Burnham Overy Staithe - Norfolk
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Norfolk12
N 52° 57.582 E 000° 44.070
31U E 347830 N 5870189
Quick Description: Burnham Overy Staithe Windmill is a Grade II* listed building, half a mile west of the village of Burnham Overy Staithe, Norfolk, England It is on the landward side of the A149 King’s Lynn to Great Yarmouth coast road.
Location: United Kingdom
Date Posted: 10/4/2008 12:46:59 PM
Waymark Code: WM4W3R
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member montythemule
Views: 14

Long Description:
Burnham Overy Staithe Windmill was built in 1816 by Edmund Savory, a datestone set in the brick work above the first floor has the inscription ES 1816. The tower is constructed of brickwork and is black tarred. The tower stands over six storeys and has a stage at the first floor level. The base has a diameter of 24 feet and the brickwork is 2 feet thick. The cap is constructed with horizontall boarding in the Ogee shape. The cap was topped with a ball finial. There is a 6 bladded fan. The 4 double shuttered sails with a span of 81 feet, each had 12 bays of 3 shutters are now fixed in a Southern direction. The sails drove 3 set of millstones.

The 20th Century
The windmill ceased working commercially in 1919 and was sold to a Mr Hughes in 1926. By this time all the mills internal machinery had been stripped out. Mr Hughes added a single story extension to the north east elevation and turned the windmill in to a holiday home. In 1957 a fixed cap, new 62ft stocks weighing a ton each, skeleton sails, a new stage and fan that are seen today were installed by the specialist millwrights R. Thompson & Son of Alford of Lincolnshire. In 1958 Mr Hughes donated the windmill to the National Trust.
Soon after this date the sails which had deteriorated badly and so had to be replaced. Since then the National Trust let's it out as a Holiday home.
Burnham Overy



Burnham Overy tower mill was worked in conjunction with the nearby Burnham_Overy_lower_watermill and was built in 1816 by Edmund Savory. The mill was six storeys high, with a ground floor diameter of 24 feet and had a stage set around the first floor. The horizontally boarded Ogee cap had a ball finial on top and held a 6 bladed fan. The 4 double shuttered sails with a span of 81 feet, each had 12 bays of 3 shutters and drove 3 pairs of stones.

Edward Savory 1816 datestone set above the first floor


Re Act for establishing an uniformity of Weights & Measures (1825)

(5th Geo, 5th (error for 4th) c. 74) as from 1 January 1826

Old Measure
Corn Bushel 2150.42
Cubic ins New Measure
cubic ins. Difference
cubic ins.

1 quart more
Norfolk Chronicle - 3rd December 1825

We the undersigned Merchants & Millers do hereby give notice that on & from the first day of January next all Corn taken in by us will be by the New Imperial Bushel as by Law established.

… John Savory …
Norfolk Chronicle - 24th December 1825

To Journeymen Millers

Wanted Immediately

A steady, active & industrious SINGLEMAN who perfectly understands his business & can be recommended from his last position.

Apply personally (or by letter post paid) to Mr. Savory, Burnham Overy Mills.

Norfolk Chronicle - 18th & 25th November 1826

To Journeymen Millers


A Steady Active SINGLE MAN to take the entire charge of a Windmill working three pair of stones etc.

None need apply that have not had considerable experience & can give respectable references.

Apply personally or by Letter (post paid) to Mr. Savory, Burnham Overy Mills.

Norfolk Chronicle - 19th November 1831

To Journeymen Millers


A Steady Active SINGLE Man, who thoroughly understands his business.

Apply personally to Mr. Savory, Burnham Overy Mills.

Norfolk Chronicle - 15th December 1842



A steady active Person as FOREMAN & STONEMAN who can have good recommendation.
A married man will be preferred & a comfortable Cottage provided near the Mills.

Apply to Mr. Savory, Burnham Overy Mills.

Jan. 27, 1846

Norfolk Chronicle & Norwich Gazette - 31st January 1846

To Engine Drivers

Wanted, as ENGINE DRIVER & to ASSIST in the MILL, a Young Man who thoroughly understands the working of a condensing Engine.

Apply by letter to John Savory, Burnham Overy Mills.

Norfolk News - 9th November 1861


On Saturday before H.E. Blyth Esq. & Major Holloway, a considerable time was occupied by the Bench with charges laid by the Officers of Excise under the Act of 1869. John Savory of Burnham Overy, miller & farmer was charged with keeping eight horses for trade purposes on the 30 th April last having only taken licenses for seven.

Defendant pleaded not guilty. After hearing all the evidence the magistrates said they had no option to do otherwise than convict & were unable to reduce the fine to less than one fourth; they must therefore convict Mr. Savory in £5. They would have been glad to mitigate the fine to nothing for they were sure Mr. Savory had acted from error in judgement & with no intent of evading the law …

Mr. Savory at once consented to take the additional necessary licenses & to pay the fine inflicted on hearing the result of the decision of the Bench.

Norfolk News - 4th June 1870

Situations Vacant


Wanted, an Experienced STONEMAN. None need apply that cannot bring satisfactory character.

Apply John Savory, Burnham Overy, Lynn.

Norfolk News - 24th August 1872

Situations Vacant


Wanted a Young Man as SPOUTMAN at watermill & to assist in Dressing STONES when required.

Apply to John Savory, Burnham Overy.

Norfolk News - 21st September 1872

Burnham. Petty Sessions. Saturday

(Before H.E. Blyth, Esq., & Major Holloway)

Mr. John Savory, miller, farmer etc. of Burnham Overy was summoned on the information of Robert Fagor, Inland Revenue Officer, for having one horse liable to duty in excess of the number for which he paid, by which he rendered himself liable to a penalty of £30. It appeared from the evidence that Mr. Savory had nine horses subject to duty & paid for only eight. Mr. Savory said he was led to suppose from a conversation he had had with Mr. Galbraith, Mr. Fagor’s predecessor, that he should have received notice of his liability before any proceedings were taken. Mr. Galbraith who was examined said he had never said anything that could have led to such an impression. The Bench said it was no doubt a misapprehension & inflicted the mitigated penalty of £5.

Norfolk News - 6th September 1873

To Journeymen Millers

WANTED, an experienced Miller as Stoneman to assist in the grinds.

Apply to Mr. John Savory, Burnham Overy Mills.

Lyn Advertiser - 19th January 1878

There are two vaults outside the eastern end of Burnham Overy church

Northern end:
John Savory, died 27th September 1863 aged 62
John Savory, died 17th June 1921 aged 91

Southern end:
Edmund Savory, died 9th February MDCCCXXVII aged LXIII years

Preliminary Notice

Burnham Overy

Messrs. Spelman have received instructions from the Trustee of the late Mr. John Savory to sell by Auction during June the valuable ESTATE comprising Mills, Residence & about 45 acres of Land, situate in the above Parish, in the occupation of Mr. John Savory.

Particulars will appear in future papers & with Conditions may be had in due time of Mr. E. M. Beloe, Solr. Lynn or of Messrs. Spelman, Norwich & Yarmouth.

Norfolk Chronicle - 7th & 14th April 1888

Preliminary Notice

Burnham Overy

Messrs. Spelman have received instructions from the Trustee of the late Mr. John Savory to Sell by Auction on Saturday June 23 at 12 for 1 o’c at the Norfolk hotel, Norwich, the valuable ESTATE comprising the Steam, water & Tower Wind Mills, Malthouse & Granaries in which an extensive business has been carried on for many years; also Residence, Cottages & about 45 acres of Land, situate in the above Parish, in the occupation of Mr. John Savory, in One Lot.

Particulars will appear in next week’s papers & with conditions may be had in due time of Mr. E.M. Beloe, Solr. Kings Lynn & of Messrs. Spelman, Norwich & Yarmouth.

Norfolk Chronicle - 26th May 1888

Burnham Overy

One Mile from Burnham Market Railway Station & half a Mile from Burnham Overy Staithe

Messrs. Spelman have received instructions from the Trustee of the late Mr. John Savory to sell by Auction on Saturday June 23, 1888 at 12 for 1 o’c at the Norfolk Hotel, Norwich, the following valuable.


Situate about Five Miles from the town of Wells & in which an extensive business has been carried on for many years, comprising Excellent RESIDENCE with Garden, Orchard & Stabling, STEAM MILL driving four pairs of stones with 16 horse power condensing Engine & Cornish Boiler, Water MILL driving three pairs of stones; Brick Tower MILL standing well for wind & driving three pairs of Stones, 25 coomb steel Malting, large & convenient Granaries, Blacksmith’s Shop, Waggon Lodges, Wheat & Meal Chambers. The Farmary comprising Cart Horse Stables, Cowhouses & Yards, Bullock Sheds & Yards, Cart & Implement Sheds etc. Three COTTAGES & several Enclosures of


The whole containing


now in the occupation of Mr. Savory, who gives possession at Michaelmas next.

Principally Freehold.

Particulars & Conditions of Sale with Plans may be had of the Auctioneers at Norwich & Yarmouth; at the Estate Exchange, Tokenhouse Yard, E.C. & of

Mr. E.M. Beloe,

Solr. Kings Lynn………..

Norfolk Chronicle - 2nd, 9th & 16th June 1888

Death of Mr. J. Savory

On Thursday … there were laid to rest in the parish churchyard the remains of the oldest inhabitant in the parish. Mr. John Savory, who was for many years a highly successful man of business, as a miller, merchant and farmer. He had reached his 91st birthday and retired from business some twenty years ago …

His wife died in 1905 …

Born 2 September 1829, died June 19, 1921.

Dereham & Fakenham Times - 25th June 1921
The vault in the churchyard is inscribed with a date of 17th June

John Joseph was working at the mill in the 1870s and 1880s, possibly running the mill on behalf of the Savory family, before moving on to work at a mill in Sporle.
Known details:

John Joseph Smith b.9th March 1847 at Garvestone, died c.1925
Elizabeth Smith b. c.1840 at Fring, died c.1925
Ernest Smith b.Burnham Overy in 1876
Louisa Smith b.Burnham Overy c.1878
Jessie Smith b.10th July 1880 at Burnham Overy
James Smith b. 9th February 1882 at Burnham Overy
Minnie Smith b. c.1884 at Burnham Overy

Robert Haines snr was born in 1821 at Hindringham and moved to Burnham Overy Staithe in 1857 to work as a mill labourer for the Savory family. Roberet snr, died on 21 December 1877 aged 56 and was buried at St. Clements Church, Burnham Overy.

Robert Haines jnr was an employee of the Savory family and probably worked at both the watermill and the windmill as had his father. He was born on 23rd December 1858. He married Esther at Burnham Overy on 28th December 1881. The birth certificates of three of his children give his occupation as journeyman miller and in 1913 the marriage certificate of his son Abraham gives his occupation as stone dresser. In 1914 Robert Haines jnr emigrated to Canada, possibly after the mill tailwinded that year.

Esther Haines 1901 Robert Haines jnr 1913
Esther Haines is pictured outside her cottage on the Creake Road, Burnham Overy Staithe in 1901.
Robert Haines jnr was posing for the photo at the event of his son Abraham's wedding on 1913.

Robert Haines snr and jnr are my Great Great and Great Grandfathers. My father, who was ex Royal Marine, working for a local builder, painted the outside of the cap including the top, which he did with a rope tied around his waist.
Brian Dew - 4th February 2006


My name is Maggie Bennett (formerly Pannell) and I have many fond memories of the fabulous holidays we had at the mill with the Locke family, when I was a child. I remember the huge round table on the ground floor and how about 20 of us used to sit round and play a card game called Racing Demon, after dinner. Cows used to graze in the field outside and we called it the 'cows snack bar' as we used to enjoy feeding them grass. I also remember the wonderful walks along the unspoilt strand, the dyke out to sea and picnics in the pine forest. My father always used to sing a song ' Away we go to the mill, the mill just over the hill. The miller will grind the wheat to flour, it only costs a penny an hour. Away we go to the mill, away we go the mill. Slice, slice, the bread looks nice. Spread, spread butter on the bread. On top put honey so sweet, now we are ready to eat!' I don't know the author but it's engrained in my memory.
Maggie Bennett - 5th September 2006

6th April 1970

By the time Mr. H.C. Hughes of Granchester bought the mill in 1926, all the machinery had been removed. Mr. Hughes converted the mill for use as holiday lets and added the single storey extensions. In 1957, a fixed cap, new 62ft stocks weighing a ton each, skeleton sails, stage and fan were installed by the specialist millwrights R. Thompson & Son of Alford, Lincs. Mr. Hughes donated the mill to the National Trust in 1958 and soon after the sails were again replaced having deteriorated badly. The National Trust then rented the towermill out as a holiday home.

On 8th February 1972, the Eastern Daily Press published an article re re Miss Bridget Everitt who was born in the Mill House next to the watermill. Her grandfather, Sidney Everett was a Maltster at Wells and moved to Burnham Overy in 1910 taking over both the wind & water mills.

3rd May 2003

The National Trust Atlas of 1981 twice inaccurately described the mill as a wooden windmill instead of a brick tower mill.

July 17:- Two 62-ft stocks of Jamaican long leaf pitch pine erected by crane. Also restored fantail using Canadian Douglas fir. Sails to follow 18 July.
Cost to National Trust about £26,500.
Eastern Daily Press - 18th July 1986

Wooden brake and brakewheel 10th November 2007 Brakewheel and windshaft 10th November 2007

Interior woodwork of mill was renovated in 1981 to requirements of current fire regulations; fireproofing of concreted ground floor and upper storeys included fire resistant timber in first and second floors, fire precaution doors and partitions and a fire escape. Steel shoes were fitted to rotting ends of some beams. Exterior was retarred. Cost £25,000.

In January 1983 the four sails (and later the two stocks) were removed as having dangerously deteriorated. Replacements are envisaged, at about £2000 per sail and £3000 per stock.

The mill is now let out all the year round to families and other groups; via the National Trust.

details from the norfolkmills website
Date of Manufacture: 01/01/1816

Purpose: Other

Open to the public: no

Is This Windmill Functional?: No

Windmill Farm: no

Museum on Site: no

Cost: Not Listed

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