A vintage picture postcard of the smock mill in Woodchurch, Kent, c.1925.
Although, a mill stood at least from at least 1729, the smock mill, we can see in Woodchurch, near Ashford, in Kent, south-east England is believed to date back to the early ninetenth century. Indeed up until 1940 there were two mills on the site and these twin mills were known as the black (or upper) mill and the white (or lower) mill. The white mill that still exists to this day continued to grind corn commercially up until 1926 and over a great many years has been restored to near working condition.
Woodchurch Mill is an eight-sided, four-storey smock mill built on a single-storey brick base. It has a Kentish-style cap and is winded by a fantail. The mill once drove three pairs of millstones and was used for grinding corn.
An aerial photograph of Woodchurch smock mill in 1952.
The mill is now owned by Ashford Borough Council and is currently open on Sundays and Bank Holidays between Easter and the end of September, from 2pm to 5pm.
The white smock mill in Woodchurch in its fully restored state. One source dates this mill to 1820.
Meeten’s Mill as it is known locally is an eighteenth century eight-sided smock mill with a boat-shaped cap. It is thought to date to 1840 and using three pairs of millstones originally milled corn for local farmers. The mill was working until 1922, when it was stripped of machinery and converted into a house. It is located in the village of West Chiltington in West Sussex. England.
A photograph of the smock mill in Chiltington, near Horsham in Sussex, southeast England in the 1920s.
A photograph of Ashby’s Mill in Brixton, south-west London, c.1929.
Brixton Windmill is a four storey brick tower mill with a boat shaped cap. It was built in 1816 and worked by wind up until 1862. Soon after the sails were removed and it was used as a store for a number of years. In 1902 it was converted to steam power and began milling flour again. It continued to do so right up until 1934. There then followed a long period of neglect. However, the mill was restored by with the help of a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and with funding by Lambeth Council and the Friends of Windmill Gardens at a cost of more than £600,000 in 2011. It has recently returned to full working order grinding both wheat and barley.
Should you want to have a look at the mill yourself the address is: Windmill Gardens, West end of Blenheim Gardens, Off Brixton Hill, London, SW2 5EU. The Windmill is open to the public only on selected days throughout the year, so check first if you want to see inside the mill. Further details can be found at: brixtonwindmill .org.uk.
An old image of the windmill on Oostplein in Rotterdam, Holland, c.1905.
Two old images of the De Noord windmill in Oostplein in the centre of Rotterdam in the Netherlands.
A photograph by the French photographer Delius of the windmill in central Rotterdam, c.1920.
The ‘De Noord’ mill was of the ‘Stellingmolen’ type and built in 1711. It stood at a height of more than 16 metres and was originally used for grinding malt. In the late 19th century it was used to mill grain for cattle feed, which continued until around 1917 when it went out of use. The mill survived the German bombing of this part of Rotterdam only to be burned down in a fire on the night of 27th July 1954. In recent years there has been talk of rebuilding the mill but nothing has come of this to date.
Stellingmolen are high windmills with a gallery. They were commonly built in urban areas in continental Europe. The design served two main purposes. It allowed the mill to capture enough wind and kept the sails and tail well above ground level. This, of course, largely eliminated the dangers associated with rotating blades.
Here we have a fascinating photograph taken in June 1912. It features a horse-drawn plough outside an early post mill. The windmill was located in Hamersleben in the Quedlinburg area, north of the Harz mountains, in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. The windmill is believed to have burnt down towards the end of the Second World War.
A scan of a 1912 private photograph of a windmill in the Quedlinburg area of Germany.
Saltfleet Tower Mill on Lincolnshire, England, c.1955.
Saltfleet windmill is believed to date back to 1770 and is therefore one of the oldest surviving mills in England. It was last used commercially in the late 1940s and is sadly currently in a state of disrepair.
An early 1930s picture postcard featuring Saltfleet Windmill in Lincolnshire.
The tower mill in Saltfleet, near East Lindsey, Lincolnshire, England.
The National Trust owned Tower Mill just outside the village of High Ham, near Langport, in Somerset is now open on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of every month between 1pm and 4pm. March to September. Tickets: £4 Adult, £2 Child, National Trust members FREE.
Notes: The mill is located in the grounds of a private home, so parking is limited and no toilets are available to visitors. Access to the four floors of the mill is via rather steep steps.
More about Stembridge Tower Mill.
A photograph of the Mill in West Blatchington, near Brighton, Sussex, c.1930.
The mill in West Blatchington is a six-sided ‘smock’ mill built in around 1820. It worked until 1897 when the sails were reportedly damaged in a storm. It was purchased in 1937 by the Hove Council and the mill restored. It is now open to the public on Sunday afternoons between May and September. It is located in the village of West Blatchington, near Brighton, in Sussex, England.
A photograph of Foston Post Mill taken in around 1930.
The Post Mill in Foston, Lincolnshire, north-east England, was built in 1624 and is believed to have worked at two separate sites in the village before going out of use at the end of the 19th century. It was sadly demolished in 1966.
Foston is around nine kilometres (six miles) north-west of the town of Grantham.
Sharnbook – a Bedfordshire Windmill
A photograph of the windmill in Sharnbrook as it looked in 1929, forty-nine years after it was built.
The tower mill in Sharnbrook, Bedfordshire, England, was erected in 1880 and stopped working only ten years later. By 1920 the sails had been removed and the mill was in a somewhat derelict state. The photograph above shows the condition the windmill was in when photographed in 1929. The mill was converted to living accommodation and the cap removed and replaced with an observatory of sorts in around 1970. A house has been built next to the tower and the entire property is in private ownership.