Carbrooke Mills

From earliest times, mills have been very important to human populations, as an efficient production method for flour, and in turn bread, the staple diet of our ancestors. Using at first, water or wind power , and much later steam, paraffin and electricity. At the time of the Domesday survey, there were no wind mills, only water mills, and Carbrooke owned one.

The miller was usually reasonably well off and a man of standing in the community, but not necessarily the most popular as he would have had a monopoly over the staple food of the poor, and able to charge as he wished for his services.Mill design has changed very little in general over the centuries, the post mill being the earliest type of European windmill.

The first mention of a Carbrooke Mill, was in the time of Edward the Confessor 1042-1065, belonging to The Manor of Carbrooke.

‘Alfere, a Saxon freeman in the Confessor's time, held the chief of this, and the other Cherebroc, there being in this, at that time, four carucates and an half, three of which were his own demeans; the wood maintained 400 swine, and he had a mill, and half the fishery of the river;’

Francis Blomefield  History of Norfolk Volume 2 Wayland.

Then in 1338, in the general return of the Knights Hospitallers

‘In addition to many acres of land and pasture at Carbrooke, Costessy, and Bamburgh, which they farmed themselves, the Preceptory had large rents both in money and kind, the latter being paid in barley, oats, or poultry, as well as autumn services from villeins. The court fees and perquisites averaged £4; two windmills brought in 40s, and the dovecote 6s. 8d.’

From: 'House of Knights Hospitallers: The preceptory of Carbrooke', A History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 2 (1906), pp. 423-425.

The 'Norfolk Mills' Website, have researched and published much information on the Mills of Norfolk, past and present, which can be found here. The Carbrooke Pages contain masses of information and photographs of the Carbrooke mills and people.                (Carbrooke)

Carbrooke Village, Wayland, Norfolk has a long and interesting history.If you have any comments, information, anecdotes or photographs, you would like to share, please contact me.

This is an ongoing project and it would be lovely to add more information.

Last updated 13 April 2012