A mill on the River Bure at Itteringham is listed in the Domesday Book (1086). The current building dates from 1778 (or 1773 depending on how you interpret the date found on a stone tablet behind the fireplace). It is believed to have been in use up until the 1920s but fell into dereliction in the 1930s. Lord and Lady Walpole restored it as a ‘gentleman’s residence” in 1938. For more history see Norfolk Watermills.
When we purchased the mill in 2004 it had undergone a number of transformations since being a working mill in the 1920s resulting in a building that had lost its original form and while appearing as a Georgian residence from the front was a mess of windows, leaky dormers, down-pipes and patched brickwork at the rear. Internally light penetration was poor and use of space very inefficient. We therefore set to thinking about how to improve it.
As the building is situated in spectacular surroundings in a wonderful garden on the River Bure a key thought was to make those views available from almost anywhere inside the building.
Other principles of design were to maintain the building’s envelope and external appearance from public roads; simplify the rear elevation and make a clear distinction between the old and new elements of the structure; maintain and enhance the building’s natural charm; improve its spatial and thermal efficiency and provide a showcase for renewable technologies, building on the installation of a micro hydro-turbine in 2006. (See elsewhere for a description of our environmental credentials).
The results have been spectacularly successful. Fantastic views of the garden, river and surrounding countryside are available from all locations and natural light now penetrates deep into the interior. Large amounts of open space have been created without the loss of any rooms. The internal atmosphere is warm, spacious and light. Finally we believe the Mill is now carbon neutral, generating sufficient electricity to heat the house in winter and export surplus to the national grid in the summer.