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Charing Hill Windmill
Charing Hill, Charing, Kent
Charing Hill Windmill
associated engineer
Not known
date  pre 1821
era  Georgian  |  category  Windmill  |  reference  TQ956502
photo  Paul Dunkerley
Charing Hill Windmill, also known as Old Mill, was converted into a residence some time before WWII. Though little of its internal machinery remains, it has been restored externally.
Charing Hill is a smock mill — that is, it has a fixed tower (in this case sitting on a single storey red brick base) with a top that revolves. Here the smock is a three storey black-tarred timber construction with windows set in a vertical line. The mill has a white painted curved gabled cap, a six-blade fantail and four patent anticlockwise sweep frames, as the people of Kent and Sussex call the sail frames. The sweep frames have no shutters.
A number of changes have taken place over the years. The original two common and two spring sweeps were removed after wind damage in 1917. The mill had also lost its original fantail by 1973. The wooden reefing gallery at first floor level now serves as a balcony. Though there is little internal machinery these days, the brake-wheel, wooden brake, cast iron windshaft, internal cap winding gear, wooden wallower, sack hoist and the Great Spur Wheel were still present in 1973. The mill originally had a Kentish wagon cap and two pairs of overdrift stones.
As far as dates go, we can say that it is shown on a map of 1821 and that milling ceased in 1891. The last miller was Walter Hicks, who left to go to Field Watermill. As already mentioned, the mill and outbuildings were converted into a residence some time before WWII. They have all undergone subsequent renovation, first by millwrights Pargeter & Lennard in about 1970, then again in 1996.
Research: PD
"The Windmills of Kent" by J. West
Skilton & Shaw, London, 1973 and 1979

Charing Hill Windmill