Chillenden Windmill

Chillenden windmill
Grid reference TR 268 543
Operator(s) Kent County Council
Year built 2005
Purpose Corn milling
Type open trestle post mill
Number of sails Four
Type of sails Spring sails
Windshaft Cast iron
Winding Tailpole
Number of pairs of millstones Two pairs located in the breast
Other information Last post mill built in Kent.

Chillenden windmill is a grade II* listed[1] open-trestle post mill north of Chillenden, Kent, England. It is the last post mill built in Kent.[2]


Chillenden windmill was built by Holman's of Canterbury[3] in 1868, replacing an earlier post mill that had blown down. The new mill incorporated some material from the old one.[2] A windmill was marked on Philip Symonson's map of 1596, John Speed's map of 1611, Robert Morden's map of 1695, Emanuel Bowen's map of 1736, Andrews, Drury and Herbert's map of 1769 and all Ordnance Survey maps from 1819. Holman's, the Canterbury millwrights, fitted a new stock and two new sails in 1927,[2] and the mill was working until 1949, when it lost a sail in a gale. Local people raised some money in 1955 to make the mill weatherproof, and on 12 December 1957 the mill was bought for £100,[4] by Kent County Council and restored at a cost of £728[5] although some machinery was removed.[6]

Collapse and rebuilding

Chillenden windmill collapsed on 26 November 2003.[7] The collapse was attributed to the fact that one of the four piers on which the mill stood had sunk into the ground over time, and the mill's being in a fixed position, not facing directly into the prevailing wind at the time.[8] The mill wreckage was carefully dismantled on 15 December 2003[9] and put into storage while a decision was made on the future of the building. There were rumours that the mill would be rebuilt at the Museum of Kent Life, but on 31 March 2004 Kent County Council announced that the mill was to be rebuilt on site.[10] The restoration work was carried out by IJP Millwrights, of Binfield Heath, Berkshire. The work included new crosstrees and quarterbars, a new windshaft, both breast and tail of the mill rebuilt and new weatherboarding all over. Four new sails were made, replacing those on the mill at the time of its collapse. These had been fitted in 2001. By early May 2005, work had commenced on site re-erecting the frame of the mill. The reconstructed frame of the mill was erected on the new trestle on 25 May 2005.[8] The mill reopened to visitors on 13 September 2005.[11]


For a description of the machinery, see Mill machinery.

Chillenden windmill is a white open-trestle post mill with four spring sails carried on a cast-iron windshaft. The windshaft carries a cast-iron brake wheel with a wooden rim.[12] The brake wheel has fifty wooden cogs, driving a cast-iron wallower on a cast-iron upright shaft. This carries a cast iron great spur wheel which drives two pairs of underdrift millstones in the head of the mill. The mill formerly had a maize kibbler, but this was removed when the mill was restored in 1958. The mill is winded by a tailpole.[6]



See also


  1. Historic England. "Chillenden Windmill  (Grade II*) (1111765)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 28 October 2016.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Coles Finch, William (1933). Watermills and Windmills. London: C W Daniel Company. p. 186.
  3. "Chillenden Mill". Engineering Timelines. Retrieved 2008-04-15.
  4. "Conveyance of the mill and site to KCC (3 of 6)". The Mills Archive Trust. Retrieved 2008-04-15.
  5. Brown, R J (1976). Windmills of England. London: Robert Hale. pp. 96–97. ISBN 0-7091-5641-3.
  6. 1 2 3 West, Jenny (1973). The Windmills of Kent. London: Charles Skilton Ltd. pp. 32–35. ISBN 0284-98534-1.
  7. "Windmill blown over in storm". BBC News Online. 2003-11-26. Retrieved 2008-04-15.
  8. 1 2 "Chillenden Village". Southbarn. Retrieved 2008-04-15.
  9. "Destroyed windmill dismantled". BBC News Online. 2003-12-15. Retrieved 2008-04-15.
  10. "Destroyed windmill to be rebuilt". BBC News Online. 2004-03-31. Retrieved 2008-04-15.
  11. "Restored village windmill reopens". BBC News Online. 2005-09-13. Retrieved 2008-04-15.
  12. "Chillenden Windmill". YouTube user Anorakman10 (David from Canterbury). Retrieved 2008-04-15.
  13. "Directory of Kent Mill People". The Mills Archive Trust. Retrieved 2008-04-15.

External links

Coordinates: 51°14′32″N 1°14′58″E / 51.24222°N 1.24944°E / 51.24222; 1.24944

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