Record Details

NHER Number:10489
Type of record:Building
Name:Berney Arms High Mill


A dramatic tower mill of tarred brick, Berney Arms is the finest and tallest remaining drainage mill on the Norfolk marshes. Built in about 1865 for grinding cement, it was converted to a drainage function in 1883. It was last used in 1948 and the drainage work is now done by an electric pump beside beside the mill. Now fully restored and open to the public, all its machinery is in working order.


  • Berney Arms Mill, Reedham.  © Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service


Grid Reference:TG 4651 0496
Map Sheet:TG40SE

Full description

Drainage and cement grinding.

7 May 1984. Visit.
A mill marked by (S1) on this site was grinding cement by 1821 and was of five storeys. By 1838 it was operating a saw mill and drainage pump as well. The present mill was built after 1860, probably in 1865 for cement and was converted to drainage in 1883 (information from H. Apling). Up to eighty nine wherries would collect here overnight, tired out with quanting up from Yarmouth.
Department of Environment guide dates present mill to pre 1870 from graffitti in cap. It was built by Stolworthy's of Yarmouth and with seven floors was the highest mill in east Norfolk marshes or broads. The cement works closed in 1880. An electric pump is now beside the mill.
E. Rose (NAU), 7 May 1984.

Now fully restored and operational; scoop wheel is in boarded cover to one side. Stones for grinding cement preserved inside. Boat cap restored. Maps displayed mark cement works as mainly to south of mill; no trace on ground, but foundation of buildings visible to north. However note brick works 0.4km (1/4 mile) southwest. Wooden horizontal curved members occur in walls amongst brick courses at regular intervals. Mill has Cubitts sails and last worked in 1948.

April 1996. Watching brief on new soke dyke. Six excavations close to mill itself, four more trenches in field to north.
Report (S2) in file.
T. Ashwin (NAU), 4 May 1996.

November 1997. Site visit with Broadland Flood Alleviation Strategy engineer [1] to look at disused sluice.
This is to be partially dismantled during bank reinforcement, then reinstated.
See location plan and sketch elevation (S3) in file; also slides.
D.Gurney (NLA), 21 November 1997.

Ancient Monument Schedule (S4) and press cuttings (S5), (S6), (S7), (S8), (S9) and (S10) in file.

The 1883 conversion to drainage alone was by Barnes of Yarmouth. (S11).
E. Rose (NLA), 8 November 2004.

Press cutting (S12) in file.
P. Aldridge (NLA), 12 November 2007.

Mill is noted in White's Directory in 1845. (S13)
Mill is marked on 6ins O.S. map in 1883 as "Berney Arms Works (disused)". (S14)
NIAS records (S15)
W. Arnold (HES), 08 December 2010.

Monument Types

  • CEMENT WORKS (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • CEMENT WORKS (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • SAW MILL (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • SITE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • DRAINAGE MILL (Post Medieval to Modern - 1883 AD to 2050 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status

  • Scheduled Monument

Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: TG4604 A-R,S-AG.
---Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1994. TG 4605F; TG 4604AH - AL.
---Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1996. TG 4704AJW - AJX.
---Monograph: Labrun, E.A.. 1994. Civil Engineering Heritage, East and Central England.. p 128-9.
---Monograph: Hutchinson, S.. 2003. Berney Arms Remembered..
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2009. A few days to discover some of the secrets of Norfolk's heritage. 7 September.
---Secondary File: Secondary file.
---Slide: Various. Slide.
---Fiche: Exists.
---Archive: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Post-Medieval. Reedham.
<S1>Publication: Faden, W. and Barringer, J. C. 1989. Faden's Map of Norfolk in 1797.
<S2>Unpublished document: Ashwin, T.. 1996. Berney Arms: Watching Brief for the National Rivers Authority, April 1996.
<S3>Unpublished document: Gurney, D.. 1997. Berney Arms Mill. Disused sluice location plan.
<S4>Scheduling record: English Heritage. Scheduling Report.
<S5>Newspaper Article: 1991. Eastern Daily Press. 24 August.
<S6>Newspaper Article: 1994. Eastern Daily Press. 2 May.
<S7>Newspaper Article: 1995. Eastern Daily Press. 13 January.
<S8>Newspaper Article: 1995. Eastern Daily Press. 23 December.
<S9>Newspaper Article: 1999. Eastern Daily Press. 6 May.
<S10>Newspaper Article: 2003. Eastern Daily Press. 15 May.
<S11>Article in serial: Allard, P.. 2004. Millwright.. Yarmouth Archaeology.
<S12>Newspaper Article: 2007. Eastern Daily Press. 10 November.
<S13>Directory: White, W.. 1845. White's History, Gazetteer and Directory of Norfolk.
<S14>Map: Ordnance Survey, First Edition, 6 Inch. 1879-1886. Ordnance Survey 1st Edition 6 inch map..
<S15>Archive: NIAS. Norfolk Industrial Archaeology Society Records.

Related records - none

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