Tower Mill

Potter Heigham tower windmill was built to replace an earlier postmill on or near the same site. The six storey red brick 54 foot tower was built for Simon Boyce by the Suffolk millwrights, Martins in 1849. Power was supplied by 4 double shuttered patent sails each with 9 bays of 3 shutters that were struck by rack and pinion. The white Norfolk boat shaped cap with its petticoat held an 8 bladed fan and a chain pole.


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Some of the machinery still remained inside the mill but the sails and cap had gone, being replaced by a conical metal roof with a weather vane.

The mill once had sail frames 3 ft. by 9 ft. but these were later reduced to 27 ft. by 8 ft. 4 ins.
The stone nuts were taken out of gear by removing the supporting cotter and lowering the nut.
The bell alarm was set on a pivoted bar with a pin that was struck by a pin on the damsel.
A wood and iron crane was used for lifting the stones.

Past History

1849: Mill built on or near site of earlier postmill by millwrights Martins

1849: George Boyce

1850 : Simon Boyce, miller

Census 1851:

Simonds Boyce (29) b.Potter Heigham, miller
Mary Ann Boyce (32) b.Catfield
George Simons Boyce (2) b.Potter Heigham
Thomas Robert Boyce (2mnths) b.Potter Heigham
William Fowler (19) b. Beighton, miller's apprentice
Masson Hall (18) b.Potter Heigham, house servant
Elizabeth Foreman (36) b.Catfield, aunt
Emily Foreman (2) b.Gt Yarmouth, niece
Elizabeth Boyce (23) b.Potter Heigham, sister
Address: Yarmouth Road

White's 1854: Simon Boyce, corn miller

White's 1864: Simonds Boyce, corn miller & farmer (owner)

Kelly's 1879: Simon Boyce, miller & farmer

White's 1883: George Boyce, corn miller

1888: Simonds Boyce, miller, bankrupt

January 1889: Mill advertised for sale by auction due to the bankruptcy of Simonds Boyce

15th October 1890: William (Wim) Boyce took mill over

White's 1890: Samuel Pollard, miller, shopkeeper, carpenter, and postmaster

11th February 1898: Simon Boyce died aged 75

1900: W. Moore, tenant miller

Kelly's 1900: Arthur Moore, miller (wind)

June 1900: Mill advertised for sale by auction

Wednesday 18th July 1900: Mill withdrawn from auction at £495; plant & machinery inventory £130

15th October 1900: Edward Bristow took over mill

Kelly's 1904: Edward Bristow, miller (wind); William Boyce, manager

Kelly's 1908: Reba Bristow, miller (wind); William Boyce, manager

21st March 1910: Edward Bristow left for America

Kelly's 1912: Alfred Bristow, miller (wind); William Boyce, manager

Kelly's 1916: Reba Bristow, miller (wind); William Boyce, manager

August 1919: Mill bought by John Blaxell

24th September 1919: John Blaxell took over the running of the mill
24th September 1919: Ralph Playford Blaxell came to the mill

1920: Ralph Blaxell

Kelly's 1922: John Blaxell, farmer, Hall farm & miller (wind)

Kelly's 1925: John Blaxell, farmer, Hall farm & miller (wind)

1926: Mill working

28th June 1928: William Boyce left the mill

Kelly's 1929: John Blaxell, farmer, Hall farm & miller (wind)

1930: Mill derelict from outside

Kelly's 1933: Ralph Blaxell, miller

1st December 1933: Electric motor installed

1934: Mill derelict from outside

Kelly's 1937: Ralph Blaxell, miller

1937: Mill with 4 stocks, remnants of two sails and fantail

1949: Mill worked with an engine

Karl Wood painting 1950: Mill tower with cap and two stocks, one with a sails, fan with no blades

October 1953: New galvanised iron cap fitted to the tower by Arthur Webber & Sons Ltd.

1977: New joint owners - Maurice Cox & James Burchell (brothers in law) Sunways, Mill Road

8th June 1984: Ralph Playford Blaxell died aged 80

September 1984: Mill and house advertised for sale for £65,000 along with 2 houses and a bungalow

2009: Harriet Cox, owner

August 2009: Owners appeal for £1,000 for repairs to tower structure