Most of the Inhabitants of Widdington know the history of
the important buildings of the village, i.e.
The Church, Priors Hall etc, but
there was another important building unfortunately
no longer standing which
played an essential part in village life.
The Widdington Windmill.
This picture is part of a
small picture Postcard of Widdington.
We believe it could be the
only photo in existence of our old windmill... , but there is always hope of
finding another. can you help?
Well blow me down with a
windmill,,, look what turned up another
Widdington mill was a post mill, built in the early 1600s a map of 1633 shows a mill on the site but carvings on
the mill postdate it as 1660 so perhaps there could have been an earlier mill, which was replaced.
To reach the mill with ether grain the villagers would have travelled down Spring Hill, at Shipton Bridge Farm, turn
Right, up along the bridle path to the top of the hill
The mill was sited in the field on the left hand side just before the bridle path that runs left to right to Newport.
The mill had a pair of French millstones, a dressing machine, lime kiln, dwelling house and land and in 1799 the miller
George Rayment, insured the mill for £200
The standing and going fee for £60, and the stock and utensils for £40, in 1821 the freehold was rented to Adam Howard for £25, a year.
For a long time the mill was run by William Woodcock Perry and later by George Woodcock Perry of Widdington Hall, both farmers.
The mill had a single storey roundhouse, tail pole winding, weather board body, mansard roof, single shuttered sail turning
clockwise and later, two pairs of grind stones.
The last miller was Ralph Iredale in 1898. The Perry’s had a steam engine to drive the mill if the wind failed but the mill
was never put over to complete steam power.
The mill fell into disuse in 1902, and was taken down in 1910, some of the timbers being used in the first house in Spring Hill,
as you enter the village. There is also
a postcard showing a small picture of the mill. ( for further information , see Sir Claud Hollis History of Widdington
and Essex Windmills and mill Wrights by Kenneth G. Farries Volume 5.
Mr Alan Calver, March 1992
Wonderful article was taken from the Village chronicles
A little about Post Mills
The Post mill, the sails are built into the wooden body which houses the machinery.
The whole mill body is pivoted on a massive wooden post, allowing the body and hence the
sails to be turned to face the wind. The body is turned either by using a long lever called a tailpole which can be pushed around by the miller or by animal power, or else by a fantail.
A fantail is a system of gearing driven by a fan mounted at the rear of the mill which acts rather
like a wind vane and automatically keeps the mill facing to wind. The post mill is generally thought
to be the earliest type and was the most popular. Some 185 of the mills in Essex
in the mid nineteenth century were of this kind.
Picture Postcard of Widdington