WINDMILL HILL - POST MILL
The post mill at Windmill hill, sporting its patent sails. Sadly, all historic buildings suffer from green growth over the years. Meaning that they don't look all shiny and white for very long after a fresh coat of paint. But, you should have seen the rusty hulk this was in the 1980s.
Windmill Hill Mill is a grade II* listed post mill at Herstmonceux in East Sussex, England which has been restored and now operates as a working mill. The mill is open to the public on most Sundays from Easter until October.
Windmill Hill post mill is run by the Windmill Hill Trust.
The body of the mill is 21 feet 3 inches (6.48 m) long and 12 feet 3 inches (3.73 m) wide, the largest surviving post mill by floor plan in the United Kingdom. It is 50 feet 10 inches (15.49 m) high to the roof, the second tallest post mill in England. The roundhouse is 22 feet 6 inches (6.86 m) in diameter and has a single-storey lean-to extension of part of its circumference. When originally built, the mill had a single-storey roundhouse which was raised in the 1850s. The Hammond's Sweep Governor was fitted in the 1870s.
Further down the road in Lime Park, Charles de Roemer had started to generate electricity for the village of Herstmonceux. Times were changing, with internal combustion engines taking over from steam, even for giant oil tankers and cargo ships.
Neve, the Warbleton millwright was responsible for the fitting-out of the roundhouse as a power mill.
It would be around ninety years before wind power once again became commercially viable to generate electricity in on and offshore wind farms. Now the cheapest form of electricity generation. But we are still reliant on fossil fuels and nuclear power, because of lackluster leadership with one hand in the pockets of the coal and uranium thugs who are killing our planet. Nuclear weapons are now illegal under United Nation (international) law. We think nuclear reactors should also be illegal.
The mill stood derelict for over a century with major structural faults, including both side girts being broken.
During its life the mill was raised in order to catch the wind better. It is thought that the present two storey roundhouse was also built at this time. The roundhouse served both as protection for the timber trestle against the weather and also as a storage area for grain and flour. The roundhouse also has a 'second skin' around part of the mill which acts as extra storage.
The mill has weathered several severe
storms, including the hurricane of 1987 during which another Sussex post mill was blown over and destroyed.
A detailed study of the mill was made in the summer of 2000. IJP Millwrights of Binfield Heath were contracted to restore the mill. A grant of £570,000 towards a total restoration cost of £770,000 was made in December 2001, this being the biggest single Lottery grant to an individual windmill. The mill was dismantled during November and December 2003, and taken in sections to IJP's
workshops in Oxfordshire. Modern millwrighting techniques, including CAD were used in the assessment of the structure of the mill in preparation for the rebuild. It was found that one of the quarterbars in the trestle would need to be replaced due to damage done by Death Watch Beetles.
THEKEEP - WINDMILL HILL MILL: C19
A nice picture of the mill from the rear, showing the access staircase and roundhouse, with worn out grinding wheels.
LINKS & REFERENCE
THE MARCH OF TIME - Where windmills were overtaken by electricity and internal combustion engines, the Generating Station at Herstmonceux also became redundant in 1936, when the Weald Supply Company purchased the distribution rights for Herstmonceux. This building also fell into a state of disrepair, and almost fell over, with sycamore trees growing out and over roofs, and out of the coal bunkers. Instead of trying to help the then occupier, Wealden District Council lined up obstacle after obstacle, even denying the historic origins of the monument through several costly appeals to the Secretary of State. Finally getting caught out, and the reason for their obstruction being revealed, when a closed session report was seen by a member of the public accidentally - wherein the planning committee were informed the building was an early electricity generating station, but they still voted to enforce, and to deny all knowledge of the history attaching - the aim being to cost the conservationist as much money as possible, and obtain costs orders, to be able to bankrupt their victim. They did get their cost order in the High Court, over an appeal about toilet facilities. But the appellant counterclaimed, when Wealden brokered a deal. And you guessed it, they reneged on that deal.