Record Details

NHER Number:8408
Type of record:Building
Name:Horsey Mill; Horsey Windpump


This brick tower drainage windmill was built in 1912 on the site of an older mill. It was struck by lightning in 1943 and stopped working. Part of the windmill was blown off in 1988 and was retrieved from Horsey Mere by divers. It was restored in 1961, is owned by the National Trust and open to the public.


  • Horsey Mill was built in 1912 and is now owned by the National Trust  © Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service


Grid Reference:TG 4572 2214
Map Sheet:TG42SE

Full description

17 April 1976. Visit.
Drainage windmill, built 1912 on site of older mill, by Dan England. Struck by lightning 1943 and ceased working. Sails removed 1955. Restored 1961, since repaired and sails replaced but not operational. National Trust property.
E. Rose (NAU), 17 April 1976.

However, Norfolk Heritage panel states that it ceased working in 1938, being supplanted by an oil engine then by a modern diesel plant still in an adjacent shed.

31 May 1983. Interior visited.
Main drive shaft of wood - several rectangular blocks joined by round shafts through floors. Wooden shaft to scoop wheel (latter hidden in shed) but windshaft is cast iron. Boat-shaped cap and fantail restored, but main sails now removed again. On first floor, room divided off above hoist rope by panels with carved details. Pully in roof on brake shaft.
E. Rose (NAU).

(S1) states scoop wheel has been removed and replaced by engine in the shed. Gear and shaft blown off October 1987, retrieved from mere by divers January 1988.
E. Rose (NAU), 26 January 1988.

(S2) states that both the first two paragraphs above are correct; a portable steam engine had been attached on a semi permanent basis and it was this that gave way to oil in 1938, but the windmill continued to turn until the 1943 fire.
E. Rose (NLA), 26 January 2001.

Drainage equipment manufactured by T. Smithdale, Fen Drainage Engineers, Acle, Norfolk.
See (S3)
W. Arnold (HES), 11 April 2011

Monument Types

  • DRAINAGE MILL (18th Century to Early 20th Century - 1800 AD to 1911 AD)
  • DRAINAGE MILL (Early 20th Century to 21st Century - 1912 AD to 2100 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: TG4522 A-D.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1988-1990. [Articles on the damage caused in October 1987].
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1978. 62 steps to enchantment. 25 August.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1980-1990. [Photographs of Horsey Mill].
---Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1994. TG4522/E - K.
---Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TG 42 SE 8.
---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 564.
---Publication: Norfolk Heritage. 1977. Water Transport in Norfolk. Horsey Mill.
---Photograph: NIAS. 1994. Smithdale drainage pump at Horsey Mill.. Print.
---Leaflet: The National Trust. 1966. The National Trust, Horsey Drainage Windmill..
---Photograph: 1990. Horsey Mill. Print.
---Leaflet: National Trust. 2012. Horsey Windpump. Celebrate our centenary..
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Photograph: BDE 17. Horsey Mill..
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2016. Caps off to success of the big lift at mill. 31 March.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2017. [Articles on the cap fitting at Horsey].
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2014. Windpump sails removed ahead of major refit. 1 May.
<S1>Designation: Historic England. National Heritage List for England. List Entry 1373716.
<S2>Article in Serial: Ward, A.. 2000. Smoke Drifting Over the Reeds.. Norfolk Industrial Archaeology Society Journal. Vol 6, No 5. p 88ff.
<S3>Archive: NIAS. Norfolk Industrial Archaeology Society Records.

Related records - none

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