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large product photo

In working order - circa 1890

Mill body going on

IJP lifting on the mill body - 2005

Millstones drawing

Diagram of a pair of millstones

  RECONSTRUCTION DESIGNS and INTERPRETATIVE MATERIALS for Windmill Hill post mill project, East Sussex (2005-2006)

Following completion of the main reconstruction of this large windmill, Bonwick MHC was asked to contribute to the final elements of the project.


Designs for new stocks and sweeps, to a traditional regional pattern, were submitted to the millwrights responsible for the restoration work, IJP Building Conservation of Henley on Thames, Oxfordshire. Work commenced on the manufacture of the new components at IJP's workshops early in 2005. The design drawings were based on careful analysis of old photographs of the mill in the late 19th century and of other, similar mills in the locality - most of which have long since disappeared. The photographic details were compared with the known dimensions of surviving Sussex windmill sweeps to arrive at a mutually acceptable design.

The new sweeps are slightly wider at the root (inner end) than at the point (outer end) due to the tapering nature of the whip, or main backbone of each sweep. A wide leading board covers several shutter bays on the leading side of each sweep. Another traditional local feature is the use of a 'spring back' between the end of the stock and the sweep, providing additional strength to the assembly. Clamps are fitted to either side of the centre of each stock to reinforce these rather narrow timbers.


Following the successful completion of the restoration work, the Windmill Hill Windmill Trust opened the site to interested visitors in 2006. Bonwick MHC was asked to undertake research and compile a history of the operation, decline and rebirth of the mill over the nineteen decades of its life. Detailed descriptions and concise interpretations of the working parts of the mill were also supplied. The material forms the basis of two publications aimed at visitors to the mill and others keen to discover more details of its history and restoration.

Project website: www.windmillhillwindmill.org