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Author Topic: Canterbury, St Martins Tower Mill  (Read 474 times)

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Offline kms

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Re: Canterbury, St Martins Tower Mill
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2017, 23:39:44 »
An update after a couple of hours, from various contributors, on the proviso of a ground surface significantly below external ground level:

In Kent, Drapers Mill, Margate has a basement with a trapdoor.  Sarre Mill has a large one.  Willesborough has a smaller one.  Mills at Detling, Minster, Petham, Chislet and Barham had them.  The remains of the tower mill at Kippings Cross has a half cellar.

Cambs - Fulbourn, Wicken, Willingham, + Burwell tower mill all have them (all still standing)

Essex - South Ockendon had one, Bucks - Lacey Green has one.

I will have a much longer list tomorrow no doubt, if required, but bear in mind these are only a handful either still standing or standing in memory.

Offline kms

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Re: Canterbury, St Martins Tower Mill
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2017, 20:23:38 »
I'm still a bit confused by this kms? When referring to a cellar, this possesses a floor surface well below the surrounding ground surface outside? This is not to be confused with the standard brick base under a majority of smock mills with its internal floor surface at the same level as the external ground surface. I presume the 'cellared' version of these mills originally possessed a timber floor supported on joists over the cellar room? Of the number of mills I've looked at myself, both standing and demolished, which amounts to a fair few, I have yet to see one with a true cellar except the one at Nonington (amongst the brambles) and the St Martin's remains. I was not aware that Stelling Minnis possessed a 'cellar'. I shall go and have a look when next there. Either way, what are these 'cellars' for, as keeping the produce dry would be fairly impossible, certainly at the St Martin's mill site?

I've just done a very quick survey on another forum.  Out of the 40-50 remaining smocks in the UK we think at least 10 have these subterranean basement floors.  It seems to refer particularly to the older ones, and in some cases is earth thrown up to act as a natural reefing stage.  In any case it certainly adds to solidity in terms of foundations, especially on those mills built without bases (i.e. the earlier ones)  The purpose would be to add more storage space.  As a certain Welshman said once, 'it's not unusual'.  Older smock mills are increasingly rare sadly; I mentioned that Chislet had one and as you know that was burned tragically in 2005, having been constructed in 1744.

Offline CAT

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Re: Canterbury, St Martins Tower Mill
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2017, 16:29:40 »
I'm still a bit confused by this kms? When referring to a cellar, this possesses a floor surface well below the surrounding ground surface outside? This is not to be confused with the standard brick base under a majority of smock mills with its internal floor surface at the same level as the external ground surface. I presume the 'cellared' version of these mills originally possessed a timber floor supported on joists over the cellar room? Of the number of mills I've looked at myself, both standing and demolished, which amounts to a fair few, I have yet to see one with a true cellar except the one at Nonington (amongst the brambles) and the St Martin's remains. I was not aware that Stelling Minnis possessed a 'cellar'. I shall go and have a look when next there. Either way, what are these 'cellars' for, as keeping the produce dry would be fairly impossible, certainly at the St Martin's mill site?


Offline kms

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Re: Canterbury, St Martins Tower Mill
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2017, 22:49:45 »
As for windmill cellars, there were about 500-600 mills in Kent, and approximately 300 known smocks.  I've visited a lot of sites, and a semi-cellar isn't that uncommon.  You'll just have to trust me on that one.  I visited the Nonington sites in the eighties, but couldn't see much for bracken.  The corn mill was an old one, and an important one, built with no base, so wouldn't have had much in the way of foundations.  Chislet was another example of this before it too was sadly burned down.

Offline kms

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Re: Canterbury, St Martins Tower Mill
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2017, 22:42:30 »
I've just realised that this wasn't burned down in 1873.  That was the St. Lawrence Mill.  It appears that this particular mill was taken down in 1868, and the parts used in the newer mill at Blean.  It was first advertised for removal the year before, and after a lack of interest was sold for parts to Holmans the following year.  I must stop using Wiki for quick references!

The thought that this could be a post mill tump is that it is so pronounced in the painting.  There were at least twelve mills in Canterbury at various times.  This one looks Holman built in style, and they were the local millwrights.  For some reason they liked a good foundation or 'cellar' and similar can be seen at Stelling Minnis, plus others in different parts of Kent.

There maybe no evidence in the archaeology done there, but it is a very natural site for one of the older post mills, which rarely leave a trace.  I'll see if I can find out more.

Offline CAT

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Re: Canterbury, St Martins Tower Mill
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2017, 22:01:25 »
I thought a typo would have caused the date discrepancy, I know I've done plenty myself. Location appears not to be a reason for cellars as at Nonington two other windmill bases within the immediate vicinity possesses no cellars, and virtually no foundations. At St Martin's, the excavation failed to reveal any evidence of an earlier mill mound, or earlier use of the site, suggesting the mill with the ceĺlar in the photo was built afresh?

Offline kms

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Re: Canterbury, St Martins Tower Mill
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2017, 21:07:15 »
Not rediscovered in 1868 kms. A little bit more recent than that judging by the colour photo? This one was unusual as it possessed a 'cellar' to coin a phase. That's the brick walling that can be seen in the photo with its floor roughly 1.4m below the surrounding ground surface. Why would a windmill need a cellar? The only other I have seen was on the Downs above Nonington village, all the rest, both standing and demolished remains are built on slight foundations cut shallow into the current ground surface.

I haven't a clue why I typed 1868, as it was still standing complete then.  Was found in the beer garden of the pub across the road which was being demolished in 2009.  A residential home now occupies the site.

And I've seen windmill cellars. out there.  I would guess this one needed deeper foundations as it is a bit exposed in a sharp tump, which is probably an old raised post mill mound.

Offline CAT

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Re: Canterbury, St Martins Tower Mill
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2017, 20:56:02 »
Not rediscovered in 1868 kms. A little bit more recent than that judging by the colour photo? This one was unusual as it possessed a 'cellar' to coin a phase. That's the brick walling that can be seen in the photo with its floor roughly 1.4m below the surrounding ground surface. Why would a windmill need a cellar? The only other I have seen was on the Downs above Nonington village, all the rest, both standing and demolished remains are built on slight foundations cut shallow into the current ground surface.

Offline kms

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Re: Canterbury, St Martins Tower Mill
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2017, 20:30:08 »
The smock mill, burned down in 1873.

Offline kms

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Re: Canterbury, St Martins Tower Mill
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2017, 20:23:29 »
And the rediscovered foundations of the smock mill rediscovered across the road in 1868:

Offline kms

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Canterbury, St Martins Tower Mill
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2017, 20:21:49 »
Taken a couple of weeks ago.  The mill was built in 1817 and has been house converted for about a century.

 

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