Leatheringsett Water Mill & Sculthorpe Mill, Norfolk

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Hope everyone had a good New Years Eve, and now here we are the first day of a new year, and its still raining, so no photos today.  I’m a little put out, as I had a lovely new camera for Christmas, and all I have taken so far, is a few photos of a stormy Solent on the South Coast.  Never mind the weather will change, hopefully for the better.  Luckily last New Year was rain free, well most of the day was, we visited a lot of Round Tower Churches, I have posted some, but more to come and a couple of mills.  

We had passed the sign for Leatheringsett Mill many times, but on this occasion we were not in a hurry, so we went to explore.  I wasn’t quite sure what we would find, and we a little surprised that it was a red brick building, I suppose I was thinking a smaller stone water mill, but even so it looked interesting.  On entering I read that it’s the last working water mill in Norfolk.

Of course it wasn’t working at the time of our visit, but we didn’t expect it to be.  I think if you want to visit and see it working, you need to phone or email asking what day they would be milling.  It’s quite a large space and I should think when it was built in 1802, it would have been working nonstop, and the air full of dust and the noise of four pairs of mill stones grinding together.  The site of the mill is mentioned in the Domesday book and at that time, 580 water mills were recorded in Norfolk, including the one at Letheringsett, but there were no windmills.  By the 19th century there were only about 80 or 90 watermills still able to work.

Its history is quite fascinating and includes at least two fires, a change from being a watermill to an engine mill, when it made animal feed and back again.  There was enough power for four pairs of mill stones, now only two are used.  There is a shop were you can buy flour, some milled on site and other that is sourced elsewhere.  I think looking back, it would have been more interesting to have seen the mill working, but as it took us nearly ten years to visit in the first place, this visit will have to do 🙂


The second mill we visited later on on that day, was to ’ which is now an eatery and a very nice at that.  I have posted about this mill before, but those photos were of a lovely sunny day and this was not, so  totally different kind of photos.

A little history…..There were three watermills along Winsum River in 1225, and a new watermill was built in 1757.  Having ground corn for many years, the mill probably ceased working c.1947 and was becoming derelict by the 1950s. It was turned into a country club in 1980’s, but was nearly destroyed by a fire in 2002. It was reopened in 2003, after a refit and is, as you see it now.


8 Replies to “Leatheringsett Water Mill & Sculthorpe Mill, Norfolk”

  1. That first mill is really interesting. Perhaps you’ll get to see it operating sometime. I was surprised there were no windmills in Norfolk. Until it occured to me that, being the Fens, the water was probably more consistent than the wind. Flatlands don’t guarantee winds. 🙂

    1. Yes it would be nice to see it working, maybe we might get to see it. There are windmills in Norfolk, but not when they got details for the Doomsday Book, which was completed in 1086. There are only a few working ones left now. We have a few near us that have been converted into homes, but they are normally on a higher bit of lans to catch the wind 🙂

      1. Ah, I misunderstood, thanks for clarifying that. It did seem strange in a landscape that would be so open. 🙂

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