller

Poll Book 1794: Robert Pratt, miller

Poll Book 1796: Robert Pratt, miller

Faden's map 1797: Windmills

July 1801: Mill advertised for sale by auction along with adjacent postmill

July 1801: Mill re-advertised for sale by auction along with adjacent postmill

1801-04: £300 spent on repairs and maintenance of the premises

November 1804: Mill advertised for sale by auction along with adjacent postmill

19th November 1819: Mill mortgaged to Robert Woolsey of Holveston by Thomas Osborn Springfield of Norwich

1819: Robert Woolsey, miller

Bryant's map 1826: Windmills

White's 1836: Robert King, corn miller

O. S. map 1838: Windmill

Tithe Award 1841: Owner: Thomas Osborne Springfield; Occupier: Robert King, miller

Census 1841:
James Smith (45), miller
Susann Smith (41)
Charles Smith (12)
Lydia Smith (7)

? Broughton (28) journeyman miller

White's 1845: Richard Hoston, corn miller

1846: Richard Hoston, miller

1853: Jonathan Nicholson, miller

White's 1854: Jonathan Nicholson, corn miller

c.1858: Thomas Oliver Springfield died

June 1858: Mill advertised for sale by auction

Census 1851:
John  Halls (31) b.Yelverton, miller
Susanna Halls (40) b.Newton St Faiths
Sophia Chamberlain (16) b.Horning, daughter-in-law
Address: Lower Street, Horning

James Smith (55) b.Horning, pauper
Charles Smith (21) b.Horning, labourer
Lydia Smith (17) b.Horning - both families living in Lower Street, Horning

White's 1864: Jonathan Nicholson, miller, merchant & farmer

Kelly's 1879: Jonathan Nicholson, miller & farmer

1879: Mill demolished leaving the steam mill still in operation

O. S. map 1881: Windmill (Corn)

1883: Painting by S. J. Batchelder

White's 1883: Jonathan Nicholson, miller, corn,coal, cake, seed, &c., merchant & farmer

1884: Jonathan Nicholson, miller, farmer & wherry owner

August 1884: Trade & personal effrects of Jonathan Nicholson advertised for sale by auction due to retirement

O. S. map 1889-91: Windmill (Corn)

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 TG 34101757
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Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2005