Wicklewood High Street towermill


Drainage Mills (Windpumps)
Steam Mills

1912  Wiliam Wade, his sons & Kitty the horse
Wiliam Wade, his sons & Kitty the horse

Wicklewood towermill in the High Street was of a tarred brick type construction. It was built 1845-46 by Richard Mann and the 5 storey mill was 43 feet high with a ground floor diameter of 17 feet. The tower originally had two ground floor doors but the northern was was later bricked up, possibly at the time the drive from the external auxiliary engine was installed.

The Norfolk boat shaped cap with a gallery and petticoat held a 6 bladed, left handed fantail. Underneath was the striking chain wheel and tailpole. The four double shuttered sails, which replaced the common sails the mill was built with, were 63 feet in length, being set on 52 foot stocks and drove 2 pairs of overdriven stones. One pair of stones were French burr stones and the other pair consisted of a French burr runner over a Peak bedstone. One pair of sails had 7 bays of 3 shutters and the other pair had 6 bays of 3 shutters and 1 bay of 4 shutters and were struck by rack and pinion. The 15 ft 2 ins. cast iron windshaft has a shape that suggests it quite possibly came from a postmill and the 8 ft. 3 ins. cast iron brakewheel came from Silfield towermill when its machinery was dismantled in 1911.
The name C. RIX, DEREHAM is cast on part of the striking gear, dating the mechanism to c.1892-1904.
A wooden roller (as at Harpley_towermill) was used when the stones were lifted by ladder.

A second pair of French burr stones and an oat crusher were set on the first floor and were driven by an external engine.
By 1904 an auxiliary Burrell 7 h.p. portable steam engine had been installed in a clay lump and timber built engine shed. c.1920, the steam engine was replaced by a Shanks 12/14 h.p. paraffin engine.

Brakewheel:- Iron, solid (in two sections bolted together)
Smallest iron wheel seen, 8 ft. 3 ins. diameter with wooden cogs, shanks dovetailed wedged. Separate iron brake rim.
Upright shaft a "graft" shaft of wood and iron.
Stones:- Had French burr bedstone with Peak runner which came from Costessey_old_watermill. (Incorrect - Harry Apling - was a Peak bedstone from Silfield and a French burr runner)
Rex Wailes

The top section of the upright shaft is of cast iron. Previously it was all wood but one day a piece of metal dropped into the eye of one of the stones, stopping it immediately. The momentum of the sails twisted the top of the shaft to splinters.
Wicklewood Mill, Harry Apling - 1982

1926 c.1930

Tithe map 1845
Tithe map 1845 - as redrawn by Harry Apling

Tithe Award 1845
Map 1838
Owner: Richard Mann
Occupier: do

No. 117



2a. 0r. 27p.

15s. 11d

White's directories of 1836 and 1845 list Richard Mann as a bricklayer and beerhouse keeper. In order to build the mill he borrowed money from John Mitchell, Edward P. Clarke, John Harman, Sophia An Jones of Wymondham and ? Pomeroy. Although the 1845 tithe award gives Richard Mann as both owner and occupier, the first miller listed was John Browning Mallett in 1846.

All that Cottage and all that windmill situate in Wicklewood aforesaid, then or late in the possession or occupation of the said Richard Mann, with the Land, Buildings, Millstones, Irons, wheels, going gears, sail cloths, furniture, utensils, scales, apparatus, fixtures and movables of every kind and description and appurtenances whatsoever to the said Messuage, Cottage, Windmill and premises respectively belonging or held, used or enjoyed therewith respectively.
Mortgage Document obtained by Richard Mann from John Harman & E. P. Clarke for £600 - Jan 1850

Richard Mann obtained a further mortgage for £180 in August 1850 from Harmer & Clarke and on 16th October 1861 both mortgages were transferred to widow Sophia Ann Jones of Wymondham.
On 11th November 1882 Richard Mann, yeoman sold the mill and house to Samuel Winter, baker, of Pitt St., St. Augustine's, Norwich for £355.

All that Messuage and Cottage in two tenaments and all that windmill situated in Wicklewood aforesaid then or then late in the several occupations of James Doughty and Henry Buck with the land, buildings, millstones, irons, wheels, going gears, sail cloths and other fixtures . . . half an acre or thereabouts . . .
Excerpt from sale document - 1882

WICKLEWOOD near Wymondham, Norfolk
Particulars & Conditions of Sale of a Miller & Merchant's occupation comprising TOWER WIND MILL, Granaries, Stables, Engine House, Coal Store, Piggeries and DWELLING HOUSE with large garden which WM. VINCENT & SONS are favoured with instructions to Sell by Auction at the King's Head Hotel, Wymondham on Friday, August 3rd 1906 at Four o'clock in the afternoon in one Lot.
Particulars & Conditions of Sale may be obtained of the Auctioneers 11a Upper King Street, Norwich or of

Vendor's Solicitor.

WICKLEWOOD near Wymondham
All that most substantially Brick Built TOWER WIND MILL with 5 floors and driving three pairs of Stones, (two wind and one steam), together with a good Oat Crusher (drive wind or steam), a Range of brick, stone, clay and wood-built and covered with tile, Stables, Hay house, 2 good Granaries, Cart Sheds, Clay-built and Corrugated Iron covered Engine House and Coal Store (with good Well of Water underneath) Wood Built and Corrugated Iron covered Cart Shed, Wood built and tiled Pig Styes, with yards covered with Corrugated Iron, Brick and Tiled Privies, Good Well of Water, also a Brick Built and Tiled Double Dwelling containing on the ground floor, 4 Rooms and 2 Sculleries with two Staircases, Entrance Hall, Closets, Pantries, etc., and 6 Bedrooms over, with Large Gardens, the whole containing nearlky 2r. 0p. as now occupied by Mr. W. Farrow (whose tenancy expires at Michaelmas next), at an apportioned annual rental of £30.
Tenure Freehold.
Note. The Garden is well stocked with fine Apple, Pear, Plum and Cherry Trees now in their prime. The House, Mill and Buildings have been well kept up and are in first class repair, a very good trade is being done at the Mill and there is a good opportunity for a pushing business-like man with small capital.
Good Grist District. Nearest Mill 3 miles off.


Land Tax, as assessed
Tithe (if any)
The Purchaser will have to pay, in addition to the Purchase money, for the Tenant's Fixtures, which shall be taken by Valuation to be made in the usual way. A Schedule of the same will be produced at the time of Sale.
Sale Particulars - 1906

Mill working - 7th November 1938
Mill working - 7th November 1938

William Wade bought the mill at the above sale for £330. He had previously learnt the milling trade from Samuel Mann at Wicklewood's Hackford Road mill before working at one of the three Martham windmills working at that time. He then spent time at both Cringleford and Marlingford watermills before becoming a corn chandler at Wymondham. The mill stayed with the Wade family for the rest of its working life.

During William Wade's tenure the mill was run as a grist mill, grinding farmers' corn and delivering the meal back to them as feed - in 1933 for 1s. 6d. per coomb.

William Wade's day book related the following prices -
Cranfields's Flour - 1s. 10d. per stone or 17s. per ten stone
Middlings & Bran - 1s. per stone or 7s. 6d. per cwt.
Wheat - 15s. per 18 stone coomb sack
Maize - 1s. per stone or 13s. per coomb
Barley meal - 8s. 6d. per 16 stone coomb sack
Oatmeal - 10s. per 12 stone coomb sack

In 1937, Kelly's Directory listed William Wade & Son as millers. William had brought Dennis, one of his three sons into the business. Dennis left scool at the age of 14 and began working in the mill in 1908. His two elder brother were already working for their father. His first jobs were to sweep the mill from to to bottom and to cut chaff to feed the two horses.
Dennis inherited on William's death in 1942, although the mill had already just ceased working. Dennis later wrote - We carried on till 1942 when conditions having changed so much with farmers grinding their own corn, we had to call a halt.
Dennis Wade died on 5th April 1978 aged 78 and left the mill to one of his daughters, Mrs. Margaret Edwards.

c.1980, Harry Apling reported that Mrs. Stanley Arthur Mann of Wicklewood was the granddaughter of William Vout. Her mother was Julia Vout and her siblings were Walter, Herbert and Howard.
William Vout went to East Bradenham towermill.
Herbert Vout went to Ditchingham towermill - owned by Walter Vout of Hardwick and Hempnall.

Lynn Advertiser - 11th November 1910
Lynn Advertiser - 11th November 1910
Lynn Advertiser - 11th November 1910

1st September 1970 1975
1st September 1970

When a protest against Sunday working was made to Mr. William Wade of Wicklewood, he retorted, "If the Lord is good enough to send me wind on a Sunday, I'm going to use it."
Rex Wailes & confirmed by Dennis Wade - 1971

Steam engine - Burrell 7 h.p. installed before his father's time.
Paraffin engine - Shanks 12-14 h.p.
Bought second hand from Postwick Estate early 1920s.
Built to order 1914 for driving a saw bench on the estate.
ran 1 pair of French burr stones on the 1st floor, oat crusher and sack hoist.
Bought by Mr. Wylde of Bawburgh and removed 31st May 1972.
Dennis Wade - c.1980

The mill ceased working in 1942 just before William Wade died, leaving the mill to son Dennis Wade and by the 1970s it had become derelict.

On 16th October 1977, William Wade's granddaughter, Mrs. Margaret Edwards, formally handed the mill over to Mr. A. G. Hodges, Chairman of the Norfolk Windmills Trust for restoration and preservation before being opened to the public on certain days.

Recently retired as manager of the Mustard Department at Carrow Works (Reckitt & Colman Products Ltd)
... in the immediate years after the last war we purchased millstones (runner and bedstones) from local mills for the purpose of milling prepared mustards. We had stones from ... Wicklewood ...
... use of large buhr stones ...

Letter to Harry Apling from J. O. M. Wedderburn - 15th October 1973

Survey by John Lawn for the Norfolk Windmills Trust - October 1977
Survey by John Lawn for the Norfolk Windmills Trust - October 1977


17th May 1980 15th August 1981
17th May 1980
15th August 1981


The cap was removed for renovation in 2005 and replaced again on Friday 21st July 2006 along with a new upright shaft. The Norfolk Windmills Trust said they also intended to replace the steel sails with more traditional wooden ones, with the intention of eventually recommencing milling operations.

c.2000 4th July 2013
4th July 2013

Wicklewood had a second towermill that stood to the west of the village on the Hackford Road.

Mill gets its cap back after year of renovation

After a year without it, Wicklewood Mill finally got its cap back yesterday.
The structure - in the traditional Norfolk shape of an upturned boat - was gently lifted into place by a large crane, marking a major step in attempts to get the mill back to working order.
The cap and sails were taken down just over a year ago for a complete overhaul as part of a major renovation programme.
The mill near Wymondham is owned by Norfolk Windmills Trust, which is funded by Norfolk County Council and looks after 20 corn and drainage mills throughout the county.
The cap has been rebuilt using any reusable parts, but the steel stocks to carry the sails are being replaced with wooden ones, which will be more in keeping and lighter in weight.
The five-storey mill was built in about 1845 and worked for almost 100 years, producing flour and then animal meal until 1942.
A new vertical shaft was also installed yesterday, which takes the drive down to two sets of grind stones, which will also be reconnected.
It is hoped to get the sails back up within a few weeks and eventually get the mill working and grinding corn for the first time in 60 years.
The cost of having the cap and sails turning again was budgeted at £35,000 and it is planned to open the mill to the public next year.
Michael Knights, technical adviser to the trust, said: "A lot of people live nearby and to have a working mill on your doorstep would be a wonderful thing.
"Then it can start to generate a bit of income.
"There is quite a lot of work to do inside to get the stones reconnected up, but there is a market for stone ground flour, it's a niche market but a growing one."
Margaret Edwards, one of the
daughter of the last miller at Wicklewood, Dennis Wade, said she was delighted with the work being done.
"I am very pleased to see the cap back on. I think it woud be a good idea to get it working again, if they can find a miller, that is the essential bit."

Cat Bartman, Eastern Daily Press - Saturday, 22nd July 2006

Sails return to listed Norfolk windmill

Work to replace the sails at Wicklewood Mill began today after they were removed seven years ago.
The listed 19th century building, which was used to grind the corn of local farmers, was last used in the 1940s and its custodians hope to get it working again in the future.
Workmen began the task of lifting four heavy sails into place on a foggy morning at the mill, which is owned by Norfolk County Council.
Internal work still needs to be done to allow the mill to function again, but officials spoke of their delight as the important local landmark was returned to its former glory.
The stocks and sails were removed for repairs in 2005, following a programme of work to repair the cap and sails. The cap was put back in 2006 with the help of a £10,000 grant from Waste Recycling Environmental (WREN) through the Landfill Tax Credit Scheme.
The Norfolk Windmills Trust also took the opportunity to replace the steel stocks fitted in the 1980s with more traditional wooden stocks.
Bill Borrett, cabinet member for environment and waste at Norfolk County Council, said: "I'm very excited that it is finally happening, the county council works very closely with many organisations and communities to conserve Norfolk's historic and natural environment, and I'm delighted that we've been able to work with the Norfolk Windmills Trust on this important industrial heritage building.
"This is a really important feature in the landscape, and will be a great achievement to see the sails restored and turning once again."
The initial works of shaping the new stocks and repairing/re-making the sails was carried out by the millwrighting firm of R. H Thompson and Sons of Lincolnshire. The final works of repair and repainting are being carried out by the Norfolk Millwright Alliance.

Adam Gretton, Norwich Evening News - Tuesday, 23rd October 2012

31st July 2014
31st July 2014

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

White's 1845: Richard Mann. bricklayer & beerhouse

Kelly's 1879: John Browning Mallett, farmer & flour dealer
Kelly's 1879: John Mann, farmer
Kelly's 1879: Richard Mann, farmer

White's 1883: Mr. Richard Mann
White's 1883: William Mann, shopkeeper

White's 1890: William Mann, carpenter & beerhouse

Kelly's 1908: Thomas Mann, beer retailer & carpenter
Kelly's 1908: William Mann, beer retailer
Kelly's 1908: Walter Wade, pork butcher & dealer

White's 1845: Richard Mann, bricklayer & beerhouse

1845-6: Mill built by Richard Mann

Tithe Award 1845: Richard Mann, owner and occupier of the property with no mention of a mill

1846: John Browning Mallett, miller

1850: Richard Mann obtained a mortgage for £600 and mill buildings to be insured for £500

White's 1854: John Mallett, corn miller

White's 1864: John Mallett, corn miller

1872: John Browning Mallett, miller

1875: William Palmer, miller

1878: William Palmer, miller

c.1878: James Doughty, miller

1882: James Doughty & Henry Buck, millers

11th November 1882: Mill & house sold by Richard Mann to Samuel Winter for £355

White's 1883: James Doughty, miller

O.S. map 1887: Windmill

1888: James Doughty, miller

White's 1890: James Doughty, farmer, corn merchant & miller

Kelly's 1892: James Doughty, miller (wind) & farmer

23rd October 1895: Mill sold by Samuel Winter of St. Augustine's, Norwich, retired baker to
Frederick J. Browes, Wicklewood, grocer & draper for £325

Kelly's 1896: James Doughty, miller (wind) & farmer

c.1896: James Doughty left to take over at Mill St mill, Mattishall

1897: William Vout, miller

Kelly's 1900: William Vout, miller (wind)

29th September 1902: William Vout left to take over at East Bradenham towermill

c.1904: Burrell 7 h.p. portable steam engine installed to drive additional pair of French burr stones

Kelly's 1904: Walter Farrow, miller (wind & steam)

c.1905: Walter Farrow left to take over at Silfield towermill and later moved to Wymondham smockmill

1906: Mill bought for £330 by William Wade, corn chandler from Wymondham

Kelly's 1908: William Wade, miller (wind & steam)

1911: Brakewheel and Peak bedstone installed from dismantled Silfield towermill machinery

Kelly's 1912: William Wade, miller (wind & steam)

Kelly's 1916: William Wade, miller (wind & steam)

c.1920: Shanks 12/14 h.p. paraffin engine installed

Kelly's 1922: William Wade, miller (wind & steam)

Kelly's 1925: William Wade, miller (wind & steam)

Kelly's 1929: William Wade, miller (wind & steam)

Kelly's 1933: William Wade, miller (wind & steam)

Kelly's 1937: W. Wade & Son, millers (wind & steam)

Karl Wood painting 1937: Mill in working order

1938: Mill working

1941: MIll ceased working

1942: William Wade died at the age of 85

c.1942: Mill ceased working

1949: Mill derelict

O.S. map 1969: Windmill

5th April 1973: Dennis Wade died aged 78 leving the mill to daughter Mrs. Margaret Edwards

16th October 1977: Mill donated to Norfolk Windmills Trust by Margaret Edwards

February 1979 - July 1981: Mill restored by John Lawn, millwright, for the Norfolk Windmills Trust

Wednesday 12th November 1980: New cap and frame lifted and fitted to tower

7th May 1981: First pair of new sails fitted with 2nd pair on the 2nd July

2002: Sails removed due to rot with a view to being remade

2005: Cap removed for renovation

Friday 21st July 2006: Cap replaced after renovation and new upright shaft fitted

2011: Cap and windshaft in place with sails on the ground beside the mill

23rd October 2012: Mill sails reinstalled

11th & 12th May 2013: Mill open to the public

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 07640265
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Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2004