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Battle Windmill
Battle, East Sussex
Battle Windmill
associated engineer
Not known
date  1805
era  Georgian  |  category  Windmill  |  reference  TQ746166
photo  Harry E.M. Eagles
Also known as Caldbec Mill, Kings Head Mill or The Old Mill, Battle Windmill is a restored smock mill erected during 1805 on a site formerly occupied by a post mill. These days, many of its smaller elements have been replaced in plastic.
We know quite a bit about the history of its ownership. The site was purchased in 1804 by William Neve and the mill worked by the Neve family until 1839. It was then taken over by a Mr Porter. The mill was sold to the Battle Estate in around 1860 and it was then worked by Henry Harmer. The Jenner family worked it until World War I.
At this time, the mill had 35ft spring anticlockwise sails powering three pairs of stones driven from the spur wheel. The white-painted three storey octagonal timber smock (or fixed tower) was sheathed in zinc in 1894.
The disused mill was bought by Mr A.N. Neve in 1924. Its mill machinery was supposedly removed (though machinery is visibly in place today) and the interior converted into a residence linked to the adjacent property. The exterior was restored at this time too.
The mill's curved gabled cap was re-boarded in fibreglass in 1972 and four dummy aluminium patent double-shuttered anticlockwise sweeps (sails) were fitted in 1976 — spring anticlockwise ones should have been fitted for a more exact restoration.
The mill has an eight-blade fantail, a single storey brick base, a reefing gallery part way around it and black-painted staggered windows. It once had a cast iron windshaft with a canister to take four stocks, though, after conversion, the windshaft is now shorter. During the restoration the cap, windshaft and fantail staging were replaced in plastic.
Restoration work was again undertaken circa 2001. Several of the original mill stones are located around the exterior of the building. It is thought that the others were taken for use in another mill, though it is unclear when.
Research: PD, and the mill owner
"Windmills" by S. Beedell
David & Charles, Newton Abbott, 1975
"The Windmills of Sussex" by M. Brunnarius
Phillimore, 1979
"Mills in Sussex" by R.C. Pinney
Sussex Industrial History, vol 29, 1999
"Windmills in Sussex" by A.C. Smith
Stevenage Museum Publications, 1980
reference sources   WGE

Battle Windmill