Record Details

NHER Number:12003
Type of record:Building
Name:Dereham windmill


Dereham tower windmill was built in 1836. It was in use as a windmill until 1922 when the sails were taken off but continued to grind corn until the 1930s using a steam powered engine. The mill was partially restored and re-opened as a community exhibition centre on 7 September 2013.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 0034 1297
Map Sheet:TG01SW

Full description

Old windmill, ruinous in Cherry Lane. Probably early 19th century.

(S4) says built in 1830.

For sale by auction on 14 December 1837. Says it is a newly erected brick tower mill with five floors and running two pairs of stones (S1).

1973. Survey by Royal Commission for Historic Buildings.
Of five stages with much machinery remaining. Plaque on first floor inscribed 'W.R.Dell & Son, Mark Lane, London'. Another with 'Hambling Dereham' is probably from a later secondary engine.
See (S2).

1978. Visit.
Much the same condition as when RCHM survey was carried out. Machinery and millstones remain (one stone outside).
'Hambling' stamp is indeed on the drive for a petrol or steam engine from outside, but 'Dell' plaque seems to have gone. Full of rubbish and death watch beetle. Ruins of buildings to west.
E. Rose (NAU), 21 June 1978.

March 1979. First phase of restoration to include new windows, doors and flat roof. Says it was for for sale in 1836 as new, had a fixed steam engine by 1863 and the sails were removed in 1922. See (S5).

'Newly erected' in 1836, last worked by wind 1922, afterwards paraffin. 'Dell' plate is on French Burr millstone. The Hambling machinery was brought from another mill (Hamblings worked 1850 to 1860 in Dereham).
Information from [1].
E. Rose (NAU), 2 February 1982.

1986. Restoration of mill with refurbished curb ring, cap, sails and fantail.
See (S6) and (S7).

1987. Restoration.
Sails, cap and fantail restored in 1987 by [2].
E. Rose (NAU), 22 September 1987.

January 1988.
Plan to turn mill into a tourist attraction and install flood lighting to reduced vandalism, see (S7).
A. Rix (HES), 20 October 2011.

June 1989.
Newly restored mill opens to the public. See (S7) and (S8).
A. Rix (HES), 20 October 2011.

Mill to be kept locked when unsupervised (S7).
Mill to be open all week as more volunteers have come forward (S7).
Sails to be turned quarterly to prevent damage to the brickwork (S9).

Plan to preserve the future of the mill whilst looking for a new owner (S10).

Mill to reopen to the public after a new Friends group formed (S10).

2002 leaflet produced by Breckland Council on the mill (S11).

2003, Survey by Millwright.
List of repairs drawn up for the mill including repairs to the cap and sails.
See (S12) for further information.
A. Rix (HES), 20 October 2011.

Transferred to Dereham Town Council ownership in 2001 and awaiting lottery funding to continue restoration to working order (S13).
M. Dennis (NLA), 3rd November 2005.

Money for restoration work has not been found. Instead, the mill will be made structurally sound and boarded up.
See (S14) and (S15) for further details,
H. White (NLA), 25 February 2010

Carved into a 1st floor beam is "E. Saul 2nd Sept '46". Assuming it means 1846, it is the earliest solid date for the mill.
Information from (S16).
W. Arnold (HES), 11 January 2011

New phased approach by the Trustees in the hope of securing the necessary funding for the mill.
See (S15) for further details.
A. Rix (HES), 30 January 2011.

4 photographs of the mill showing the interior machinery (S3).
Some history of the mill. See (S17), (S18) and (S19) for further details.
Hope to restore the mill by a Manpower Services Commission Scheme. See (S5).
Breckland District Council planning committee agree to weatherproofing but defer full restoration (S6).
Mill to be restored but not to full working order. See (S6).
A. Rix (HES), 20 October 2011.

Restoration of the fantail for the windmill has finally been completed; the restoration was carried out by Bunting & son. Plans are also in place to carry out internal floors of the mill, renovate the existing floodlights and a new security system.
See (S20) for further information.

Monument Types

  • CORN MILL (Post Medieval to World War Two - 1830 AD? to 1939 AD)
  • TOWER MILL (Post Medieval to Modern - 1830 AD? to 2050 AD)
  • STEAM ENGINE (Post Medieval to Modern - 1863 AD? to 1922 AD?)
  • OIL ENGINE (Modern to Cold War - 1920 AD? to 1979 AD?)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: TG0012 A-B,C,D; TG0013 E,F.
---Aerial Photograph: TG 0012/ E.
---Aerial Photograph: TG 0012/ F.
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1989-1998. [Photographs of Dereham windmill].
---Monograph: Pevsner, N and Wilson, W. 1999. Norfolk 2: North-West and South. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. p 295.
---Monograph: Apling, H.. 1984. Norfolk Corn Windmills. Vol I.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2013. Windmill bid fails. 21 March.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2013. [Articles on fundrasing for Dereham windmill].
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2013. Restored mill is finally back to its former glory. 3 August.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2013. New life breathed into once neglected historic landmark. 9 September.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2014. Windmill is mayor's charity for new year. 7 January.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2013. A hub for the community. 12 April.
---Designation: English Heritage. 1990-2013. English Heritage Listing Notification. Notification. DNF2908.
<S1>Newspaper Article: Norwich Mercury. 1837. [Sale advertisements for Dereham windmill and Smock Mill]. 7 December.
<S2>Unpublished Document: Richmond, H. (RCHB) and Taylor, R. (RCHB). 1973. Windmill in Cherry Lane.
<S3>Photograph: Hallam Ashley. 1973. Dereham, Norfolk. Print, b&w.
<S4>Archive: Bolingbroke Collection.
<S5>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1978-1979. [Articles and a letter to the editor on the restoration work at Dereham windmill].
<S6>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1984-1986. [Articles on the proposed restoration of Dereham windmill].
<S7>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1987-1994. [Articles on Dereham windmill being used as a tourist attraction].
<S8>Newspaper Article: The Times. 1989. Restored mill ready to show off its sails. 16 June.
<S9>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1995. Turning the sails to protect windmill. 10 November.
<S10>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2001-2002. [Articles on the new use of Dereham windmill].
<S11>Leaflet: Breckland Council. 2002. Dereham Windmill. Breckland Council.
<S12>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2003. List of mill repair work drawn up. 28 March.
<S13>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2005. Lottery help to be sought for windmill. 20 January.
<S14>Newspaper Article: Dereham and Fakenham Times. 2010. What next for mill?. 25 February.
<S15>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2010. [Articles on the fund raising for the restoration of the Dereham windmill]. 24 February.
<S16>Archive: NIAS. Various. Norfolk Industrial Archaeology Society (NIAS) file.
<S17>Monograph: Apling, H.. 1984. Norfolk Corn Windmills. Vol I. pp 138-143.
<S18>Monograph: Smith, A.. 1982. Corn windmills in Norfolk: a contemporary survey.. pp 17, 38.
<S19>Website: Neville, J.. 2004. East Dereham towermill. 9 November 2011.
<S20>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2013. Windmill sails could turn again. 14 March.

Related records

MNO4838Related to: Dereham Mill Cherry Lane DEREHAM (Revoked)

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