Record Details

NHER Number:10716
Type of record:Building
Name:Black Mill, steam engine house and site of earlier drainage windmill


This site contains the ruined remains of a mid 19th century steam engine house and turbine pump for drainage. The tall chimney survives and is one of only two full height chimneys left in the Broads. There is a modern pumphouse beside it. The steam engine house replaced a drainage windmill which is marked on the tithe map of 1840.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TM 4778 9592
Map Sheet:TM49NE

Full description

Site of drainage windmill and steam engine pumping station. A drainage windmill is marked at this approximate location on (S1), marked as 'Black Mill' on (S2) and is also marked on (S3). The windmill had been replaced by a steam engine house by (S4). This was modernised with new engine, turbine (replacing a scoopwheel) and chimney shaft by Holmes and Sons of Norwich in 1882 (S5).
A. Yardy (HES), 26 October 2011.

26 July 1979. Visited by E. Rose.
Also known as Barbers Pole by Wherrymen owing to the then unusual chimney (information from H. Bolingbroke through R. R. Clarke (NCM)).
Tall tapering square chimney with moulded top, rising from panelled base. Derelict brick building with slate roof house engines; now not accessible to see if they remain. Date probably early 19th century. Modern pumphouse beside.
See (S6) who marks this as site of a wind pump.

29 April 1982.
Access gained by E. Rose (NAU).
Chimney is in fact octagonal and has small blocked 'window' in base.
Brick and concrete plinth beside it. Blocked doorway behind to boiler room boiler remains, broken open to reveal central firebox. In room to west is large iron bed for engine, with drive through wall to a cogwheel set in top of a vertical iron pump cylinder marked Holmes and Son, Engineers, Norwich.
Other holes with supports in walls each side presumably carried steam pipes.
Central channel in engine room, with top of ?pump buried outside.
Oval basin at end of dyke now full of rubbish, with two sluices to river.
To east of boiler room a large timber framed shed, ruinous.

(S7) states the original steam engine was by Garriid (sic) around 1830. The present Holmes compound replaced it in 1882.
E. Rose (NLA), 26 January 2001.

Monument Types

  • DRAINAGE MILL (Post Medieval - 1800 AD? to 1840 AD)
  • STEAM ENGINE HOUSE (Post Medieval to Modern - 1840 AD? to 2050 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status


Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1994. TM 4795A-F.
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
<S1>Map: Bryant, A.. 1826. Bryant's Map of Norfolk.
<S2>Map: Ordnance Survey. 1824-1836. Ordnance Survey First Edition 1 inch..
<S3>Map: Drane, W.. 1840. Wheatacre All Saints Tithe Map.
<S4>Map: Ordnance Survey, First Edition, 6 Inch. 1879-1886. Ordnance Survey 1st Edition 6 inch map..
<S5>Newspaper Article: Norwich Mercury. 1882. Starting a new drainage engine and turbine at Wheatacre. 16 September.
<S6>Monograph: Smith, A.C.. 1977. Drainage Windmills of Norfolk Marshes..
<S7>Article in Serial: Ward, A.. 2000. Smoke Drifting Over the Reeds.. Norfolk Industrial Archaeology Society Journal. Vol 6, No 5. p 88ff.

Related records - none

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