National Mills Day 1998

The 1998 UK National Mills Day was on Sunday, 10th May.

The day was gloriously sunny and warm (at least in the South of England), and this brought people out in large numbers to a number of mills.

(My apologies to the watermill fraternity - there were many fine watermills open on the day, but I failed to find the time to visit them. All the photos that follow are therefore of windmills...)

Outwood Windmill, Surrey

Outwood mill put on a real carnival show for the day, with the mill dressed with flags, and the grounds offering vintage cars, side shows, farm animals, food stalls etc. In addition, Outwood was one of many mills acting as amateur radio stations for the day.

Outwood Outwood Outwood Outwood Outwood Outwood

Nutley Windmill, East Sussex

Nutley also had a vintage car around to add to the atmosphere, and the sails were covered in canvas, and turning in the light breeze.

Nutley Nutley

Reigate Heath

Reigate Heath Reigate Heath

Now used as a church! Not normally open (except for Church services), but the key to the church in the roundhouse can be obtained from the adjacent Golf Club. Unfortunately the mill itself was suffering from a broken sail.

Lowfield Heath mill, Charlwood, Surrey

Lowfield Heath Lowfield Heath

Moved from just a few miles down the road in 1987-9, this mill has been substantially restored.

Argos Hill, Mayfield, East Sussex

Argos Hill Argos Hill

Chailey, East Sussex


Other mills not open for the day, but passed on the way!

Wray Common, Reigate, Surrey

Wray Common Residential conversion.

Brixton, London

Brixton Open by appointment only.

Heritage Open Days 12-13 September 1998

Another opportunity to visit mills, and indeed all sorts of facinating building, many of which are not normally open to the public, is the Heritage Weekend, co-ordinated by The Civic Trust.

Amongst the mills open for the 1998 event were the following:

Shirley Windmill, Croydon

Shirley Shirley

Buckland Windmill, Yewdells, Buckland, Surrey

Small victorian windmill c1870 designed as a sawmill for the Buckland Estate. Currently undergoing extensive restoration, from the "kit-bag" of parts that the current owner discovered in the "woodshed" when he moved in!

Buckland Buckland Buckland Buckland

Lowfield Heath, Surrey

This mill was open again, and was now sporting its complete set of 4 sails, (compared to to 2 sails and 2 bare stocks for Mills Day).

Lowfield Heath

If you missed the 1998 events...

If you missed Mills Day in 1998, then the
1999 event is the weekend of 8th and 9th May, or alternatively many mills are open at other times throughout the year (though normally without the carnival atmosphere!).

Full details of such mills can be found in the SPAB's publication, Mills Open, which is available from SPAB Mills Section, 37 Spital Square, London E1 6DY, price £4 (plus £1 postage UK) by cheque or postal order payable to SPAB Mills Section.

Mills Open Cover photograph Shipley Windmill, West Sussex, by Jim Woodward-Nutt.

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Last updated 03/03/2017 Text and images © Mark Berry, 1997-2017 -