Club News: Friends of Upminster Windmill

The Friends of Upminster Windmill

The Friends of Upminster Windmill - Credit: Archant

Upminster Windmill was built by James Nokes, a local farmer, in 1803. It is a Grade II* listed building and in terms of quality, completeness and significance it is widely considered to be among the very best remaining English smock mills.

The mill stood at the centre of a family-owned corn milling business, typical of the hundreds of similar concerns that operated in every parish of the country for eight centuries until the technological advances of the 19th century rendered windmills obsolete.

Flour was produced until 1910, though the mill continued to grind animal feed until 1934, by which time further production had become uneconomic. The mill and its many outbuildings, including two mill houses, then became derelict.

In 1960 Essex County Council demolished the outbuildings, though in the following years repairs were undertaken enabling the mill to be opened to the public, staffed by volunteers, in 1967. The mill is now owned by the London Borough of Havering.

The aim of the Friends of Upminster Windmill is to preserve the mill, including raising the money for its restoration to full working order.

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Every Tuesday we have a working party who go around and repair the mill.

The Friends also help to open the windmill on the first and third weekends of the month.

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In addition to this year’s open days, the group are hosting a classic car display on July 7 on the Mill Field from noon to 5pm.

The Friends will also be present at the Town Show in Harrow Lodge Park during the August bank holiday and the London Open House weekend on September 21 and September 22.

We are looking for new members and guides to help out on the open days.

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