Mills on the web
links to information about mills in Kent & around the world

Crabble Corn Mill, Dover
Europe's finest restored working watermill - history, how it works, how to visit

Hotlinks
Windmills on my Mind:
guide to the windmills owned by Kent County Council and opened to the public by voluntary groups - http://www.kentwindmills.co.uk

Windmill World: a thorough guide with many links - http://www.windmillworld.com/

SPAB- Society for Protection of Ancient Buildings:
Mills section: website- http://www.spab.org.uk/mills
e-mail: linda@spab.org.uk
Section Office: 37 Spital Square, London E1 6DY. Office hours: Tue-Fri 9.30am - 5.00pm
Tel: 020 7456 0909 - Fax: 020 7247 5296

Mills in USA, SPOOM + guide to world mills: http://www.spoom.org

Mills in Northern France: http://www.theotherside.co.uk and look for 'mills'.
This innovative heritage information site has been building up a definitive list of restored working windmills and watermills in Nord - Pas-de-Calais, with pictures and contact details - should you be thinking of a cross-channel visit.


Wandle Industrial Museum, South London:http://www.wandleindustrialmuseum.freeserve.co.uk/

Recommended site on Kent windmills: http://www.argonet.co.uk/users/tonysing/

Kent Watermills:
Chart Gunpowder Mills, Faversham
Chilham Mill and river angling facility
Crabble Corn Mill - one of Europe's finest working watermills
Haxted Riverside Brasserie & Water Mill, near Edenbridge
Hythe Watermill
Periwinkle Mill (watermill restoration project) Milton Regis, Sittingbourne
Swanton Watermill, Lower Mersham near Ashford

KentWindmills
Chillenden Windmill
Drapers Windmill, Margate`
Herne Mill
Meopham Windmill
Sarre Windmill
Shirley Windmill, Croydon
Stelling Minnis Windmill
Stocks Mill, Wittersham near Tenterden
Union Mill, Cranbrook
West Kingsdown Mill
White Mill, Sandwich (windmill)
Willesborough Windmill, Ashford
Woodchurch Windmill
Windmills on my Mind (Kent CC windmills)

Kent mills map

Click on coloured squares for more information.

Wind & Watermills Collection University of Kent at Canterbury This link goes straight to the Kent section of the University Library's catalogue of unique archive of photographs, books,press cuttings, manuscript notes and postcards of many UK and European mills, especially those in Kent and Sussex. Contact: Mrs. S. Crabtree, Templeman Library, UKC, Canterbury CT2 7NU. Tel: +44 (0)1227 764000 ext.7609. e-mail:S.A.Crabtree@ukc.ac.uk.

Other wind- and water-mills in UK (hotlinks)

Chart Gunpowder Mills, Faversham

TROO8612

These 18th century watermills were once part of a Royal Gunpowder Factory and supplied Nelson and Wellington with gunpowder. They are edge-mills, the only surviving mills of their kind in the country and the core machinery has been restored by the Faversham Society.

Open Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays from Easter to the end of October. 2 pm - 5 pm. (subject to availability of volunteer openers) - phone (01795) 534542 to check.

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These mills were used to combine the ingredients for making gunpowder - a hazardous task!

More information: http://www.faversham.org

Chilham Mill on the River Stour near Canterbury.

There has been a watermill on this site since the Middle Ages. Built in the 1800's as part of the same Napoleonic mills boom that encouraged millers to build Crabble and other "merchant mills" on the River Dour and elsewhere in Southern England.

It closed in 1934 and was bought by Mid Kent Water in 1976 as a site for a pumping station. Deep boreholes in the chalk tap the huge volumes of high quality chalk water flowing down the line of the valley underground - providing a good source for the area's public supply.

The Mill is also used as a base for angling. Mid Kent Fisheries offers coarse fishing on 16 lakes and rivers between Ashford and Canterbury - boasting carp, pike, and "the only day ticket. chalk stream, brown trout fishing in Kent."

Mid Kent Fisheries
Chilham Mill
Mill Lane, Chilham, Kent CT4 8EE
Tel: 01227-730668

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Chillenden Windmill

TR268543 - in the fields north of Chillenden 4km SW of Sandwich.
Chillenden nr. Canterbury, Kent CT3 1PR.

An open trestle post mill built in 1868 - one of the last of this type to be built in the country, and standing on a very exposed site where mills have stood for around 500 years. Owned by Kent County Council. Books, postcards & gifts available. 1998 prices: Adults 50p, Children (5+) 25p. Parties by appointment (01304) 840646

A Kent County Council windmill

Sundays and Bank Holidays May to September 2.00 - 4.30 pm.

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Drapers Windmill, Margate

TR363701 - in St. Peter's Footpath, College Road, Margate off the A255 Margate-Broadstairs road.

This black smock windmill, built in 1845 by Canterbury millwright John Holman, was powered by wind until 1916, and by gas-engine until 1933. Owned by Kent County Council, it was restored to working order by Drapers Windmill Trust 1965-75. Museum, souvenirs available. Phone to check (01843) 291696. Schools and groups welcome all year by appointment - illustrated talks (01843) 226227.

A Kent County Council windmill

Open Easter Sunday, then Sundays from May to end September. 2.30 pm - 5 pm
Also Thursdays in July & August 6.30 pm - 8 pm

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Haxted Watermill, Edenbridge

Haxted Rd, Edenbridge

Working watermill situated in Eden Valley - small country mill dating from 1740. Highly regarded adjacent seafood and game restaurant with alfresco dining overlooking the millpond.

Mill opening: Easter - end Sept 10am - 3pm.
Winter Sundays only 10am - 2pm
closed mid-Dec to mid-Jan.

Tel: 01732-862914 - Fax: 01732-865705

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More on Haxted Watermill's website - including full menus

Herne Windmill

TRI85665 - off Mill Lane, Herne. From the A291 (Herne Bay-Canterbury road) turn into School Lane on reaching Herne village.
Mill Lane, Herne Bay, Kent.

A typical Kentish smock mill with most of its original machinery. It was restored to working order in 1986 and will be undergoing more works. Visit the museum (new displays inside) and gift shop. Open on National Mills Weekend 11 am - 5 pm, and to schools and parties by appointment, phone (01227) 361326 or 374539.

A Kent County Council windmill

1998 prices: Adults £l Children 25p.

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Hythe Watermill TRI67350

Last milled commercially in 1932. Weather boarded Corn mill built 1773, although recorded earlier, and updated and enlarged in 1880. Now restored to partial working order with original 19th century machinery and 8m approx. diameter water wheel. Mills occasionally. Visitors welcome by appointment or on open days. Extensive picturesque gardens and waterfall. Phone: (01303)265032 or (01303)269900.

May be visited on National Mills Weekend 2.30 - 5 pm.

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Meopham Windmill

TQ639652 - Meopham Green, Meopham near Gravesend.

Black smock mill, built in 1821 and worked until 1927. Unusual in being six-sided. Owned by Kent County Council, restored as a working windmill and museum with sweeps and fan tail renewed. Original machinery almost complete. Picnic site, souvenirs. General enquiries (01474) 812465 Group bookings (01474) 813218

A Kent County Council windmill

1998 prices: Adults 70p Children 30p

Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays May to end of September 2.30-4.30 pm.

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Periwinkle Mill - Milton Regis, Sittingbourne

The first phase of a project to restore/ rebuild a 400-year-old watermill based on careful recording of what remained on the site after demolition in 1968. The breast-shot waterwheel and main gearing are not covered, and can be seen from the street . They are in working condition but the Periwinkle stream has dried up due to water extraction for the local paper industry. It is hoped to run the wheel using a recirculating pump. Other future developments planned include a covering building and interpretation centre.

Court Hall is a nearby museum in Milton Regis High Street - open on Saturdays in summer. It houses local history displays, including the history of watermills and windmills in the area.

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Sarre Windmill

TR259651 - situated off the A253 at Sarre, near the junction with the A28 Canterbury-Margate road.

This commercially working typical Kentish smock mill is now fully restored. The mill has been grinding by wind power since 1991 after a 70 year break.

The mill was built in 1820 by the Canterbury millwright John Holman. In 1854 its height was increased by approximately nine feet, achieved by jacking up the wooden tower structure and building supporting brickwork in the gap. A steam engine was installed for auxiliary power in 1861, involving the construction of an engine room, boiler house and brick chimney stack as tall as the mill.

As technology progressed the steam engine was replaced in 1907 by a gas engine with its own gas producer plant. In the early 1920s the mill ceased working by wind power - the sails removed and sold. Trading stopped for a period between the wars, then resuming for a short time until 1940 when after 120 years the millstones ground to a final halt. In an advanced state of decay the cap was removed in 1958 and the mill tower boarded up and left to the mercy of the elements.

The semi-derelict mill tower was purchased by the Hobbs family in 1985. Reconstruction work began in earnest in 1986 and after much effort and deliberation was completed in 1991 - the new sails turning for the first time on June 12th. The mill is equipped with one set of Derbyshire Peak stones and one set of French Burrs. Most of the original machinery survives and is in use today. Sarre Mill is now one of the few remaining commercially worked windmills of England. It is a member of the Traditional CornMillers Guild and produces a range of stoneground flours.

Ground floor gift-shop, cider production, bakery and a tea-room serving refreshments. Vintage / steam farm machinery and farm animals & birds, children's adventure play area, Special events - ring for details. (01843) 847573.

1998 prices: Adults £2, OAPs £l.50, Children £l.00.

Open 7 days a week all year except Christmas. 10 am - 4.00 pm.

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Shirley Windmill, Croydon

Just off A232, Post Mill Close, This Tower mill just outside Kent, owned by London Borough of Croydon is now open regularly. Restoration continues.

The tower mill was built in 1854 by Richard Alwen after a fire burnt the first mill on the site - built by his grandfather William Alwen in 1808. Later, hit by competition from large roller mills, the mill was closed in 1893 by its then owner, Alfred Rayson. The abandoned mill deteriorated over the years, being struck by lightning in 1899 and 1906. But some restoration was done in 1927 by George Givan who had purchased Shirley Court and the mill. In 1951 the mill and land were acquired by the Croydon Corporation from Mrs Annie Givan. The mill was narrowly saved from demolition when a new school was built on the adjoining site.

After years of tentative discussions about the windmill becoming a museum, the London Borough of Croydon received a grant of £218,100 from the Heritage Lottery Fund in 1996. This helped restore the mill to working order and open it to the public. Inside, touch screen interactives, information panels and hands-on displays give an educational experience for school parties, and an enjoyable day out for the general public.

For group bookings phone 0181- 656 6037. Open National Mills Weekend in May, Heritage Open Days in September and the first Sunday of the month June to October. 2 - 5pm with guided tours; free admission, refreshments and souvenirs available; no parking on site. Check open times with Croydon Tourist Information Centre (0181 - 253 1009).

More information on London Borough of Croydon's Heritage website

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Stelling Minnis Windmill

TR 146465 - in Mill Lane, Stelling Minnis off the B2068 Canterbury-Hythe road.

Black smock mill built in 1866 which worked until 1970 when restoration by Kent County Council began. The 1912 Ruston and Hornsby oil engine powers the mill for grinding demonstrations. Display of original mill maintenance tools. Group bookings phone (01 227) 709635 or 709550.

A Kent County Council windmill

1998 prices: adults 50p, children 25p.

Open Sundays - Easter to end of September; 2 - 5 pm.

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Stocks Mill, Wittersham.

T0913273 - between Tenterden and Rye, 1 mile from Wittersham village on the B2082.

The tallest post mill in Kent, built in 1781. Situated in the grounds of Stocks Mill House. Bought and restored in 1980 by Kent County Council , with recent repainting and renovation of floors and steps. It contains an exhibition of old maps and photographs. Gift shop. School and group visits by arrangement (01797) 270491

A Kent County Council windmill

1998 prices: adults £1.00, children 50p, school groups free.

Open Sundays from May to September; also Easter Sunday and all Bank Holidays: 2.30pm - 5 pm.

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Swanton Watermill, Lower Mersham, Near Ashford.

TRO39388

A weather boarded watermill in full working order, grinding organic wholemeal flour which is for sale. Visit the milling museum and extensive gardens. Groups by appointment (01233 720223)

Open Saturdays, Sundays & Bank Holiday Mondays from April - October. 2 - 6 pm
National Mills Weekend 10.30 - 6 pm.

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Union Windmill, Cranbrook

TQ779359 - in the centre of Cranbrook, free parking at the bottom of The Hill.

Built in 1814, this mill is the tallest working smock windmill in England.

It grinds corn by wind, to produce Wholemeal flour which is for sale in the gift shop. Volunteers demonstrate the mill's machinery and answer visitors' questions. No entrance fee - donations welcome. For details phone (01580) 712984 or 712256 Saturdays and Bank Holiday Mondays, April to end of September,

A Kent County Council windmill

Sundays, mid July - end August. 2.30 pm - 5 pm.
See Cranbrook Union Mill's website at:
http://www.argonet.co.uk/users/tonysing/

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West Kingsdown Windmill

TQ582622 - off A20 between Wrotham and Framlingham.
Mill House, West Kingstown, Kent TN13 2RY.

Large smock mill originally built at Farningham c.1800 and moved to its present site in 1880. Last worked 1928. Bought by Kent County Council and restored 1958-60. The mill is presently undergoing repair work and may be visited by appointment only. Phone (01843) 852357.

A Kent County Council windmill

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White Mill and Museum, Sandwich. photo

TR323587 - on the A257 between Sandwich and the by-pass, on the road to Canterbury.

A smock mill built c.1760 which retains its original wooden machinery and was restored between 1960 & 1981 by millwright Vincent Pargeter. The Millers Cottage and all out buildings house the domestic and agricultural Folk Museum. Display of photos of 19th century life.
(01304) 612076

Open Sundays & Bank Holidays
Easter to Mid September. 2.30 pm - 5.30 pm.
Sunday & Fridays mornings Jan to end of Nov.10 am - 12 pm
National Mills Weekend [Sun only] 10 am - 5.30 pm.

More information on the White Mill's website

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Willesborough Windmill, Ashford.

TRO32422 - on the east side of Ashford just south of the M20 junction 10.
Mill Lane, Willesborough, ASHFORD, Kent TN24 0NY.

This white smock mill was built in 1869 on a two storey red brick base with attached miller's cottage, restored by Ashford Borough Council in 1991 - winning a "Europa Nostra" award. It is being developed as the centrepiece of an Industrial Heritage Centre.

It is one of Kent's largest windmills: its sweeps have "patent" type shutters instead of canvas and sails, and produced enough power to turn four sets of mill stones as well as the maize and oats crushing/cutting machines. This mill replaced a smaller one of unknown age on the same site.

In 1872 a steam engine with a tall chimney was added to supplement wind-power. The steam engine and chimney were removed in 1911, and replaced by a gas-oil engine which was cheaper to run. In 1938 this in turn was replaced by an 25hp electric motor. Wind power was no longer used, and the mill suffered the common fate of producing mainly animal feed, grinding peas and beans, and crushing oats and maize. The mill closed completely in the 1950's and was used for storage and then as a home.

Now restored, the mill has a tea and gift shop, and grinding takes place when the wind is suitable. For school- and group bookings phone (01233) 661866.

Open Easter to mid-October on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays. 2.00-5.00 pm.
Special events on weekends phone for details.

More information on Willesborough Windmill's website

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Woodchurch WindmilI

TQ943354 - take the footpath between the "Bonny Cravat" and "Six Bells" pubs.

A white smock mill which worked until 1926. The mill has been completely rebuilt to house the original machinery, which is now in working order.

Display of photos of the mill's history and restoration.

Open Sundays and Bank Holidays from Easter to end September. 2.30 - 4.30 pm
Other times by appointment. (01233) 860043.

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We acknowledge information from Kent County Council, mill owners and support groups and the Kent Mills Group. Whilst every attempt is made to ensure the accuracy of the information printed here, the publishers cannot be held responsible for any errors omissions or subsequent alterations to the information shown.

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Copyright © 1997-2001 Ian Killbery. Latest update (part only): 7th July 2001
Crabble Corn Mill, Dover is supported by Invicta Media