Other Surrey Smock Mills

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Alfold (7.5 miles WSW of Ockley)


    This mill stood within yards of the Wey & Arun Navigation and was built sometime after 1813, but the first real evidence is the title map of 1841. The miller in 1855 was Mrs S. Butcher and in 1865 a Mr Chandler of Green Lane, Alford ran the mill. Shortly after this date the mill ceased work and indeed the Ordnance Survey map of 1871 shows it as 'disused'. From 1870 until it's demolition around 1913, the mill fell rapidly into decay.

   The mill was erected on a single storey brick base and the cap was turned to wind by means of a fantail. All four sails were of the shuttered type.

Charlwood (12 miles E of Ockley)

    Built on the site of an earlier post mill around 1800, the first reference was in 1804 when James Ridge was the miller. Joseph Flint ran the mill from 1820 and a J. Flint was still recorded there in 1855 although this may not have been the same person. James Harris was running the mill when in 1897 the whole of the wooden tower was consumed by fire. The brick base remained and was roofed over to enable milling to continue by engine until 1920, but was finally converted into a dwelling in 1934.


Postcard view before the fire.

    The mill had four double shuttered patent sails and was winded by a fantail. It was a tall slender structure mounted on a two storey brick base. Inside it contained four pairs of stones.

Chiddingfold (12 miles WSW of Ockley)  back to top of page

    This mill was built in 1813 by James Tupper as evidenced by the inscription J.M.T.1813 above the door on the surviving brick base. It probably resembled Grayswood Hill windmill, from which it was visible. Curiously the nearby wasteland, which was a home to tramps became known as 'Hungry Corner' by 1776; a name which became associated with the mill. The Tupper family sold it by auction in 1834 to James Saddler whom employed firstly William Lassem as miller, followed by Alfred Atter and finally by a Mr Bess in it's latter days.

    The fate of the mill was sealed when around 1874 it was tail-winded; within a year or two of this the tower had been dismantled leaving the brick base.

    There are unfortunately no known photographs of the mill and so little is known apart from the fact that it had four common sails driving two pairs of stones and the cap was winded by a fantail.

Cranleigh Common (6 miles W of Ockley) back to top of page

    The date of erection of this mill is not known exactly, but is thought to be around 1800; a date suggested by it's character. From around 1810 to the 1880's the Killicks ran the mill as recorded in the Land Tax Returns from 1811 to 1827 and the Tithe awards of 1843. Soon after 1882 the mill left the ownership of the Killick family. In 1890 a gas engine was in operation to supplement the wind power. It finally ceased work by wind around 1900 when one of the sails broke when in the ownership of the last miller, H. J. Thorpe. In February 1917 the mill was demolished by Jabez Nightingale and the timbers salvaged for use in some local buildings being restored by a local philanthropist, Mr Davies, whom initially wanted to restore the mill, but was thwarted by the high price of the land.

Cranleigh Common c1905

[Michael Yates Collection]

    The mill had a Kentish style wagon shaped cap and four double-shuttered patent sails. It was winded by a six-bladed fantail. The sails were very close to the ground as the mill was very squat and only built on a single stored base. Most of the internal machinery was wood and two pairs of stones were present.

Grayswood Hill (15 miles WSW of Ockley) back to top of page

    Situated at a height of 600ft, this mill first appeared on the Tithe map of 1840 when a George Oliver was the owner and William Oliver was the tenant. Not much is known after this date and it was demolished sometime in the 1880's.

   Built upon a single storey brick and stone base, the mill had four double-shuttered patent sails and was winded by a fantail. The body and cap of the mill was tarred and within there were three pairs of stones.

Outwood Common (12 miles ENE of Ockley) See new website: www.outwoodmill.com

    This mill was borne out of a family quarrel, which split the milling business revolving around the established post mill. Thus in 1796 the mill was built for William Budgen of Horne and stayed in the Budgen family until 1885 when it was then owned by Edward Scott. His son Mr W. H. Scott worked it after him and in 1903 a sail broke whilst working; the mill carried on with two sails until 1914 when the business was closed down. There was an attempt in 1950 to preserve the mill, but after a survey this was deemed too expensive and so the derelict stood on until the early hours of 25th November 1960 when the mill collapsed. Today the site is dominated by the post mill as of old.


Outwood Common c1903

[Michael Yates Collection]

   At 62ft to the top of the cap, this mill had the distinction of being the tallest smock mill in England as far as the timber structure was concerned as it stood on only 2ft of brickwork; the eight cant posts were each 48ft long! The sails were equally huge at a span of 80ft and were double-shuttered patents; the cap was winded by a fantail. The four pairs of stones within the mill were driven by mainly wooded machinery of early design.

Shiremark (2 miles SE of Ockley)  back to top of page

    This mill was built in 1774 using many of the timbers from the demolished mill at nearby Clark's Green. In 1802 after passing through several owners it came into the possession of the Stone family in who's ownership it would stay until it ceased work. The mill's life almost ended in 1886 when during a gale it was tail-winded, and the cap and sails were blown off completely. Fortunately they were replaced later in that same year and the mill kept on grinding until around 1914, and was finally abandoned after the war. With the exception of Outwood post mill this was the last of the Surrey mills to finish work. A move was made to preserve the mill in 1952; a survey of the mill was made and even an estimate for repair was tendered, but nothing became of it and the rot continued unabated. The end came in 1974 when set alight by vandals, which at least saved it from the shame of collapse!


Shiremark c1910

[Michael Yates Collection]

    The mill was built on a single storey brick base, which at one time had an earthen bank thrown up around it to form a stage from which to tend the sails. The mill body was fairly squat in appearance with a large boat shaped cap, which was hand winded via a wheel and chain at the rear. There were two pairs of double-shuttered patent sails, which drove two pairs of stones. The machinery was mainly wooden and of early design.

    The mill lives on though; a fantastic and unique set of detailed drawings were made in 1952; the windshaft was salvaged in the 1980's and is now to be seen in Ripple smock mill in Kent; some parts of the machinery survive preserved at Lowfield Heath windmill and at Wimbledon Common windmill. The mill base itself was purchased in the 1990's and one day perhaps we may see the mill rebuilt.......

Trumpets Hill (8 miles NE of Ockley)  back to top of page

    This mill was thought to have been erected sometime between 1760 and 1770 and subsequently worked by the Eades, millers at Shellwood mill in Leigh, and by the Bowyer family of nearby Wonham watermill. Ernest Bowyer was running the mill in 1889 with whom it finished work in 1893. A house was built near the mill in 1900 and the owner Mr Broderick accorded some maintenance to it in the mid-1930's. By 1950 however, rot had set in so much that for safety's sake it was demolished in October of that year.


Trumpets Hill c1930

[Michael Yates Collection]

    This was the oldest of the four Surrey smock mills to have survived into the 1940's, and although it was the most modernised it was the first to stop working. Unusually the tower was built near ground level on only a few courses of brickwork. The tower supported a Kentish style cap and was winded by a fantail. Patent sails were fitted and within the mill there were at least two pairs of stones and possibly three.  back to top of page