With the site encased in protective covers and held up by massive iron props, this mill is being restored by the Windmill Hill Trust, whose website has interesting archive photographs and news about progress on the restoration. At 48 feet high, she is the tallest in Sussex.
The windmill is an important example of its type, and has not suffered any previous alterations, so is in virtually original condition. The mill is to be restored to its original condition, and then used as a working educational facility. When I took these photographs the main parts of the mill were away being restored.
A windmill was built probably at the beginning of the 1600's to provide flour for the iron foundry workers at Warbleton and Ashburnham . The first reference to the mill was on a map of Sussex from 1783.
In 1814 the old mill which was owned by John Pocock was demolished and replaced by the current windmill which is one of the largest post mills in Sussex, and possibly throughout Britain. In 1893/4 the sweeps were removed, and a steam engine was installed by Neves of Warbleton to provide power. In 1913 the mill ceased to mill corn, but was left as a landmark for shipping in the channel to use. This mill is the last in England to possess the remains of a centrifugal governor system for controlling the sail area.
There is an old postcard showing the mill here.
The Mill was bought by Paul and Bee Frost in 1993, since then they have set up the charity to restore the mill, and started the first phase, which is to roof over and scaffold the mill so that a survey of restoration requirements can be made.
I have been provided with information about various Sussex windmills from Simon Potter who runs a brilliant site about Sussex Mills.
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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