West Kingsdown Windmill

West Kingsdown Windmill
West Kingsdown Post Mill
West Kingsdown 1906.jpg
The windmills in 1906
Mill name Old Mill
Year built Late C19th
Purpose Corn mill
Type Post mill
Roundhouse storeys Single storey roundhouse
Number of sails Four sails
Type of sails Two Common sails and two Spring Sails
Windshaft Cast iron
Winding Tailpole
Year lost 1909
Other information Moved from Tubs Hill, Sevenoaks between 1864 and 1880
West Kingsdown Smock Mill
West Kingsdown mill.jpg
The surviving smock mill
Mill location Pells Lane, West Kingsdown, Kent
Grid reference TQ 582 623
Operator(s) Kent County Council
Year built 1880
Purpose Corn mill
Type Smock mill
Storeys Four storey smock
Base storeys Single storey base
Smock sides Eight sided
Number of sails Four
Type of sails Two Common sails and two double Patent sails
Windshaft Cast iron
Winding Fantail
Fantail blades Seven blades
Number of pairs of millstones Three pairs
Other information Moved from Farningham in 1880

West Kingsdown Windmill is a Grade II listed[1] smock mill in West Kingsdown, Kent, England that was built in the early nineteenth century at Farningham and moved to West Kingsdown in 1880. It is the survivor of a pair of windmills.



Post mill

The post mill was originally built at Sevenoaks. It was built c1792 when miller William Knott leased a piece of ground "with liberty to set up a windmill" and "to pull down and carry away the same". In 1814, Knott bought the property, consisting a house and the "windmill erected by the said William Knott" and 3 acres (1.2 ha) of land for £1000. The mill was standing in 1864 when it was leased by J F Austen to William Eames, Miller at a rate of £13. 15.s 0d quarterly.[2]

The mill had been moved to West Kingsdown by 1880, when it was joined by the smock mill that was moved from Farningham and which survives today. It was burnt down in May 1909 when a steam roller set fire to some straw near the mill and the fire then spread to the mill.

Smock mill

West Kingsdown Windmill was built in the early nineteenth century at Chimham's Farm, Farningham. It was marked on Greenwoods map of 1821 and the Farningham Tithe Map of 1840. In 1880, it was moved to West Kingsdown, joining a post mill that was already there. The post mill burnt down in May 1909. The mill was working by wind until 1928. One of the sails was damaged on 25 December 1929 and the fantail blew off in November 1930.[2] The mill was restored externally in 1960 by Thompson & Son, Millwrights of Alford, Lincolnshire[3] at a cost of £4.400.[4] In 2009, repairs to the weatherboards were made, and the mill was repainted. As of November 2010, it is awaiting the fitting of new sails.[5]


Post mill

Old Mill was a post mill on a single storey roundhouse. It was winded by a tailpole. It had two Spring sails and two Common Sails carried on a cast iron windshaft.

Smock Mill

The Fantail, January 2009

West Kingsdown Mill is a four storey smock mill on a single storey single storey brick base. There was a stage at first floor level. It has two double Patent sails and two Common sails carried on a cast iron windshaft. The mill is winded by a fantail. The original fantail had seven blades,[2] but this was replaced with a six bladed one when the mill was restored in 1960. A seven bladed fantail has since been fitted. All the machinery remains in the mill, except for the final drive to the millstones.[3]


Post mill

  • William Knott 1792 - 1814
  • Charles Knott - 1864
  • William Eames 1864-
West Kingsdown
  • Tanner Norton 1880-

Smock mill

  • Collyer 1826 - 1850
  • William Kipping 1840
  • W Moore
  • David Norton
  • Tanner Norton - 1880
West Kingsdown
  • Tanner Norton 1880 -
  • Frank Norton
  • Cork 1929
  • Hankin

References for above:-[2][3][6]

See also

  • Wikipedia books: Windmills in Kent


  1. ^ "KINGSDOWN MILL, PELLS LANE, WEST KINGSDOWN, SEVENOAKS, KENT". English Heritage. http://www.imagesofengland.org.uk/details/default.aspx?pid=2&id=418642. Retrieved 2008-04-17. 
  2. ^ a b c d Coles Finch, William (1933). Watermills and Windmills. London: C W Daniel Company. pp. p230, 273. 
  3. ^ a b c West, Jenny (1973). The Windmills of Kent. London: Charles Skilton Ltd.. pp. p52–54. SBN 284-98534-1. 
  4. ^ Brown, R J (1976). Windmills of England. London: Robert Hale. pp. p112–113. ISBN 0 7091 5641 3. 
  5. ^ Cumming, Rob (2010). "Mill News". Cant Post (Kent: Kent Mills Society) (Number 2): p7. 
  6. ^ "Directory of Kent Mill People". The Mills Archive Trust. http://www.millarchive.com/kent/millpeople/Kent%20Mill%20People.htm. Retrieved 2008-04-17. 

External links

Coordinates: 51°20′14″N 0°16′11″E / 51.33722°N 0.26972°E / 51.33722; 0.26972

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