Jolesfield Windmill

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Jolesfield Windmill stood in the village of Littleworth, near Partridge Green [TQ191205] for over 150 years before she was bought in 1959 for the sum of 250 by Mr. Nevvar Hickmet, the owner of Gatwick Manor Hotel. He intended to dismantle the mill methodically and move her to his hotel at County Oak, where she was to be rebuilt as a electricity generator and an added attraction at the hotel. He estimated this would cost 5,000 to 10,000. The building work was completed in about 1965 but the external appearance of the new building bore little resemblance to the original mill or indeed to a windmill at all. The machinery was not reinstalled but was put on display near the hotel car park where the wooden upright shaft and great spur wheel gradually rotted away.

 

 

Pre 1925

[Michael Yates Collection]

  

Jolesfield Windmill was an eight-sided tarred smock mill with an unusually shaped cap (dome with pent house). She was last worked by George Knight in 1928. In her later working life she had double shuttered patent sweeps of about 65ft diameter. She had a wooden brakewheel, upright shaft and great spur wheel, the remainder of her main gearing being cast iron. The sweeps drove four pairs of stones, two peak and two burr.

 

The rescued machinery forms a very interesting exhibit and is a chance to examine close up these otherwise inaccessible parts of a smock mill. There is a display board giving a more detailed history together with a description of the method of construction and machinery and photographs tracing her history over the last 75 - 100 years.

Moving the machinery September 2004

Cross tailed gudgeon on the bottom of the upright shaft

The completed display January 2005

 

In order to make more sense of the machinery display, the eight rack segments of the cap curb ring were reassembled around the iron windshaft and the worm gear positioned accordingly. The iron wallower has been sited just to the side of the windshaft so that the remains of the upright shaft, complete with cross tailed gudgeon bearing, could be inserted. The one remaining French Burr stone has been reassembled and banded. Stone spindles and other parts have been laid around.

 

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