Old Buckenham


Drainage Mills (Windpumps)
Steam Mills


Old Buckenham towermill stood to the southwest of Mill Farm and was built of red brick in 1818 and has the date cast into a wall washer on the tie bar above the north door. The 42 foot high tower only had a 3 foot 6 inch batter, being 26 feet 6 inches at ground level and 23 feet at the curb with 2 foot thick walls, all of which made it the windmill with the largest diameter in the country. The overall height of the mill to the top of the cap was 54 ft. 6 ins. It is believed that the mill was originally built with 8 common sails (as was the towermill at Victoria_Road, Diss) that were replaced by 4 patent sails after serious storm damage in 1879.
The sails were 10 ft 4 ins wide, being the widest of any mill remaining in the country and they drove a great spur wheel with a 13 foot diameter, the widest recorded on this website.

The mill was built with the intention of being the most powerful in Norfolk.
When building began the best available materials were used but as construction progressed towards the upper sections, the quality declined as the owner’s finances became stretched.

The mill had a boat shaped cap with a rearward extension, which at 24 feet, was the largest in diameter of any known mill and it extended well beyond the 5 storey tower. This enormous cap was internally 14 feet high, 23 feet long, 21 feet wide and had 32 wheels including 5 truck wheels and 17 centering wheels. Due to its 14 tons mass, winding was by both spur and worm drives to a live curb set on wooden ring. The cap had a petticoat, gallery, iron railings and a six bladed, 12 foot diameter fan. There was a hatch above the brake wheel. Despite iron bands being set around the tower, it became distorted, throwing the curb out of level.

Brakewheel - c.1925 c.1925
Brakewheel - c.1925

Old Buckenham mill 1926

Ground floor:
Originally two doors but the southern one was later blocked up
Two windows

First floor:
Great spur wheel
5 stone nuts & one other pinion
2 pairs of governors, one with 2 steelyards regulating 4 pairs of stones
Upright shaft

Second floor:
5 pairs of French burr stones

26th June 1933
26th June 1933

The 1879 refit:-
The two pairs of 10 feet wide double shuttered sails had a span of approximately 75 feet and were struck by a lever. Each sail had 10 bays of 3 wooden backed shutters with a wire frame and canvas covers. The sails were set on five rollers under the windshaft’s neck and powered 5 pairs of underdriven French burr stones, each pair having its own governor and a dresser.

The stocks were 60ft long

The cap frame was 30ft. 6ins. by 12ft

The 15 foot long, cast iron windshaft tapered down from 11" diameter, weighted 2½ tons and was cast by millwrights Smithdale of Norwich c.1872-1883 and bore the inscription:

The 10 foot diameter brakewheel was of a clasp arm construction, having an iron cog ring of 120 cogs cast in 5 segments.

The iron upright shaft was 25 feet high and 8 inches in diameter.

The 10ft diameter head wheel was made of wood and consisted of 2 second hand wheels bolted together with a cast iron ring of cogs bolted to it. The mounting was 24ins x 24ins x 24ins. The wheel had approx 120 x 3 ins pitch cogs that were 4½ ins wide x 2½ ins deep and set in segments over a wooden toothed wheel with 2 sets of cogs cut off. There were about 88 to the rear and and about 88 forward of which 6 were numbered I, II, III, IIII, IIIII & IIIIII in one 2ft centre segment between the clasp arms. These were possibly designed as "knock out" cogs to put the wheels out of gear on a head wheel driving directly through the stone nuts without the wallower or great spur wheel. The clasp arms were in two portions that did not exactly match - the rear portion was 9½ ins wide and the rear portion 13½ ins wide and made up from odd pieces. This was possible a compass arm wheel. A wooden ring acted as a drive for the sack hoist.

The 5 feet 3 inches diameter wallower had an 8 sided hub and was probably the largest in the county, having 72 teeth with a 3 inch pitch - as opposed to the 26 tooth version at Little_Cressingham_towermill. A wooden ring was bolted under the wallower to provide a friction drive for the sack hoist.

The underdriven great spur wheel was 13 feet in diameter and made of 12 cast iron segments that were assembled on site and attached to the upright shaft with cast iron angles on flanges. On occasions, an auxiliary drive was applied directly to the wheel.

The 6 cast iron stone nuts were 20 inches in diameter and each had 24 wooden cogs. The step bearings were carried on a cast iron frame resting on a timber frame. The stone nuts that drove the five pairs of French burr stones were raised by a horizontal lever with a forked end the remaining one powered a flour dresser via a rack and pinion.

A governor with 8 inch iron balls controlled 4 pairs of stones and a smaller version controlled the remaining stone, both being driven via a spindle from the upright shaft.

The revolutions of the sails were geared to the revolution of the stones at a ratio of 1:10, thus at the sails' safe top speed of 12 rpm. the stones would turn at 120rpm.

A large granary was built next to the mill in 1856 that incorporated a steam mill with four pairs of stones driven by a Gilbert 12 hp engine that was later replaced by an oil engine. Later, a bake office was added and this was often used by village bakers, notably Terry Frost.

5th June 1937
5th June 1937
c. 1937

9th September 1938
9th September 1938

The mill was built for John Burlingham who was also the miller at the nearby Mill Farm postmill that became the site of the Methodist Chapel in 1871. John Burlingham's parents were millers and farmers in Shropham, where they also had a weaving, grocery and drapery shop or shops. John Burlingham was an apprentice at a mill in Sapiston, Suffolk. In 1805 he was miller at Old_Buckenham_postmill and in that year was made bankrupt. The 1811 census also lists him at the postmill. In February 1813 he succeeded in paying his creditors. In 1825, James Colman became engaged to John Burlingham's eldest daughter, Mary, born 24th October 1805..

To be Let
A TOWER WIND-MILL most desirably situated at East_Harling in Norfolk & exceedingly well winded, in which are two pair of stones, flour mill & going gears complete, with five acres of Land adjoining & suitable buildings thereon.
Apply personally (or by letter if post paid) to Mr. John Burlingham, Old Buckenham, Norfolk.

Norfolk Chronicle - 1st October 1825

The Burlingham family also owned East_Harling_towermill. Land Tax records show that Thomas Burlingham was the owner from at least 1820 - 1832 and the Tithe Award of 1846 gives John Burlingham as the owner.

Strong wind November 24th 1836.
Many mills hurt. Bullingham’s.

Diary of Thomas King of Thelnetham 1804-1838

Burlingham’s lost two sails & otherwise damaged.
Suffolk Chronicle - 26th November 1836

Old Buckenham mill 1970
1st September 1970

The bread ovens were often used by people from the village when their own ovens were either unusable or too small.

Tithe map 1842
Tithe map 1842 - as redrawn by Harry Apling

Tithe Award 1843
Map, J. Easton, Attleburgh, 1842
Owner: John Burlingham, Junior
Occupier: do

No. 714 New Mill Field
4a. 3r. 15p. £2. 3. 6

In 1823 Jeremiah Colman (1771-1851) took his nephew James Colman (1801-1854) into partnership trading as J. & J. Colman. The company became mustard manufacturers at Stoke_Holy_Cross. James Colman married Mary Burlingham, daughter of John Burlingham in 1826 and they had a son, J. J. Colman, born on 14th June 1830.

On 17th May 1862, J. & J. Colman bought Old Buckenham towermill from John & George Burlingham and their mortgagees Harvey & Hudson..

The 1851 census lists several members of the Burlingham family as being in the milling trade under the company name of J. Burlingham & Sons.

At Church Green:
John Burlingham (71) b.Larling, widower, Retired Corn Merchant;
Elizabeth Johnson (68) b. Shropham,sister, Landed Proprietor;
Harriet Cann (25) cook servant; Rebecca Gardiner (21) house servant

At Manor House, Church Green:
John Burlingham jnr (34) b.Old Buckingham, Corn, Seed Merchant & Miller;
Maria Burlingham (38) b.Westbourn, Suffolk, wife;
Martha E. Monnshire (40) b.Portsea, sister in law;
Mary Ann Monnshire (36) b. Portsea, sister in law.
Tabitha Hewitt Simmons (20) house servant;  Emily Newman (21)  general servant

At Church Green:
George Burlingham (33) b.Old Buckenham, Corn & Seed Merchant & Miller
Elizabeth Burlingham (29) b.Besthorpe
Lucy Burlingham (3) b.Old Buckenham; John Burlingham (2) b.Old Buckenham;
George Burlingham (1) b.Old Buckenham; Elizabeth. Peck, cook servant;
Charlotte Loveday (21) servant nurse; Emily Steward (20) house servant

Richard Curtis (25) b.Caldecote, clerk to corn merchant & miller
Etheridge Curtis (23) b.Caldecote, clerk to corn merchant & miller
Arthur Curtis (16) b.Rudham, clerk to corn merchant & miller

Gravestones in Old Buckenham churchyard:
John Burlingham - born 1774 and died 11th September 1853 aged 79
Elizabeth Burlingham (wife) died 25th June 1846 aged 70
John Burlingham (son) born 1816 and died in London on 8th December 1875 aged 59
Charles Burlingham (youngest son) died 20th August 1853 aged 36

John Burlingham - His parents lived at Shropham where they had a farm, a mill, a weaver's shop, a grocery and a drapery business. John apprenticed at a mill at Sapiston.
Jeremiah James Colman - Helen C. Colman 1905

1989 1989
Old curb gearing from adjacent photo - 1989

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Partnership between the undersigned John Burlingham & George Burlingham in the trade or business of Merchants & Millers, carried on at Old Buckenham in the County of Norfolk & at 35 Tower Street in the City of London & elsewhere under the firm of “John Burlingham & Sons” was this day dissolved by mutual consent.
Dated this Tenth day of March, One Thousand Eight Hundred & Sixty.

John Burlingham
George Burlingham

Norfolk News - 17th March 1860

To Millers & Merchants
Old Buckenham Mills near Attleboro’
Wm. Spelman & Sons have received instructions To sell by Auction on Monday march 12, 1860
The following Effects at Old Buckenham Mills in the occupation of Messrs. J. & G. Burlingham in consequence of the Winding up of the business at Old Buckenham.
Horses, Waggons, Carts, Harness, Carriages, Sacks & Bags, Beams, Weights etc …
The Sale will commence at Twelve o’clock at the Hall Mill.
Norfolk Chronicle & Norfolk News - 3rd & 10th March 1860

Old Buckenham, Norfolk
Messrs. Butcher are instructed to Sell by Auction at the New Inn, Attleborough on Thursday 14 June 1860 at 4 o’c in lots the undermentioned Valuable Property …
Also a Brick TOWER WINDMILL with five floors & patent sails driving five pairs of stones.
Also a WINDMILL driving two pairs of stones.
The above will be sold subject to charges thereon amounting to £11,000 upon which interest is paid at the rate of 3½ per cent per annum.
Apply to Mr. Tillett, Solr. Norwich or the Auctioneers, Norwich & at their offices 37 Bedford Row, London W.C.
Preliminary advertisement 28 April 1860
Norfolk Chronicle & Norfolk News - 5th, 12th & 19th May 1860

Old Buckenham, Norfolk
Messrs. Butcher are instructed to Sell by Auction at the New Inn, Attleborough on Thursday 14 June 1860 at 4 o’c in lots the undermentioned Valuable Property …
Also a Brick TOWER WINDMILL with five floors & patent sails driving five pairs of stones.
Also a WINDMILL driving two pairs of stones.
The above will be sold subject to charges thereon amounting to £11,000 upon which interest is paid at the rate of 3½ per cent per annum.
Apply to Mr. Tillett, Solr. Norwich or the Auctioneers, Norwich & at their offices 37 Bedford Row, London W.C.
Preliminary advertisement 28 April 1860
Norfolk Chronicle & Norfolk News - 5th, 12th & 19th May 1860


Messrs. BUTCHER are instructed to Sell by Auction at the New Inn, Attleborough on Thursday 14 June 1860 at 4 o’clock in lots the undermentioned Valuable Property

Also the Powerful BRICK TOWER WINDMILL with five floors and patent sails driving five pairs of stones.
Also a piece of Arable Land adjacent to the above mentioned mills and cottages containing with the sites of the said mills and cottages 9a. 3r. 2p. Also a WINDMILL driving two pairs of stones with small granary late in the occupation of Messrs. John Burlingham and Sons.
Also Cottage, small granary and garden of 0a. 2r. 30p. occupied by – Lawrence.
The above will be sold subject to charges thereon amounting to £11,000 upon £2000 of which interest is at £5% and on £9000 at 3¼% per annum. A most extensive business has been long established and conducted upon this property by Messrs. Burlingham and Sons.
Apply to Mr. Tillett, Solicitor, Norwich or the Auctioneers, Norwich and at their offices,
37 Bedford Row, London, W.C.

Norfolk Chronicle - 9th June 1860

Situations Vacant
WANTED, an experienced STONEMAN. A good Character will be required.
Apply by letter only to J. & J. Colman, Old Buckenham Mills, Attleborough.
Norfolk News - 25th May 1872

To Let in Norfolk, a powerful WINDMILL driving five pairs of Stones. Steam Mill attached if desired. A large trade now in full operation. Dwelling house, Premises & 50 acres of Arable Land. Rent moderate. Further particulars of Messrs. W. H. Tillett & Co., Solrs. Norwich.
Norfolk Chronicle - 21st July 1877

To be Let with early Possession
TWO TOWER WINDMILLS at Old Buckenham, Norfolk and a large Steam Flour Mill, with about 18½ Acres of Land adjacent. Also a capital Family Residence and Cottage, with garden and grounds comprising 5¼ Acres at Old Buckenham, now in the occupation of Mr. George Burlingham.
Also three Green rights.
For rent and particulars apply to Mr. George Burlingham at Old Buckenham or Mr. Tillett, Solicitor, Norwich.
Norfolk News - 8th & 15th September 1860
The other mill mentioned above was actually Old Mill Road postmill

Old Buckenham
To Millers & Builders
Steam Engine, French Burr Stones, etc …
Forming the “Hall Steam Mill” to be taken down & removed by the purchasers.
Spelmans sale Thursday 6 September 1860.
Norfolk Chronicle - 25th August & 1st September 1860

7th May 1995
7th May 1995

Old Buckenham Mills, near Attleborough
11 powerful & active Van Horses, 3 Cobs, 4 excellent Cows, 4 Millers’ Vans, 4 Millers Carts, Dog Cart, Car, Basket Car, Sulkey, Agricultural Implements, Harness, Furniture etc.
Salter & Simpson are favoured with instructions from Messrs. J. & J. Colman to Sell by Auction in consequence of the Mills being let.

On Monday October 8, 1877
The above Property.

Norfolk Chronicle - 1st, 15th & 22nd September 1877

Old Buckenham Steam & Wind Mills
William Beales wishes to call the attention of farmers, horse-keepers & graziers to the above mills & to inform them that he, through having steam power is in a position to execute all orders & keep consumers well supplied with meal at the shortest notice. Flour, meal, supers, barley, oats, maize, beans, peas, bran etc. always on hand at prices which will bear comparison with any house in the trade.
New Buckenham Almanack - 1890

Michaelmas 1901
Thos. Wm. Gaze & Son Michaelmas Sales
The Mills, old Buckenham
On Tuesday October 1
Trade Carriages, FARMING STOCK & Effects including 8 h.p. Portable steam Engine & pair of French Burr Stones, by direction of Mr. W. E. Beales.
Lynn Advertiser - 13th September 1901

Thos. Smithdale & Son
Engineers, Millwrights, Contractors
Acle, Norfolk 30/6/1904
This agreement witnesseth that I Frederick William Gooderham, Miller of Old Buckenham Norfolk do agree to pay to Messrs. Thos. Smithdale & Son of Acle Norfolk the sum of one hundred pounds £100 for work to be done by them to my mill as agreed to pay the amount as follows;
£25 at once
£25 when sails are ready for delivery
£50 6 months after the work is complete
Signed this first day of July 1904
Name in full: F. W. Gooderham
Witness to the above - signature Horatio S. Loveday - occupation Engine Owner Old Buckenham.

Frederick William Gooderham, miller, witness at inquest on his brother Herbert Reames Gooderham, aged 28, a miller’s carter.
Norfolk Chronicle - 14th March 1908

… Messrs. Colman transferred the business of flour making to their Norwich mills, dismantled the boilers and let the windmill and premises to a Mr. William Beales who only made a very small amount of flour in the windmill. Mr. Beales lived at that time in the farm at the South side of the Green known as Mill Farm …
Some Notes on Old Buckenham - edited by H. E. Read, 1944 - 1946

Sale 20th Nov 1952
Sale brochure 20th November 1952

Site plan October 1988
Site plan October 1988 showing Mill Farm

William Goodrum, had to have an arm amputated in 1921 after being injured by the machinery.

Mill sail struck by lightning & set on fire. (28.4.69)
Owner:- C. W. Hilton, Mill Farm, Old Buckenham.
Eastern Daily Press - 29th April 1969

Death of last miller, William John Goodrum, son of Jonathan Goodrum. Arm amputated in 1921 when injured through being caught in driving belt.
Milling ended 1926 when fantail broke down.

Eastern Daily Press - 1st August 1970

The property was described as 'Mills, Houses, Cottages and Farms'. Parts of this property were sold in 1867, 1871, 1872, an d1900, the final sale taking place at Michaelmas 1909.
Letter to Harry Apling from R. H. Butcher, Public Relations Officer, Reckitt & Colman Products Ltd., Carrow, Norwich. - 20th August 1973

Pig’s Ear puts Farmer through the Mill

Farmer Mr. Dennis Burton was surprised to read that the historic Old Buckenham Mill on his farm was to be turned into a youth field centre.
For Mr Burton, of Mill Farm, Old Buckenham, knew nothing about any scheme and he did not want a field centre on his farm.
When his neighbours also read about the £20,400 scheme they were none to pleased, either.
“People are getting a bit hot under the collar thinking it’s something to do with me,” Mr Burton said yesterday. “The first I saw of it was in the paper, and then when I went down to the local and they told me I was in the Sunday Express.”
The information, which started the furore at Old Buckenham came from a Manpower Services Commission Press release. The Commission said it was going to give Old Buckenham Mill, an early 19th century windmill a new lease of life. Two craftsmen and eight unemployed youngsters would put in lavatories, showers and partitions so the mill could be used as a centre for field studies, painting and other activities.
The mystery was finally cleared up by Norfolk County Council Youth and Community officer, Mr Cyril Grant, who is sponsoring the scheme with the commission. “The mill we are converting is at Buckenham Tofts, near Mundford, on the edge of the battle area,” he said.
The brick and flint watermill stands beside the River Wissey, next to a campsite already used the county council youth service.
With the £20,400 grant from the commission, plus £5,000 from the West Norfolk Jubilee Trust and some money from the county education budget, the empty building will become a much needed field centre for the area.
Mr. Grant was certain Norfolk County Council had no designs on Mr. Burtons mill and neither had the commission.
Finally the gaffe was traced to the Central Office of Information in Cambridge, where the existence of four Norfolk Buckenhams had not been suspected. “In the research for the Press release some of the wires got crossed; that’s clearly what happened.” said the regional information officer, Mr Ian McKellar. ”I hope it hasn’t worried him too much. I am sorry if he has been upset by it. It does seem to be a pigs ear we have made.” he admitted. “Let’s face it, with four Buckenhams, we had a 25% chance of being right. We hope it won’t be a millstone round our necks.”
Eastern Daily Press - 24th January 1979

Site plan October 1988
Site plan October 1988

Work on mill may start soon.
Work may start this year on the restoration of a historic South Norfolk windmill.
The Norfolk Windmills Trust expects to become the new owner of Old Buckenham Mill, near Attleborough by the end of this month, and is already making plans to restore the Grade II building to its former glory.
The first phase in the project will be to build a new access road to the site, provide a small car park for visitors, and repair the windmill’s lower floors, ladders, windows and doors.
This is scheduled to take place in 1989-90 if all goes to plan.
The trust could then consider opening the mill to the public on a small scale, while continuing the restoration as a long-term project.
Members intend to apply for grant aid from the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission, to help pay for the repairs, in the hope that Old Buckenham Mill will be considered of outstanding interest, and therefore be given a higher grading.
At present grants are usually only available for mills which are listed as Grade I or Grade II star.

Eastern Daily Press - 25th January 1989


During renovation a new clasp-arm brake wheel was constructed to replace the rotten original, which apparently came from one of the several nearby postmills. Unfortunately the stone furniture had disappeared and the runner stones had been broken up and used to stabilise the entrance to a muddy field in Carlton Rode.

In 1976, Mrs. Grace Emma Hilton of Old Buckenham, widow of Clifton William Hilton, was the owner of the mill and mother in law of Dennis Burton who was living at Mill Farm.

Eastern Daily Press - 1996
Eastern Daily Press - 1996

1996 New stocks - 1996
New cap under construction - 1996
New stocks - 1996

1996 1996
John Lawn fitting new sails - 1996

New fan assembly - 1996
New fan assembly - 1996

Appeal for new sails at Old Buckenham Windmill

It is one of the most photographed landmarks of a Norfolk village and has been used as a handy grid reference for incoming pilots at a nearby airfield for decades.
But an historic windmill, which was once owned by an Indian prince, is looking for another generous benefactor after its sails were lost to the ravages of time and weather.
The Old Buckenham Windmill has almost been brought back to its former glory after falling into a sorry state after being made redundant as a working mill in the 1920s.
Now villagers and officials from the Norfolk Windmills Trust have begun fundraising to replace its four sails after they were found to be beyond repair. Its rotten white wooden sails, which were installed in 1996, currently lay stricken beside the building after being removed and inspected last summer.
Custodians of the tower mill, which was built in 1818 and was once one of six mills in the village near Attleborough, are looking to raise £32,000 for the new sails, which would restore the building to an almost fully functioning standard.
Trustees opened the mill to the public for the first time in two years at the weekend and are staging a series of open days on the second Sunday of every month to help raise awareness and funds for the project.
Tom North, chairman of the Old Buckenham Windmill committee, said it would be difficult to raise the funds in the current climate, but a lot of people in the village wanted to see it restored.
"I think it makes it more complete and impressive with the sails and adds to the size and scale of it and is one of its unique selling points. It is useful to have the sails to show it in its full glory and makes an impressive silhouette."
"When we have the sails on, they can turn and go around, but we currently do not have the internal mechanics for a working mill at the moment," he said.
The listed windmill, which has five large stones for turning corn into flour and is the widest mill tower in the country, was last used in anger in 1926 and has been gradually brought back to life by the Norfolk Windmills Trust over the last 20 years.
During its working life, it was owned by Jeremiah James Colman, of Colman's Mustard fame, and later by Prince Frederick Duleep Singh and his wife Princess Sophia Alexandrona, who lived in Old Buckenham Hall at the end of the 19th century.
Mr North added that the Old Buckenham windmill was the "Tesco" of its day after making other mills surplus to requirements because of its size and efficiency. He added that the landmark was a useful marker for aircraft pilots using Old Buckenham Airfield.

Adam Gretton, Eastern Daily Press - 11th May 2011

Old Buckenham Windmill reopens to the public

Old Buckenham Windmill in Norfolk is reopening to the public on selected Sundays during the summer to mark the start of a fund-raising initiative by the Norfolk Windmills Trust working in conjunction with local residents. The windmill will open from 2-5pm on 12 June, 10 July, 14 August and 11 September. It's the first time that the public have been able to go inside the mill for two years.
Situated near Attleborough in one of the biggest corn growing regions of East Anglia, there have been windmills in the village of Old Buckenham since the 13th century. The present mill was built in 1818 and has had several illustrious owners during its lifetime, including James Colman of Colman's Mustard fame and His Excellency Prince Frederick Duleep Singh, an Indian prince who lived at Old Buckenham Hall in the late 19th century.
The windmill was retired in 1926 and was then used as a farm store until it was taken over by the Norfolk Windmills Trust in the 1980s. The Trust has carried out lots of renovation work in the years since, initially with the help of funding from Norfolk County Council and English Heritage, but money is now needed to replace all four of the mill's sails, which were taken down last summer and found to be damaged beyond repair. The new sails will cost an estimated £32,000. Additional funding is also needed to restore the mill's internal machinery.
Old Buckenham Windmill has the widest tower of any windmill in the country - 23 feet across at its base, which is almost twice the width of most mills. The structure is also unusual in that it has five large stones for turning corn into flour, so a heavy concentration of power is required to generate the drive.

Hudson's Heritage website - 31st May 2011

Plans to restore iconic windmill placed on at risk list
Work to begin the restoration of an iconic windmill added to the buildings at risk list could begin next year allowing it to be re-opened to the public.
The Grade II listed windmill in Old Buckenham is among the Norfolk buildings added to Historic England's 2019 list of properties that are at risk.
The building is said to be in a critical condition with "immediate risk of further rapid deterioration" after the loss of its sails.
The present brick mill was built in 1818 and has the widest diameter tower of any mill in the country - 23ft across at the base. It has had a number of illustrious owners including James Colman, who married the daughter of the first miller, but production ceased in 1926.

Norfolk Windmills Trust, which owns the mill, said it was determined to fix the issues and had been given a development grant by Historic England for preliminary work. The last restoration was overseen by millwright John Lawn with new cap and sails fitted in 1996.
Amanda Rix, technical advisor at Norfolk Windmills Trust, said the first phase of work costing around £100,000-£120,000 could begin next year.
She said: "What we are looking at is breaking the works down into three phases. Phase one will be the tower brickworks repairs and works to windows and doors so that essentially the mill is safe and the community are then able to re-open the windmill to the public. There is a very good band of volunteers that we have and who are every enthusiastic.
"Then phase two will be looking at the works to the cap and the rolling gear, the element that make it turn to wind. Because of the size of it and the mechanics there are some serious problems that need to be fixed. Then going forward phase three would be the stocks and new sails.
"We are hoping to go back to Historic England for a further grant but the local community are planning events to raise funds as well. It is good that the village is so behind it."
Each year Historic England adds or removes properties from its Heritage at Risk Register, which aims to highlight places which could be lost due to neglect, decay or inappropriate development.
Old Buckenham Windmill is one of five new locations in Norfolk added to the 2019 risk register, while six have been taken off, including another South Norfolk windmill at Billingford.

Diss Mercury - 1st November 2019

Battle of the bulge - 'Unique' 200-year-old mill set for full restoration

An historic flour mill is set to be shrouded in scaffolding as a major restoration project gets underway.
Grade II listed Old Buckenham Mill is the largest of its kind in the country and a rare survivor of a bygone industrial age, according to Norfolk Windmills Trust (NWT).
The important relic was closed to the public two years ago after a bulge in the brickwork got worse.
The repairs are being funded by grants of £95,325 from Historic England, and £20,000 from the Association for Industrial Archaeology, with the remainder coming from the Friends of Old Buckenham Mill, and NWT.
Trust chairman Martin Wilby said: “I am very pleased to see this much needed work start on Old Buckenham Mill, which will enable it to be opened up to the public next spring.
“I wish to thank the friends and volunteers at the mill who have been fundraising and campaigning to restore the mill back to working condition.”
Built in 1818 and previously owned by the Colman family, of Colman’s mustard fame, and then by Prince Frederick Duleep Singh, the mill fell into disrepair before finally being taken into the trust’s care.
Tony Calladine, regional director for Historic England in the East of England, said: “We’re delighted to support the urgently needed repair of Old Buckenham Mill with this grant.
“As the largest diameter mill in the country, it is a rare survivor of our agricultural heritage and an important local landmark.”
Old Buckenham Mill also features a unique mechanism to turn the large, heavy cap and sails into the wind. Work begins this week on erecting full height scaffolding.
The mill’s ground floor will also be removed and replaced, and repairs will be made to floor beams, the cap, and internal walls.
Once the first phase of work is complete the mill can be reopened to the public by the volunteer group while further funding is sought for the phase two works to the cap and running gear.
After this work is done it is hoped the mill may finally be removed from Historic England’s at risk register.
The final phase will be to reinstate the stocks and sails.
Liz Coates, Eastern Daily Press - 12th October 2020

O. S. Map 1882
O. S. Map 1882
Courtesy of NLS map images

Unallocated millers from old Buckenham:
Poll Book 1802: John Barton
1811, 1821, 1830, White's 1836: John Lock
1811: Robert Brown

1811: Shadrack Lane
1821: Isaac Arms (1)
1821: Isaac Arms (2)

2011 Open Days:
Sunday 8 May; 2pm to 5pm
Sunday 12 June; 2pm to 5pm
Sunday 10 July; 2pm to 5pm
Sunday 14 August; 2pm to 5pm
and Sunday 11 September; 2pm to 5pm

1818: Mill built for John Burlingham snr

Parish census 1821: John Burlingham, miller

Bryant's map 1826: Windmill

Pigot's 1830: John Burlingham, corn miller, Old Buckenham

White's 1836: J. Burlingham, corn miller & corn merchant

24th November 1836: Mill lost 2 sails and damaged during a storm

Robson's 1839: John Burlingham snr, miller & corn merchant

White's 1845: J. Burlingham & Sons, millers

Census 1851:

George Burlingham jnr (33) b.Old Buckingham, corn & seed merchant & miller
Address: Church Green, Guiltcross - see above

John Burlingham jnr (34) b.Old Buckingham, Corn, Seed Merchant & Miller;
Elizabeth Address: Church Green Manor House - see above

John Burlingham snr living next door - see above

1853: John Burlingham snr. died aged 79

White's 1854: J. Burlingham & Sons, corn millers & merchants

1855: Steam mill for flour & seed built to drive 4 pairs of stones - known as Hall Steam Mill

1856: Granary built adjacent and bakery added later

10th March 1860: Business partnership between John & George Burlingham dissolved

March 1860: Business effects of J. & G. Burlingham advertised for sale by auction

Thursday 14 June 1860: Mill sold at auction along with Old Mill Road postmill

August 1860: Hall Steam Mill advertised for sale and removal

September 1860: Mill advertised to be let

White's 1864: J. & J. Colman, farmers & milers & c. Henry Mower, manager

17th May 1862: Mill sold to J. & J. Colman by John & George Burlingham and morgagees Harvey & Hudson

1872: J. & J. Colman, millers

July 1877: Mill advertised to be let

September 1877: Business effects of J. & J. Colman advertised for sale by auction due to the mill being let

Kelly's 1879: William Beales, miller & farmer

3rd August 1879: Mill severely damaged in a storm

1879: New windshaft cast iron fitted and 8 common sails replaced by 4 patent sails

White's 1883: William Beales, miller, farmer, corn & coal merchant

1890: William Beales, miller

Kelly's 1892: William Beales, miller (wind & steam), farmer, corn & coal merchant, & agent for
W. Colchester's & R. Brown & Co's chemical Manures , Mill Farm; & at Banham

Kelly's 1896: William Frederick Beales, miller (wind & steam), farmer, corn & coal merchant, Mill Farm

Kelly's 1900: William Frederick Beales, miller (wind & steam), farmer, corn & coal merchant, Mill Farm

April 1900: J. & J. Colman sold the mill to Prince Frederick Duleep Singh formerly of Elvedon Hall

September 1901: Business effects of William Beales advertised for sale by auction

Kelly's 1904: Frederick William Gooderham, miller (wind & steam)

July 1904: New sails ordered from Thomas Smithdale & Son of Acle

1905: Mill sold to Lionel George Robinson, the new incumbent of Old Buckenham Hall

1908: Herbert Reames Gooderham, miller's carter died - brother of Frederick William Gooderham, miller

1910: Lionel George Robinson sold the mill to Jonathan Goodrum

Kelly's 1912: John Gooderham, miller, corn, flour & offal merchant (wind & oil engine)

Kelly's 1916: John Gooderham, miller (wind & oil engine)

1921: William (Billy) John Goodrum had an arm amputated after it was caught in a drive belt

Kelly's 1922: John Gooderham, miller (wind & oil engine)

1922: Billy Gooderham bought mill - the last miller

Kelly's 1925: John D. Goodrum & Son, millers (wind & oil engine)

1926: After 107 years, the mill ceased working

Kelly's 1929: John D. Goodrum & Son, millers (wind & oil engine)

Kelly's 1933: John D. Goodrum & Son, millers (oil engine)

Kelly's 1937: John D. Goodrum & Son, millers (oil engine)

1938: Mill derelict, sails but no shutters or fantail

1940: Mill tower used as an observation post for a searchlight battery

1949: Mill derelict

20th November 1952: Mill & grain store bought by by Clifton William Hilton at auction for £500

28th April 1969: One of the sails struck by lightning and set on fire

1970: Cap gone and mill lying derelict

1970: William (Billy) John Goodrum died - last miller and son of Jonathan Goodrum

20th October 1976: Cap frame & sails removed by millwright John Lawn who installed a temporary roof

1976: Mrs. Grace Emma Hilton of Old Buckenham, owner and widow of Clifton William Hilton

O. S. Map 1882: Windmill (Corn)

c.1982: Granary converted to dwellings

1984: All internal machinery from wallower downwards still in situ under a temporary roof

January 1989: Mill taken over by Norfolk Windmills Trust

1992: Restoration work started by millwright John Lawn

1996: New cap and sails fitted

1997: Mill opened to public on the 2nd Sunday of every month in the afternoon from April to September

2000: Mill in good condition having been restored

May 2023: Mill opened to the public for the first time in five years

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 TM 06239099
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Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2005