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Bestselling book about Norfolk Windmills by Luke Bonwick
 

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NORFOLK'S WINDMILLS by river, road and rail

Published February 2008

Price: £6.99 + £1.50 P&P

An A5-size paperback book, designed as a guide to visiting and understanding the county's best mills.

The book examines over 30 mills - those which were used for corn milling and for marshland drainage - as well as several 'unusual' mill sites.

It describes the personalities behind the mills - the millers who operated them and the millwrights who built and maintained them - and also looks at Norfolk's modern alternatives to the traditional windmill.

Example pages from the book are shown below.

To order a copy of the book, you can make a secure credit card payment by clicking on the "add to basket" button.

Alternatively, you can order a copy via email and send payment by personal cheque.

 
 

EXAMPLE PAGES

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(Above) Contents page - The book is divided into three parts, the first of which sets the mills in context. Part 2 comprises a descriptive journey around the county's mills, grouping them by geographical area. The corn milling and drainage mills are described separately. Part 3 discusses Norfolk's modern alternatives to the traditional windmill - wind turbines for electricity generation.

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(Above) A double page spread from part 1 - Denver corn mill is taken as an example. The sectional diagram clearly shows the mill's working parts, which are shaded red. The accompanying text describes how the mill works, and the photographs show the miller at Denver demonstrating each part of the mechanism in use.

Map of mill tours

(Above) A map page which introduces the various 'mill tours' around the county - This shows where each of the mills are located in relation to each other. The following pages contain more detailed maps and brief descriptions of each mill, highlighting the most interesting aspects of each one.

River Thurne map & mills

(Above) Tour map and mill description - The drainage mills are grouped according to the rivers by which they stand. Each tour has a detailed map with information boxes describing how to find the mills and when they can be visited. Photographs of each mill accompany the descriptive text, which includes a summary of the unique features of the mill (in italics).

FURTHER INFORMATION

Publications and websites relating to mills featured in the book

I have relied heavily on the following publications to provide historical and location information:

THE CORN MILLS

Apling, H. 1984. Norfolk Corn Windmills. The Norfolk Windmills Trust.
A detailed study of the county’s surviving corn mills, with many historical photographs showing the windmills in their working days. There is a lot of interesting historical material to be absorbed.

Smith, A. C. 1982. Corn Windmills in Norfolk. Stevenage Museum Publications.
Location information for all visible corn windmill remains within the county, together with a contemporary photograph of each mill. The above two books, when used in conjunction, are extremely informative

Scott, M., and Harris, M. 1977. The Restoration of Windmills and Windpumps in Norfolk. The Norfolk Windmills Trust.
This book provides background information on the rescue and repair of the county’s surviving windmills, and explains why certain mills were selected for preservation at the expense of others.

Wailes, R. Norfolk Windmills Pt. I: Corn Mills. Transactions of the Newcomen Society Vol. 26, 1947-49, pp231-258
The results of a historical and technical survey of the drainage mills, undertaken over several years, to record details of as many as possible of the mills which, at the time, were fast falling out of use and disappearing.

When compiling the book, the information was generated by visiting and recording aspects of each of the mills. In addition, the following sources were consulted:

Norfolk Mills:      www.norfolkmills.co.uk
An excellent website containing impressive amounts of historical research on a large number of the county's mill sites.

The Norfolk Windmills Trust:     www.norfolkwindmills.co.uk
The Trust's website contains up-to-date news of the restoration of mills in the county, together with visitor information..

Great Bircham Mill

www.birchamwindmill.co.uk

Wagg, G. 1993. Full Circle – The History of a Windmill.
A history and guide to Great Bircham Mill.

West Winch Mill

Personal communication with D. Gregory, millwright.

Denver Mill

www.denvermill.co.uk

Shaw, J. M. 1981. Denver Windmill.
A history and guide to the windmill, produced by the Norfolk County Planning Department, with contributions from Harry Apling, Mr & Mrs O. J. Staines and Bill Chapman.

Personal communication with K. Beale.

Burnham Overy, Savory’s Mill

Information supplied by J. Neville, available at www.norfolkmills.co.uk. 

Cley Mill

Information obtained from the mill’s owners.

Weybourne Mill

Information supplied by J. Neville, available at www.norfolkmills.co.uk.

Paston, Stow Mill

Personal communication with R. Hough and information available from www.stowmill.co.uk.

Sutton Mill

Nunn, C. Sutton Wind Mill, Stalham, Norfolk. A brief guide to the windmill. Published privately. 

Hickling Mill

Personal communication with M. & S. Hancock.

Thrigby Mill

Personal communication with N. Prior.

South Walsham Mill

Personal communication with R. Seago.

Wicklewood Mill

Shaw, J. M. 1982. Wicklewood Windmill.
A history and guide to the windmill, produced by the Norfolk County Planning Department, with contributions from Harry Apling.

Personal communication with A. Yardy.

Old Buckenham Mill

Old Buckenham Windmill Committee. 1997.The Story of The Mills of Old Buckenham.
A history of the village’s mills and description of the surviving tower mill.

Garboldisham Mill

Personal communication with A. Colman.

Billingford Mill

Shaw, J. M. 1980. Billingford Windmill.
A history and guide to the windmill, produced by the Norfolk County Planning Department, with contributions from Harry Apling.

Little Cressingham Combined Mill

Shaw, J. M. 1982. Little Cressingham Mill.
A history and guide to this unusual combined wind- and watermill, produced by the Norfolk County Planning Department, with contributions from Harry Apling.

Union Mills - Burnham Overy Combined Mill

Information supplied by J. Neville, available at www.norfolkmills.co.uk.

THE DRAINAGE MILLS

Link to Datasheet

Smith A. C. 1989. Drainage Windmills of the Norfolk Marshes. Arthur Smith Publications. Revised edition.
Location information for all visible drainage windmill remains within the county.

Scott, M., and Harris, M. 1977. The Restoration of Windmills and Windpumps in Norfolk. The Norfolk Windmills Trust.
As explained above, this book provides background information on the rescue and repair of the county’s surviving windmills, and explains why certain mills were selected for preservation at the expense of others.

Wailes, R. Norfolk Windmills Pt. II: Drainage Mills. Transactions of the Newcomen Society Vol. 30, 1955-57, pp157-177
The results of a historical and technical survey of the drainage mills, undertaken over several years, to record details of as many as possible of the mills which, at the time, were fast falling out of use and disappearing.

In addition to the notes taken during site visits to each of the mills, the following sources were consulted:

River Ant

Hunsett Mill, Stalham

Brown, R. J. 1976. Windmills of England. Robert Hale.
Potted histories of many English windmills, with elegant line drawings.

Turf Fen Mill, How Hill

Eastern Daily Press and East Anglian Daily Times
Various articles from the period 1975-2000.

Malster, R. 2003. The Norfolk and Suffolk Broads. Phillimore.

Boardman's Mill, How Hill

Eastern Daily Press and East Anglian Daily Times
Various articles from the period 1975-2000.

Personal communication with D. Nicholls, millwright.

Clayrack Mill, How Hill

Eastern Daily Press and East Anglian Daily Times
Various articles from the period 1975-2000.

Personal communication with R. Seago, millwright.

River Thurne

St Benet's Level Mill, Thurne

Eastern Daily Press and East Anglian Daily Times
Various articles from the period 1975-2000.

Thurne Mill

Personal communication with V. Pargeter and A. Marriott, millwrights.

Horsey Mill

Undated. Horsey Mill. The National Trust.

River Bure

Ashtree Farm Mill

Personal communication with R. Seago, millwright, and A. Yardy, Norfolk Windmills Trust.

Wailes, R. 1957. The English Windmill. Routledge & Kegan Paul.
The standard work on windmills in England, featuring chapters on the history and technology of the mills, as well as the people who built and maintained them. A chapter on drainage mills (page 72) focuses on Ashtree Farm Mill and Berney Arms Mill.

Palmer's Mill, Upton

Personal communication with R. Seago, millwright.

St Benet's Abbey Mill

Snelling, J. St Benet's Abbey, Norfolk.
Guide booklet containing interesting historical details and illustrations.

Malster, R. 2003. The Norfolk and Suffolk Broads. Phillimore.

Hobbs' Mill, Horning

Personal communication with A. Yardy, Norfolk Windmills Trust.

Horning Ferry Mill

Personal communication with Mrs A. Wagstaff, mill custodian.

River Yare

Polkey's Mill, Seven Mile House, Reedham Marshes

Pargeter, V. 2005. Polkey's Mill on the Reedham Marshes. Article in the newsletter of the Norfolk Mills Group, No. 11, September 2005.
Describes in detail the history and the process of restoration of this drainage mill.

Cadge's Mill, Seven Mile House, Reedham Marshes

Pargeter, V. 2005. Cadge's Mill, Seven Mile House, Reedham Marshes. Article in the newsletter of the Norfolk Mills Group, No. 12, December 2005.
Describes in detail the history and the process of restoration of this drainage mill.

Berney Arms Mill

Wailes, R. 1957. The English Windmill. Routledge & Kegan Paul.
The standard work on windmills in England, featuring chapters on the history and technology of the mills, as well as the people who built and maintained them. A chapter on drainage mills (page 72) focuses on Ashtree Farm Mill and Berney Arms Mill.

River Waveney

St Olaves Mill

Flint, B. 1979. Suffolk Windmills. The Boydell Press Ltd.
Contains a comprehensive section on the drainage mills of the Suffolk marshes.

Herringfleet Mill

Flint, B. 1979. Suffolk Windmills. The Boydell Press Ltd.
Contains a comprehensive section on the drainage mills of the Suffolk marshes.

 

WINDMILLS IN ENGLAND - GENERAL

Wailes, R. 1957. The English Windmill. Routledge and Kegan Paul.
An unrivalled reference work covering the subject as a whole, with a section dedicated to the drainage mills of the Norfolk Broads.

Watts, M. 2006. Windmills. Shire Publications.
Clear, concise and reliable introduction to the variety of windmills which survive in the UK.

The Mills Archive:                              www.millsarchivetrust.org

Windmill World:                                   www.windmillworld.com

 

NORFOLK LANDSCAPE - GENERAL

Bowskill, D. The Norfolk Broads and Fens. OPUS Publishing.
Useful introduction to the county’s navigable waterways from a boating perspective.


Malster, R. 2003. The Norfolk and Suffolk Broads. Phillimore.
Detailed historical study of many aspects of Broadland life and lore.


Williamson, T. 1997. The Norfolk Broads: A Landscape History.
A geographical and archaeological study, with a detailed chapter on the drainage windmills.

 

WIND POWER AND ELECTRICITY GENERATION

Ecotricity wind turbines:                   www.ecotricity.co.uk
Ecotech Centre, Swaffham:              www.ecotech.org.uk

E:ON-UK wind turbines:                      www.eon-uk.com

In the coming months, this web page will be progressively updated with background information related to the book, including:

  • 2008 opening times for many of the featured mills
  • Notes and references relating to mills in each section of the book

Please direct all enquiries about the book to luke@bonwick.co.uk, or fill in the relevant sections of our enquiry form.