It's winter so nothing much is growing. Please come back in the Spring.

It is nearly Spring. But we're still trying to sort out the old water mill. Come back again soon.

No such problems in the real world: see Norfolk Lavender

Other lavender purveyors are available: loveliest lavender fields

Norfolk Lavender is based at Caley Mill, an undershot watermill built using local carrstone about 1837 and embellished with curious Neo-Gothic ornamentation, making the building unique in Norfolk (and probably elsewhere in England too). When operational the upper floors were used for grain storage, the millstones and associated equipment were on the first floor, while flour was stored on the ground floor. The ground floor is now the gift shop, while the miller's cottage has become a tearoom.

A mill has operated on this site since at least the late sixteenth century but went out of use in either 1919 or 1923. The photograph was taken about 1912. The wheel is powered by the Heacham River whose headwaters are a few miles to the east near Fring, and which flows to the south of Sedgeford (where a bridge is on the site of the eponymous ford). Given the small catchement of the Heacham River, and allowing for the inevitable changes in coastline in this part of Norfolk, just maybe the earliest mills on the site were tidal.

The tracks of the West Norfolk Junction Railway once ran more or less parallel to the Heacham River, to the immediate north of the land now occupied by Norfolk Lavender; nothing remains visible of this stretch of trackbed (although a footpath follows the line of the track to the north-west of Heacham, and cuttings and access for farm vehicles run to the east).

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Text and previously unpublished images copyright Bob Trubshaw 2018–2019