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Outwood Mill
village green, Outwood, Surrey, UK
Outwood Mill
associated engineer
Not known
date  1665
UK era  Stuart  |  category  Windmill  |  reference  TQ326456
ICE reference number  HEW 1357
photo  donation
Grade I listed Outwood Mill is the oldest working windmill in the country. Its builders are known to have sat on the partially completed roof in order to watch the Great Fire of London in the distance.
Outwood is a 'turret' post mill. The body, or buck, of a post mill contains the machinery and the whole thing rotates around a central post, hence its name. Turret-type post mills have a roundhouse built at the base. Here it is of brick, 6.7m in diameter and 2.75m high.
The mill is 11.89m tall. The buck is clad in tarred horizontal boarding and topped by an ogee-shaped roof. There is a tail ladder and tailpole and four anticlockwise single shuttered spring sails controlled by elliptical springs. The internal machinery includes a 2.44m diameter brake wheel with 108 wooden cogs, a tail wheel with cast iron spokes and oak rim with wooden cogs, and two pairs of overdrift stones.
The mill was built for Thomas Budgen in 1665. It was owned by the Jupp family from 1806 to 1962, when G. & R. Thomas acquired it. Two replacement sails were fitted in 1931 by the millwright Thomas B. Hunt of Soham for 80. Another pair of sails was purchased in 1933 from Forncett End, Norfolk.
Milling ceased at Outward in 1949 when a breast beam cracked and the windshaft dropped causing the sails to touch the roundhouse roof. Temporary repairs were made by millwrights E. Hole & Son of Burgess Hill, followed by extensive repairs completed in 1952. One of the sail stocks was found to be defective in 1955 and a new pair of spring sails was fitted. Another stock broke in 1956. E. Hole & Son fitted a new stock and sail and restored the mill to working order in 1958.
Research: PD
"Windmills in Surrey and Greater London" by A.C. Smith, Stevenage Museum Publications, 1976
reference sources   CEH South

Outwood Mill