Situated on the banks of the River Nar in Narborough Norfolk, the historic 19th-century bone mill was awarded a £92,200 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) in 2015. The grant has been used to repair and conserve the remains and tell the stories behind its historic significance in the areas agricultural and industrial heritage. The disused mill and its workings (including the waterwheel, millstones , timber gate and sluice-system) are being repaired and conserved with the help of local volunteers.
Volunteers Wanted in 2017
We are also looking for volunteers to help with the restoration and preservation work. Our volunteers meet on site every Thursday. During the autumn and winter months we are not deterred by the weather as warmth and sustenance is provided by our railway wagon - the wagon is equipped with a wood burner and cooking facilities. If you would like to help on site please Contact Us
Our current team of volunteers;
Records relating to the Bone Mill are very limited (there are only 4 pre 1970 photos that we know of). If you have any information please Contact Us
Below are two recently discovered images (April 2016): Left from around 1880, right from the 1920's
There were a number of bone mills operating across Norfolk in the last century but the Narborough Bone Mill is the only site where substantial workings remain. When in operation the mill was used for rendering down into agricultural fertilizer bones from local slaughterhouses and from the whaling industry, with bones transported up the River Nar by barge from the blubber-processing factory at South Lynn. The mill stopped operating in the late 19th century, but the 16-foot diameter (4.9 m) waterwheel and the foundations of the main mill building remain together with underground sluices and two pairs of millstones. The Nar still flows through remains of the staunches and mitre gates.
Site owner Beryl Munford bought the then disused Narborough Maltings in the 1970s with her late husband Robin. The purchase included 1.5 miles of riverbank and the bone mill site. Robin had an ambition to restore the wheel and would be thrilled that his son, daughters and grandchildren are heavily involved in the project.
It is anticipated that the wheel will turn under water power once again on a few occasions each year.