This large white weather boarded post mill on its single-storey tarred brick roundhouse is the largest post mill in Kent.
Though originally carrying common sweeps, four single-shuttered spring sets were in use for most of its life, The mill is winded by a tail-pole and never had a fantail. The mill powered two pairs of stones and its centre post is one of the stoutest to be seen on any mill.
The mill was built in 1781 and there is a date carved on the post "RV 1781", though this may possibly record the date of her relocation from elsewhere to her present location. The mill stopped work in 1900 and both the mill and the nearby Tudor-style mill house were purchased by the Edwardian actor, Norman Forbes-Robertson. He took a keen interest in the mill and kept her well maintained during his ownership.
However, the mill still needed extensive repairs by 1958 when new sweeps were fitted and yet more repairs were needed again in 1968. The mill was purchased by Kent County Council in 1980 who then undertook major restoration, fitting new sweeps and repairing and repainting the woodwork. The mill has now been firmly anchored by the tail-pole and massive steps. Although the sweeps no longer have shutters, they are turned annually through ninety degrees to relieve strain on the structure. Most of the internal machinery has been lost. The mill has recently undergone a further major renovation by Kent County Council, with help from the National Lottery and it will be reopened to the public in 2004.
More information on this and other wind and water mills may be found on the excellent Windmill World site.
Check out my other windmill photographs in my Windmill Album.
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Photographs © Mark Collins 2006
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