Argos Hill Mill, Mayfield

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Argos Hill Mill, Mayfield
Argos Hill Mill.jpg
The mill in 2003
Origin
Mill location TQ 571 283
51°01′59″N 0°14′20″E / 51.033°N 0.239°E / 51.033; 0.239
Operator(s) Wealden District Council
Year built 1835
Information
Purpose Corn mill
Type Post mill
Roundhouse storeys Single storey roundhouse
Number of sails Four
Type of sails Patent sails
Windshaft Cast iron
Winding Tailpole mounted fantail
Number of pairs of millstones Two pairs, arranged Head and Tail
Other information Has a main post constructed of four pieces of timber.

Argos Hill Mill is a grade II* listed[1] post mill at Argos Hill, Mayfield, East Sussex, England which had been restored, but is now in need of urgent repairs.

History[edit]

The earliest record of a windmill on this site is in 1656. Argos Hill Mill was built in 1835. She worked by wind until 1927, mostly by successive generations of the Weston family. The fantail blew off in 1929 and the shutters were removed from the sails in 1932. The mill was acquired by Uckfield District Council in 1955. Neve's, the Heathfield millwrights fitted a new breast beam and repaired the side girts and corner posts. Further restoration work was done in 1969 by Hole's of Burgess Hill. A storm damaged a sail in 1976, and a new sail and stock were fitted by Hole's.[2]

2008 Threat of demolition[edit]

The mill in August 2008

Argos Hill Mill has been on the Buildings at Risk Register since at least 2003. In October of that year, members of the Friends of Argos Hill Windmill Society were banned from working on the mill by Wealden District Council, due to the poor structural condition of the mill. A planned extension to a neighbouring property also threatened the mill, as it would encroach into the mill's turning circle if built.[3]

A survey in 2007 revealed the mill was in danger of collapsing. Of concern were the roundhouse, crosstrees, crown tree, sails, tailpole and fantail.[4][5] On 14 January 2008, a meeting was held in Mayfield, where Wealden District Council put forward options for the mill's future. One proposal, to dismantle the mill and remove it to storage was strongly criticised by those attending, including members of the Sussex Mills Group and the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings. It was pointed out that Wealden District Council had not spent money allocated for maintenance of the mill, and that giving themselves permission to demolish a listed building would make other listed buildings in the area more vulnerable, and erode the protection given by listed building status. Wealden District Council was also breaking conditions on planning permission it granted itself in respect of scaffolding around the mill, which had been up for longer than the three years allowed by the permission. There were concerns that no repairs would be made before the scaffolding was removed. People were willing to form a trust to take on the mill and restore her.[6] The Friends of Argos Hill Windmill was set up.[7]

in June 2008, it was proposed to convert the windmill to generate electricity, a scheme which Wealden District Council supported but which received much criticism.[7] Among the objectors were the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings[8] and the Sussex Mills Group. The Friends of Argos Hill Windmill expressed doubts about the scheme.[7] In April 2010, the Argos Hill Windmill Trust was established. The trust intends to lease the mill from Wealden District Council.[9]

Description[edit]

For an explanation of the various pieces of machinery, see Mill machinery.

Argos Hill Mill is a post mill on a single storey roundhouse. She had four Patent Sails carried on a cast iron Windshaft and is winded by a tailpole mounted fantail. The main post is made up from four pieces of timber. Along with Jill, Clayton, she is one of only two windmills in England to retain this feature. The mill drove two pairs of millstones, arranged Head and Tail. The cast iron Head Wheel is 10 feet (3.05 m) diameter and the wooden Tail Wheel is 8 feet (2.44 m) diameter. The mill is unusual in the way that it has been extended at the rear, giving it a distinctive appearance.[2]

Millers[edit]

  • Aaron Weston 1844
  • William Richardson - 1927

References for above:-[2]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "ARGOS HILL WINDMILL, MAYFIELD, WEALDEN, EAST SUSSEX". English Heritage. Retrieved 7 May 2008. 
  2. ^ a b c Brunnarius, Martin (1979). The Windmills of Sussex. Chichester: Philimore. pp. p52–54, 189. ISBN 0-85033-345-8. 
  3. ^ "Argos Hill windmill neglect and neighbouring development". Windmill World. Archived from the original on 9 May 2008. Retrieved 9 May 2008. 
  4. ^ "Argos Hill windmill". Sussex Mills Group. Retrieved 9 May 2008. 
  5. ^ "Argos Hill windmill". Sussex Mills Group. Retrieved 9 May 2008. 
  6. ^ "Argos Hill windmill". Sussex Mills Group. Archived from the original on 16 May 2008. Retrieved 9 May 2008. 
  7. ^ a b c "Sussex site for eco-windmill?". The Argus. Retrieved 18 May 2009. 
  8. ^ "Argos Hill still under threat!". Mills Archive Trust. Retrieved 18 May 2009. 
  9. ^ "News". Friends of Argos Hill Windmill. Retrieved 11 April 2010. 

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

Hemming, Peter (1936). Windmills in Sussex. London: C W Daniel.  Online version