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For over 20 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 2014 was held on
Saturday 10th & Sunday 11th 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 at Windmill Hill Windmill
Morris dancers
at Windmill Hill Windmill
 
Open Day at Nutley Windmill :  Photo by Nick Linazasoro
Open Day at Nutley Windmill : Photo by Nick Linazasoro

The following Sussex Mills advised that they would be open to visitors on National Mills Weekend 2014.

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

MILL DAY OPENING TIMES SPECIAL EVENTS
COMMENTS
Jill Windmill SAT 11 am to 3 pm  
Michelham Priory Watermill SAT 11 am to 4.30 pm Morris Dancers on Saturday and Sunday as well as Melody the car organ
There will be a flat charge of £2 to enter the Mill - children free
or no additional charge if visiting the main site
Nutley Windmill SAT 2 pm to 5.30 pm Crowborough Amateur Radio Club will be using the site as a radio station
Oldland Windmill SAT 2 pm to 5 pm There will probably be refreshments
 
 
 
MILL DAY OPENING TIMES SPECIAL EVENTS
COMMENTS
Cobbs Watermill SUN 10 am to 4 pm Parking available
No charge
Jill Windmill SUN 11 am to 5 pm Mid Sussex Amateur Radio Club will be using the site as a radio station
The upper floors of the Mill will be open from 11 am
Refreshments and souvenirs will be available from 2 pm
Michelham Priory Watermill SUN 11 am to 4.30 pm Morris Dancers on Saturday and Sunday as well as Melody the car organ
There will be a flat charge of £2 to enter the Mill - children free
or no additional charge if visiting the main site
Nutley Windmill SUN 2 pm to 5.30 pm Crowborough Amateur Radio Club will be using the site as a radio station
Oldland Windmill SUN 2 pm to 5 pm There will probably be refreshments
West Blatchington Windmill SUN 11 am to 5 pm Stationary engines, model loco exhibits, 62 key Dutch street organ, pottery display, mosaics display, farm tractor, 2nd hand books, jigsaws stall
Refreshments in the north barn
Windmill Hill Windmill SUN 10.30 am to 5 pm Stationary engines
Classic Cars on the green
Longman Morris Men at 3.30 pm
Plants, teas and other attractions
Free parking at the Horseshoe Inn
BBQ sausages and burgers
Amateur Radio station linking mills around the world
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.

Click here for a list of mills participating in Holland.

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 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 High Salvington