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Warton Mill, site of
Mill Lane, Warton, Lancashire
Warton Mill, site of
associated engineer
Not known
date  1695
era  Stuart  |  category  Windmill  |  reference  SD417286
ICE reference number  HEW 2107
photo  Paul Dunkerley / ICE R&D Fund
Sadly, the remnants of the last remaining buried post mill in Britain had to be dismantled in 2000 for safety reasons. Known locally as "Old Peg", the surviving main post and four diagonal quarterbars were by that time more than 300 years old, though Warton was not their original home.
Warton Mill was thought to have been built in Lincolnshire. It was moved to Rufford, south of the River Ribble, and then to Warton in 1771. It was recorded as being 219 years old in 1914, so dates from 1695.
A 'turret buried post mill' is the mill's type designation. This means it was a small timber post mill with its main post and its quarter bars buried: this was done for stability. A small brick roundhouse helped it further.
The main post was 4.5m high, with the quarter bars slotted into it. There was one main floor, 1.8m above ground, with one pair of overdrift stones driven from the brake-wheel, and a tail-pole with a wheel running on a paved track. It was fitted with four anticlockwise common sails and could produce 15 loads of meal in 12 hours if the wind was good. The buck, or body of the mill, had horizontal weatherboarding and a side extension pannier, in the Lancashire style, for additional machinery.
Warton Mill was last wind worked around 1895. Photographic evidence shows the progress of its deterioration: from being in working order in 1900 to a ruin in 1910. In the 1970s, there was a dovecote on top of the post, against which lent a single 1.8m diameter millstone. The ruins were standing in the middle a scrap yard. The remains were registerd Grade 2 Listed in 1996.
The substructure was excavated by the Chorley Archaeological Society in June 1999. The buried crosstrees and the lower ends of the main post and quarterbars were all found to be rotten. Vandals attacked in September 1999 and three of the quarterbars were knocked off. It was then that the decision was taken to dismantle the structure while its future is debated. It is stored in the nearby BAE Systems factory.
Research: PHEW
bibliography
"Windmills of Lancashire" by H. E. S. Simmons
Science Museum, London, 1977
"The Windmill Trails of The Fylde" by K. Davies
Scott Willen Publications, Burnley, 1985
reference sources   ICE / INCH
Location

Warton Mill, site of