Sea Palling Brograve
drainage pump
Waxham New Cut

Drainage Windpumps
Steam Mills


Brograve drainage mill at Waxham is 1 mile north of Horsey Mere and is now a Grade II listed building, having been originally built by Sir Berny Brograve in 1771. The mill had a Norfolk boat shaped cap with a petticoat and an 8 bladed fantail with a tailpole. Four patent sails powered an internal turbine to drain the Brograve levels into Waxham New Cut. The nearby Lambridge Mill also drains into the same Cut.

July 1950
July 1950

Approach to the mill 1986
Approach to the mill 1986

Sir Berney Brograve had a fierce pack of hunting dogs (not surprising) but his kennel keeper went to the Royal Sovereign Inn in Hempstead where the landlord had a reputation as a fortune teller, reluctantly and at much insistence from the kennel keeper, he told the kennel keeper he would come to a violent end and his body would never be buried. A few days later, whilst cleaning out the kennels the dogs turned and attacked the kennel keeper - all that was left were the brass buttons from his breeches on the kennel floor.
Anne Grand - 8th February 2015

1986 Stocks 1986
Stocks 1986

Interior 1986 Fantail assembly 1986
Interior 1986
Fantail assembly 1986

There is a legend that Sir Berney was chased by the devil into the mill one night. The devil pounded his hooves on the door trying to get in, but Sir Berney stayed put, too afraid to come out. When he woke the next morning the door was covered in hoof prints.
Cheryl Nicol - 24th January 2016


Another story concerns the subsidence. Apparently the devil was annoyed at old Sir Berney for trying to drain his land and tried to blow the mill down.
Cheryl Nicol - 24th January 2016

E. Rose, the Norfolk CC archaeologist, wrote in 1985 that Brograve mill had subsided in five places and was straightened on five different occasions. As a result it has become known locally as Devil's Mill.
Cheryl Nicol - 24th January 2016

10th September 2006
10th September 2006

18th November 2012
18th November 2012

3rd September 2017 Windshaft assembly 4th September 2017
3rd September 2017
Windshaft assembly 4th September 2017

19th March 2023 Brograve-drainage-top-19Mar2023.jpg
19th March 2023

2023 2023

1771: Mill built by Sir Berney Brograve, 1st Baronet (1726-1797)

c.1930: Mill ceased working

2006: Mill leaning to the west and derelict, used by cormorants as a lookout point and to dry their wings

2010: Bernard & Stuart Ellis, farmers and owners

January 2016: Sir Berny Brograve, A Very Anxious Man by Cheryl Nicol published

2017: Mill machinery open to the elements and becoming derelict

2023: Mill derelict with stocks still in situ

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

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Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2006