Frank W. Gregory Collection

Mills that didn’t make it

February 05th 2010 by Ron Cookson

Frank Gregory visited many mills that have now been lost forever.

Frank was a pioneer in the field of mill research and repair. His skill and his encouraging manner helped to achieve a string of successful repair projects to windmills and watermills in the south of England. Not every mill was fortunate to receive the care and attention of Frank Gregory and his colleagues. Photographic records, paintings, diagrams and measured drawings are now the only evidence of the former existence of hundreds of wonderful mills. Fortunately, Frank had the presence of mind to create records of as many of them as he could.

Jolesfield Mill c 1950Jolesfield Mill c 1950

This superb smock mill at Partridge Green in West Sussex had stood derelict for nearly thirty years when this slide was taken on 21st April 1957. The mill was purchased by a prospective restorer in 1959 who had it dismantled with the intention of rebuilding it on a new site. Unfortunately this never happened and the wooden parts of the windmill gradually rotted away. The brick base of the mill remains on its original site.

Slipper Mill, Emsworth, HantsSlipper Mill, Emsworth, Hants

Slipper Mill, and granary, Emsworth Hampshire, photographed on 1st November 1955. The tide mill is the building on the left; the granary takes centre stage, and has now been converted to flats. Few traces of the mill itself remain today.

Mount Ephraim Mill, Ash, KentMount Ephraim Mill, Ash, Kent

Mount Ephraim Mill, a picturesque post mill at Ash near Sandwich, Kent, photographed on 24th August 1954. Negotiations for the mill's preservation were under way when it collapsed in a storm in 1955.

Mount Ephraim Mill after the collapseMount Ephraim Mill after the collapse

Mount Ephraim mill at Ash was still complete when it collapsed in a gale. The photograph, taken on 21 June 1956, shows the cast-iron windshaft and brake wheel, with the shattered remains of the sails lying astride the wreckage.

The smock mill, Outwood, SurreyThe smock mill, Outwood, Surrey

This is one of two mills that stood by Outwood Common in Surrey. The earlier post mill has been preserved in working order but the smock mill, shown here, was not so fortunate. It had what was probably the tallest smock tower in the south of England, and collapsed in November 1960.

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