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How Hill drainage mills

How Hill

Turf Fen Mill (Grade II*), Boardman's Mill (Grade II*) and Clayrack Mill (locally listed) form one of the most important groupings of Listed Buildings in the Broads. All stand within half a mile of each other along the River Ant near Ludham. 


Address: How Hill Road, Ludham, NR29 5PQ (free car park at nearest address)  

Turf Fen Drainage Mill 

William Rust, a millwright from Stalham, built this mill in the second half of the nineteenth century. It was used to drain water from the surrounding marshes into the River Ant. After it was damaged in the Great Flood of 1912 it was abandoned. It was derelict by the 1920s. The mill was restored in the 1980s by John Lawn.  

This drainage mill is unusual in that it ran two independent scoopwheels of differing diameters. They had a choice of high or low gears, allowing them to be run at high or low speed.  

The brick tower stands 31 feet tall and is a much-photographed landmark on the River Ant. The tower is fitted with a boat-shaped cap to carry four double-shuttered patent sails (the sails have been removed and are awaiting a programme of repair). 

The mill stands on the north bank of the River Ant and is visible from the extensive moorings on the opposite bank on the How Hill estate.  


  • Grid reference: TG 36963 18826 
  • what3words :///sofas.acting.delivers 

Photograph of Turf Fen Drainage Mill showing the white boat-shaped cap
Turf Fen Drainage Mill

Boardman's Mill 

This open trestle mill (or 'skeleton mill') was built by Dan England of Ludham about 1897. It is the oldest of the three surviving open trestle mills in Norfolk (see also Hobb's Mill and St. Olaves Mill). It stopped working in 1938 after sustaining damage in a gale.  

The mill is situated on the east bank of the River Ant on the How Hill estate near Ludham. It is named after Edward Boardman, the English architect who designed and built How Hill House. The mill is a Grade II* listed building. 

The mill stands on four brick piers and measures almost 30ft tall to the top of the cap. It originally ran a scoop wheel, but this was replaced later with an Appold turbine. It has a boat-shaped cap, 8-bladed fantail and four patent sails. The fan blades and sails are currently removed, awaiting restoration.  

The mill can be accessed along the riverside path that runs north from Toad Hole Cottage (a former marshman's house) on the How Hill estate. 


  • Grid reference: TG 36944 19252 
  • what3words: ///wimp.growth.hears 

Photograph of Boardman’s Mill showing the white boat-shaped cap
Boardman's Mill

Clayrack Mill 

This hollow post mill was moved to its current location, on the How Hill estate near Ludham, in the late 1980s. It was originally built on Ranworth Marshes but had been abandoned and was in a ruined state. It was restored by Richard Seago. 

The mill consists of a small buck with an 8-bladed fantail. It has four single-shuttered patent sails. It ran a scoop wheel.

The mill can be accessed along the riverside path that runs north from Toad Hole Cottage (a former marshmans house) on the How Hill estate, beyond Boardman's Mill. 


  • Grid reference: TG 36919 19446 
  • what3words: ///agreed.goodbyes.sampling  

Photograph of Clayrack Mill showing the white single-shuttered patent sails
Clayrack Mill