Thanks to a generous donation, tMK have acquired the oldest drainage mill on the Norfolk Broads, close to Acle. This Grade 2* listed building is now in our hands to preserve and enhance. It was built in 1753 and has a well documented history. Our plans are subject to the approvals of the various controlling bodies and our application pending. The donation is subject to locking the property into the trust and developing with best endeavours in accordance with our proposals for social and nature care:


  • Develop a ‘Green-care’ permaculture oasis on the Broads
  • Recreate the Marshman’s life-style, giving experiences of off-grid eco-living of days gone by and the values of nature conservation. Delivering to local schools through on site theatre and crafting demonstrations
  • Create an holistic nature observatory to study and appreciate Broads wildlife and nightscapes, with the mill as the focal point and lifestlye museum
  • Create an holistic nature retreat for those in need of life-style support and focus
  • With the aid of funding partners and as a tribute to millwright Vincent Pargeter to restore the mill and engine shed to a level commensurate with this specific funding.
  • Develop additional sustaining funding from a riverside social cafe, bushcraft courses on the site and nature therapies and exploration


Oby Mill


Oby drainage mill in Ashby was a 4 storey red brick towermill and stood beside the River Bure in the combined parishes of Ashby with Oby. The mill was on the Oby Manor House Estate and belonged to the Wyndeham Cremer family but were tenant farmed by the Wiseman family from before 1836 to after 1937, thus the mill was often known as Wiseman’s Mill. The mill was almost certainly built in 1753 and a datestone was incorporated in the tower structure. The sails powered both a drainage wheel and a sawbench that was probably only used for estate work rather than commercial.

The mill used two pairs of patent sails, one pair having 6 bays of 3 shutters with a bay of 2 shutters nearest the canister and was struck via tail pole. The boat shaped cap had a petticoat and held a 6 bladed fan.

There is much written about Oby Mill., sometimes named after tehe landowner at the time Wiseman


situate Three Miles from Acle (G.E.R.) and Martham (M. & G.N.Jt.R) Stations and known as the
Comprising a capital Residence
COMMODIOUS AGRICULTURAL BUILDINGS, TWO BRICK and TILE COTTAGES, and 288a. 2r. 37p. of good deep soil Arable, Marsh and Pasture LAND, as now in the occupation of the Executors of the late Mr. A.B. Wiseman at a rental of £275 per annum.
MARSHMAN’S COTTAGE and OUTBUILDINGS, BRICK TOWER WINDMILL with a Portable Engine in Shed used as an auxiliary, driving a powerful Turbine and draining in addition to the Marshes of the Farm about 300 acres, the dues from which will be included in the Sales.
In Three Lots.
Particulars of the Auctioneers, 17 Prince of Wales Road, Norwich or of Messrs. Francis and Back, St. Giles Street, Norwich, Solicitors to the Vendor.
Norfolk Chronicle – 10th June 1905