Record Details

NHER Number:3242
Type of record:Building
Name:Bellevue Tower


This building has been variously described as a windmill, a watch tower and a folly. The likeliest explanation is that it began life as a smock mill in the early 18th century, but was converted to an all brick tower and used as a folly by 1783. However, discussion continues. The tower has now been converted to residential use.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 0341 3349
Map Sheet:TG03SW

Full description

Described by (S1) as Elizabethan, lower stories enclosed in 1721.
But cutting in (S7) NCM describes as a windmill, converted before 1829. [1] says the exterior is dated 1720, but it is said to be Elizabethan lookout or signal station - has view of sea to north, but is sheltered from the wind so not a windmill. In
1978 battlements, copying earlier ones, were replaced during conversion to house.
However (S4) states this was definitely a windmill, a smock mill erected by Sir Jacob Astley in 1721 (S2) it presumably worked on updraughts of air like Billingford. The octagonal brick base remains but the wooden tower was replaced by a cylindrical brick tower and furnished as a folly before 1781 (S3). In fact (S4) believes the mill was not sheltered from the wind at all, and was the highest in Norfolk.(S5) in file.
E. Rose (NAU) 6 April 1982.

March 1976. Listed, Grade II.
Listing Description:
Tower, previously a look-out tower, a windmill then a folly. Brick, four storey lower stage perhaps 16th century in origin but with 18th century brick refacing as the base of a smock windmill built by Sir Jacob Astley first Bart in 1721 (datestone "I A 1721"). Mill replaced by the fourth Bart in 1781, upper floors added to make five domestic storeys: Norfolk Tour (1795) and Harry Apling in fast Anglian Magazine (May 1982). Lower stages octagonal, upper circular with battlemented parapet and stack. 20th century door and casement window, 20th century attic above parapet with hipped tiled roof. 20th century house added at ground floor.
Information from (S6).

NGR Corrected from original TG 1341 3349.
M. Horlock (NLA), 1 July 2003.

Monument Types

  • FOLLY (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • WATCH TOWER (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • WINDMILL (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Monograph: Pevsner, N. and Wilson, B. 1997. Norfolk 1: Norwich and North-East. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. p 615.
---Monograph: Apling, H.. 1984. Norfolk Corn Windmills. Vol I.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Post-Medieval. Melton Constable.
<S1>Monograph: Pevsner, N. 1962. North-East Norfolk and Norwich. The Buildings of England. 1st Edition. p 197.
<S2>Serial: Young, A.. 1771. Farmers Tour Through The East of England.. Vol II, p 62.
<S3>Serial: Armstrong, M. J.. 1781. The History and Antiquities of the County of Norfolk.. Vol VII, Holt Hundred. p 84.
<S5>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1987. [Sale advertisements of Bellevue Tower].
<S5>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1997. [Sale advertisement of Bellevue Tower]. 28 November.
<S6>Designation: English Heritage. National Heritage List for England. List Entry 1170595.
<S7>Archive: Bolingbroke Collection.

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