Davison's Mill, Stelling Minnis

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Davison's Mill, Stelling Minnis
Davison's Mill.JPG
Davison's Mill, May 2010
Mill nameDavison's Mill
Grid referenceTR 146 466
Coordinates51°10′38″N 1°4′9″E / 51.17722°N 1.06917°E / 51.17722; 1.06917Coordinates: 51°10′38″N 1°4′9″E / 51.17722°N 1.06917°E / 51.17722; 1.06917
Operator(s)Kent County Council
Year built1866
PurposeCorn mill
TypeSmock mill
StoreysFour-storey smock
Base storeysLow brick base of a few courses
Smock sidesEight-sided
No. of sailsFour
Type of sailsDouble Patent sails
WindshaftCast iron
Fantail bladesSix bladed
Auxiliary powerHornsby hot-bulb oil engine since 1923
No. of pairs of millstonesTwo pairs
Other informationWas last commercially working windmill in Kent. Has the only surviving original hot-bulb auxiliary engine in any windmill in the United Kingdom

Davison's Mill, also known as Stelling Minnis Windmill, is a Grade I listed[1] smock mill in Stelling Minnis, Kent, England that was built in 1866. It was the last windmill working commercially in Kent when it closed in the autumn of 1970.

The mill is managed by the Stelling Minnis Windmill and Museum Trust, which came into being on 26 January 2010. It is open to visitors each year from Easter Sunday to the end of September on Sundays and Bank Holidays, from 2pm to 5pm. Its grounds host the annual Stelling Minnis fete.


Davison's mill was built in 1866 by the Canterbury millwright Thomas Holman, replacing an earlier open trestle post mill with common sails. Milling by wind ceased in 1925, but the mill continued to work by a Ruston & Hornsby oil engine[2] which had been added in 1923. In April 1935, the mill was restored to full working order. The work was financed by H Laurie, as a memorial to her brother Colonel Ronald Macdonald Laurie, who had died on 21 October 1927.[3] Laurie was awarded a Windmill Certificate by the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings in 1936.[4] One pair of sails was blown off in the early 1950s, and the mill worked afterwards with a single pair, assisted by the engine.[3] Elham Rural District Council donated £100 towards the cost of repairs estimated at £500 in the 1950s.[5] When Alec Davison retired in the autumn of 1970, the mill was the last in Kent working commercially by wind.[3] After the death of Mr Davison, the mill was acquired by Kent County Council. A restoration of the mill commenced in 2003, with the sails being taken down on 19 July and the cap removed on 20 July. The work was financed by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Kent County Council. It was carried out by IJP Millwrights of Binfield Heath, Berkshire and took three months to complete.[6]


Davison's mill is a four-storey smock mill with a stage at first-floor level. It is built on a low brick base only 14 inches (360 mm) high. The mill is 43 feet (13.11 m) tall to the top of the cap.[7] It has four patent sails carried on a cast-iron windshaft. The mill is winded by a fantail. The mill drives two pairs of millstones[2] underdrift. The Brake wheel is iron. This drives a cast-iron Wallower. The Great Spur Wheel is also of cast iron.[3]

The engine is a Ruston & Hornsby "1912" hot-bulb engine, which was despatched from Holman's in Canterbury on 7 May 1923.[7]


  • Colver (post mill)
  • George Goble 1866 - 1878
  • Henry William Davison 1878 -
  • Alec Davison 1940 - 1970

References for above:-[2][3][4][5] [8]


  1. ^ Historic England. "STELLING MINNIS OR DAVISON'S WINDMILL, MILL LANE (east side), STELLING MINNIS, SHEPWAY, KENT (1260112)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 19 April 2008.
  2. ^ a b c Coles Finch, William (1933). Watermills and Windmills. London: C W Daniel Company. p. 282.
  3. ^ a b c d e West, Jenny (1973). The Windmills of Kent. London: Charles Skilton Ltd. pp. 75–77. ISBN 0284-98534-1.
  4. ^ a b Brown, R J (1976). Windmills of England. London: Robert Hale. pp. 110–111. ISBN 0-7091-5641-3.
  5. ^ a b "Council help to save old windmill". The Mills Archive Trust. Retrieved 19 April 2008.[permanent dead link] (Original source:- Milling, 19 September 1953)
  6. ^ "ABOUT THE WINDMILL". Stelling Minnis Parish Council. Retrieved 19 April 2008.
  7. ^ a b McKean, Sylvia (1979). Stelling Minnis Mill. Canterbury: East Kent Mills Group. pp. 10–18.
  8. ^ "Directory of Kent Mill People". The Mills Archive Trust. Archived from the original on 16 April 2009. Retrieved 19 April 2008.

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