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For many years the Mills Section of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings has organised National Mills Weekend (formerly "National Mills Day"), a celebration of Britain's milling heritage.

  SPAB Mills Section Logo

Wind and water are sustainable power sources, used for hundreds of years in Britain in the production of natural food.

There are currently more than 100 working mills capable of producing natural, stoneground flour and many of these will be open to the public during National Mills Weekend. In addition, over the weekend, a further 300 mills throughout the country will be welcoming visitors.

SPAB's Windmill Committee was formed in 1931 in response to an alarming decline in the numbers of the country's windmills. Later it included watermills within its interests, and it "encouraged the art of country milling". Still active today the SPAB is the only national amenity society dedicated to the protection of our milling heritage.

Some working mills are more than 300 years old yet still efficiently doing the job in the 21st century that they were built and designed for.

National Mills Weekend 2016 was held on
Saturday 14th & Sunday 15th May.

Some mills work as commercial businesses, while others are run by enthusiastic volunteers. Fifty years ago, the windmills and watermills of this country were thought to be in terminal decline, but now there has been a renaissance in these wonderful reminders of our past.

 

In Sussex, windmills and watermills have not only produced meal flour, but have made gunpowder as those at Battle, or pumped water like the Coultershaw Beam Pump that once pumped water into Petworth.

Many watermills in Sussex produced a variety of products such as linseed oil, cattle cake, oil dressed leather and drove fulling stocks for fulling wool.

Today in Sussex, most of those that have survived are those that produced meal flour.

Morris dancers Stone Cross Windmill
Morris dancers at Stone Cross Windmill
Photo by David Jones
 
Open Day at Nutley Windmill :  Photo by Nick Linazasoro
Open Day at Nutley Windmill : Photo by Nick Linazasoro

Details of Sussex Mills that planned to open to visitors
on National Mills Weekend 2016 appear below.

Mill owners are invited to contact us with details of their mill.

MILL DAY OPENING TIMES SPECIAL EVENTS
AND COMMENTS
Park Watermill, Batemans
SAT 11 am to 5 pm  
Jill Windmill
SAT 11 am to 5 pm Free parking & free admission
Donations welcome
Cafe may not be open
Miichelham Priory Watermill
SAT 11.30 am to 4 pm  
Nutley Windmill
SAT 10 am to 5.30 pm  
Rottingdean Windmill
SAT 12 pm to 4,30 pm  
Sheffield Watermill
SAT 10 am to 5 pm  
Stone Cross Windmill
SAT    
 

 

 
MILL DAY OPENING TIMES SPECIAL EVENTS
AND COMMENTS
Park Watermill, Batemans
SUN 11 am to 5 pm  
Chailey Windmill
SUN 3 pm to 5 pm Last year the Downs Radio Group used the Mill to contact other Mills throughout the UK and Europe and they have agreed to come again. They will operate throughout Saturday and up to around mid-day on Sunday and are happy to talk to other radio enthusiasts who visit.
Additionally we have had an approach from Lewes Morris Dancing Group who are planning a tour with demonstrations at a number of local Mills on the Sunday. It is hoped that Chailey can be included in their schedule for a display which will last approximately 20 minutes.
Cobbs Watermill
SUN 10 am to 5 pm See the restored Water Wheel & Gearing
Hear and Feel the mighty Tangye Engine running !
High Salvington Windmill
SUN 2.30 pm to 5 pm Guided tours.
Exhibition & Amateur radio station.
Refreshments.
Special art exhibition
Jill Windmill
SUN 11 am to 5 pm Refreshments
Free parking & free admission
Donations welcome
Blackpowder Morris Dancers at 2 pm
Mid Sussex Amateur Radio Society
Michelham Priory Watermill
SUN 11.30 am to 4 pm  
Nutley Windmill
SUN 10 am to 5.30 pm  
Oldland Windmill
SUN 2 pm to 5 pm Guides available to answer questions
Milling will take place, wind permitting.
Polegate Windmill
SUN 11 am to 5 pm Amateur radio club in operation
Long Man Morris Men at 1.30 pm
Rottingdean Windmill
SUN 12 pm to 4.30 pm  
Stone Cross Windmill
SUN 10 am to 5 pm  
West Blatchington Windmill
SUN 11 am to 5 pm Blackpowder Morris Men
Dutch street organ
Amateur radio operators
Model loco display
Stationary Engines
Vintage Cars
Handmade mosaics stall
2nd hand books & jigsaws
Tours of the Mill
Homemade cakes & refreshments in North Barn
Windmill Hill Windmill
SUN 10.30 am to 4.30 pm Stationary engines at the mill
Classic cars on the green
Free parking at the Horseshoe Inn
Restored machinery and sweeps now grinding grain into flour for the first time in 120 years
BBQ sausages and burgers
Long Man Morris Men at 3.30 pm
Amateur radio station linking mills around the world
Face painting
Plants, teas and other attractions
Entry to the Mill by donation

The website of G4CDD Denby Dale Radio Club has details of Amateur Radio Stations broadcasting from Mills on National Mills weekend.

Is your Sussex Mill listed here ?

If not . . . . please click here

For further information, please visit the SPAB Mills Section website.

 


European Mill Heritage Days

In France, since 1995 there have been days especially dedicated to mills, their history, their techniques, their evolution, and the men and women who work to safeguard, restore and present them. Over time, these days have become less centred on mills as they have been associated with other themes.

Spurred on by many associations, the French Mill Federation (Fédération des Moulins de France), has renewed this tradition of specific mill heritage days in partnership with Moleriae, France Hydroélectricité and with the support of the town of Ferté-Sous-Jouarre, the millstone capital of the world.

So, on the third weekend of May, this event no longer competes with all the family, school and religious events of June. This date also avoids decrees forbidding sluice gate openings (which have become more and more frequent because of droughts). In 2007, this event took on a European dimension; several countries "celebrate" their mills during May. The "Mai des Moulins" (M.E.M) idea is expanding.

Developing the " Mai Européen des Moulins " concept

The French Mill Federation (FDMF) wishes to build links between European mill conservation groups.

Every year, from the 15th April, it publishes on its internet site: www.fdmf.fr, the European countries which celebrate their mills in May.

The French Mill Federation therefore proposes to collect events posters of each European participant and publish links directly to the web sites of the mills concerned.

A " Mai Européen des Moulins " concept is being considered. Countries which would like to participate in this committee are welcome to join us.
Contact:
To appear on the European mill days site : http://www.journees-europeennes-des-moulins.org : Bridget Petit, Conseillère d'administration à la FDMF, chargée des Journées Européennes des Moulins et du Patrimoine Meulier et des relations européennes, 6 résidence Marcel Paul, 34600 BEDARIEUX
journees.des.moulins@gmail.com

To participate in the European Mill days committee : " Mai Européen des Moulins " :
Alain Eyquem, Président Fédération Des Moulins de France, 304 rue Pelleport, 33800 BORDEAUX
alain.eyquem@sfr.fr

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National Mills Weekend Illustrated by Paul Cutts High Salvington Nutley Polegate Illustrated by Paul Cutts Punnett's Town Stone Cross Sheffield Illustrated by Paul Cutts Chailey Jill West Blatchington Battle
Illustrated by Paul Cutts Medmerry Rottingdean Hogg Hill Cross In Hand West Chiltington
Illustrated by Paul Cutts Patcham Polegate Punnett's Town Stone Cross Sheffield High Salvington Nutley Illustrated by Paul Cutts Punnett's Town Stone Cross Sheffield Chailey Polegate Illustrated by Paul Cutts Jill West Blatchington Battle Medmerry Rottingdean Hogg Hill Cross In Hand West Chiltington Patcham Polegate Punnett's Town Stone Cross Sheffield High Salvington