St Leonard's Mill, Winchelsea

St Leonard's mill was a post mill at Winchelsea, East Sussex, England which was blown down in the Great Storm of 1987.

Winchelsea Windmill
Winchelsea 1905.jpg
The mill c1905
Mill nameSt Leonard's Mill
Mill locationTQ 902 176
Coordinates50°55′34″N 0°42′18″E / 50.926°N 0.705°E / 50.926; 0.705
Year built1760 (moved 1823)
PurposeCorn mill
TypePost mill
Roundhouse storeysSingle storey roundhouse
No. of sailsFour sails
Type of sailsTwo Spring sails and two Common sails
WindingRoof mounted fantail
Fantail bladesEight blades
No. of pairs of millstonesTwo pairs, Head and Tail
Year lost1987


St Leonard's Mill was built in 1760, originally standing in Iham. It was shown at that site on the 1808 Ordnance Survey map, and was still there in 1813. By 1823 the mill had been moved to the new site, which was on the remains of St Leonard's church. An accident when fitting a new stock to the mill in 1861 resulted in the death of Benjamin King, millwright. The mill was working until the 1890s and was derelict by the 1920s. It was repaired in 1935 and dummy sails fitted, which did not last long. The mill was again repaired in 1955. The National Trust became custodians of the mill in 1975. In February 1978, the back of the mill was blown out in a gale.[1] The windmill was blown down on the morning of 16 October 1987.[2] The wreckage of the mill was still to be seen on site the following March. One of the millstones was salvaged and used in the restoration of Lowfield Heath Windmill.[3] The site of the windmill is now marked by Winchelsea's Millennium Beacon.[4]


St Leonard's Mill was a post mill with a single storey roundhouse, It was winded by a roof mounted fantail. The mill had two Spring sails and two Common sails carried on a wooden Windshaft. The mill was the last in Sussex to retain a wooden windshaft without an iron poll end, this had been removed by 1935. Two pairs of millstones were arranged Head and Tail, with a third pair underdriven by a belt, this from an Upright Shaft which was driven by the tail wheel.[1]


  • J Sharps, 1861[1]


  1. ^ a b c Brunnarius, Martin (1979). The Windmills of Sussex. Chichester: Philimore. pp. 108–109, 193. ISBN 0-85033-345-8.
  2. ^ "A timeline of the history of Winchelsea". Winchelsea. Retrieved 13 May 2008.
  3. ^ "History". Ockley windmill. Retrieved 13 May 2008.
  4. ^ "The Windmill and St. Leonards Church". BioMedical Computing Ltd. Retrieved 19 October 2008.

Further readingEdit

Hemming, Peter (1936). Windmills in Sussex. London: C W Daniel. Online version

External linksEdit