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Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions with social distancing, all windmills and watermills will be closed this summer and there will be no planned Suffolk Mills Group events.

Index and Introduction to a Directory of Suffolk Millers 1086-1986
By Eileen Blythe

I have collected a list of Suffolk Millers from many different sources including Apprentice Bonds, Census, Deeds, Directories, Leases, Members of SFHS own research, Newspapers, Parish Records, Rental books, Settlement Orders, Suffolk Record Office and Wills. Then I have arranged the 56 pages into 5 sections, 1 & 2 are arranged in town order, 3 & 4 by surname and 5 & 5a are Millwrights. All this information includes a refence to the source so more research can be continued on the family or Mill you are looking for.

Copyright is with Eileen Blythe
Published by History Research, ISBN 0-9530998-9-X, EAN 978-09530998-9-4 Printed in 2017 by RB Print Folkestone Kent, with 56 pages including 2 colour pictures and 2 centre pages of Mills.

The Directory can be purchased from

E. Blythe, Kismet Stombers Lane Hawkinge Kent CT18 7AP UK

Costs £6, plus p&p £7 50 in uk, Cheques only made payable to E Blythe

This book came about because while researching my family tree and having found a Miller in my family in 1580 in Godalming Surrey, and then another in 1617 in Layham Suffolk, and again in Framfield Sussex in 1567, my interest in Watermills was born and I had to take pen to paper!

Contact: eileenb891@gmail.com

National Mills Weekend 2018
Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th May 2018

These Suffolk mills will be open.

BARDWELL tower mill
Sunday 13th May only
10am - 4pm
Tel: 01359 251331. SAT NAV: IP31 1AD
They will have teas and refreshments as well as have a few craft stalls in the garden. Freshly baked bread will be on sale. All proceeds towards the ongoing restoration and maintenance of the mill. Sails turning and milling if windy!

KERSEY watermill
Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th May
10am - 4pm
Tel: 01473 829317. SAT NAV: IP7 6DP
1.5 miles from Hadleigh, off A1141 Lavenham road.
A large 4-storey weatherboarded watermill with an internal breastshot wheel. Under restoration to working order.
Their Dog Day in association with Woofers (a fundraising event) will take place on Sunday 17th June 10am - 4pm.

PAKENHAM watermill
Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th May
11am - 4pm
Tel: 01359 230275 / 07585 899633. SAT NAV: IP31 2NB

Wildlife Day at Pakenham Watermill on Sunday 13th May.
Pakenham Watermill is an excellent haven for wildlife. In addition to the normal watery and tree lined environment they have developed a beautiful circular walk of over half a mile and they have made a wildlife garden with public access designed to show ideas which visitors could incorporate in their own gardens. The mill is still milling flour twice per week and you will see and can buy their finest flour. Reduced admission on both days: adults £2.00, children free.

STOWMARKET Museum of East Anglian Life (housing Eastbridge Windpump & Alton Watermill)
Saturday 12th May 10am - 4pm
Sunday 13th May 11am - 4.30pm
Tel: 01449 612229. SAT NAV: IP14 1DE

THELNETHAM tower mill
Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th May
11am - 4pm (last admission for a mill tour 3pm)
E-mail: thelnetham.windmill@gmail.com. SAT NAV: IP22 1JZ

THORPENESS post mill
Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th May
11am - 4.30pm
E-mail: Sharliegod@icloud.com. SAT NAV: IP16 4NQ
It will be open for people to wonder around and picnic in the garden.

WOODBRIDGE - The Tide Mill Living Museum
Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th May
11am - 5pm with milling demonstration at 4pm both days
Tel: 01394 388202. SAT NAV: P12 1BY

The theme this year is 'Wildlife and Conservation'. They are putting up two small exhibitions. One is 'Birds of the Deben' and the other is 'The Moon over The Water' which highlights the role played by the tides in the development of Woodbridge. In addition on Sunday 13th Radio Hams from Felixstowe and District Amateur Radio Society will be on hand contacting people in mills around UK and Europe.
This is part of competition to contact the most mills. Choose Woodbridge #thethrillsofmills

The Suffolk Mills Group will be formally thanked for 40 years of work protecting windmills and watermills in the county by the High Sherrif of Suffolk Geoffrey Probert at an event at Kersey mill on the morning of Sunday 22nd October 2017, circa 11am. Members are cordially invited to attend.
Woodbridge Buttrum's Mill (an important Grade II* tower mill) is now on the market, for the first time since the 1960's. The mill is leased to Suffolk County Council until 2050. It is being sold by formal tender and bids have to be in by noon Tuesday 7th November. The details are on Rightmove and Neals are the agents:
We hear the sad news of the death of John Capps. John helped to run the Friends of Norfolk Windmills and its successor Norfolk Mills Group for many years, and organised several mill tours to the Continent. He also assisted in mill repairs through his business, Thurton Foundry. We extend our condolences to his widow Maureen and the rest of his family.
We now have most of our old newsletters on this website. Click here to look at the list of newsletters.
News - in photos
Progress repainting the buck and fan carriage at Framsden windmill. Photographs by Mr William Griffiths (16th August 2017):


and after...

Framsden windmill is now visible for the first time in years. Don't you just miss the ghastly leylandii? Photographs by Mr William Griffiths (April 2017)

New engine shed at Thelnetham (September 2016)


Sail shutters and striking gear removed from the sails of Pakenham windmill September 3-4 2016 for safety as cap is no longer turning to wind.

Martin Whitworth, owner of Buttrum’s Mill at Woodbridge since the late 1960’s sadly died on September 5 2016 after a short illness. He was 90.

Walton (near Felixstowe) smock mill will be open on Sunday September 11 2016 between 10am – 4pm as part of Felixstowe Heritage Open Day event.


The new sails at Thorpeness mill were being fitted with a pair of shutters on Wednesday 11th June 2014. Seen in the photo are Tim Whiting and Vincent Pargeter.



Mark Barnard was at Bardwell on 17th October 2013 when Jonathan Wheeler was painting the cap with white lead from a cherry picker. The dirt on the cap has been cleaned off during the summer and with the paint it now looks smart again. The new fantail blades are under construction but will not be fitted until 2014.


Good progress is being made applying the sheet aluminium cladding to the roof at Framsden mill. The main work should be completed by this coming weekend although the scaffold platforms will be left in place over the winter for finishing off next year. Photo taken Tuesday 24th September 2013 showing Bill Griffiths applying a sheet on the north side of the roof.


The new sails were craned on at Thorpeness mill on Wednesday September 25th. Everything went smoothly under the guidance of Vincent Pargeter assisted by Tim Whiting. See 2 photos. The fantail blades and some sail shutters will now be added and the sails should be turning by early October.


Work is currently under way to the roof of Framsden post mill. The bituminous felt applied in the 1960’s was starting to fail badly and the roof is now being re-clad by Suffolk Mills Group volunteers. The old felt and hardboard base has been removed, and 2 layers of plywood are being applied to the old weatherboards, followed by sheet aluminium. The cladding may be completed this year (weather permitting) and painting will probably have to wait until 2014. See photo. Showing the plywood going on.



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