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Author Topic: Bekesbourne Windmill.  (Read 5048 times)

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Offline unfairytale

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Re: Bekesbourne Windmill.
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2011, 22:32:15 »
The mill cottage now.


The site of the mill. Just to the right of the above photo.
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Offline Islesy

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Bekesbourne Windmill.
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2011, 09:22:25 »
The 1914 picture is from a similar angle to Felton's picture, and I am satisfied that they are the same mill, so thank you Burt.

At 10:30am on August 29, 1933, a grass fire that had started about a quarter mile away spread to the old Bekesbourne Mill, and the heat dried, tarred timbers of the old structure were soon in flames. For about ten minutes the building was a blazing beacon, then it collapsed, and by midday nothing but a heap of burning wreckage remained. About ten acres of grass dried by the sun was burnt as well. The Kentish Express reported that desperate attempts had been made by the owner and others to beat out the flames but fanned by the breeze, the fire rapidly spread towards the mill, and it was hopeless to attempt to save the old relic. As there was no water available in the vicinity, the fire brigade was not called.

(Watermills & Windmills, William Coles Finch)
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burt

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Bekesbourne Windmill.
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2011, 22:37:48 »
here's a picture of the mill in 1914, and one taken whilst the mill was still smouldering in 1933.








burt

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Bekesbourne Windmill.
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2011, 22:14:23 »
No it is most definitely Bekesbourne Mill, and I flagged it up as an error in the Frank Gregory Collection a couple of years ago, but the Archive have a back-log of five years of donations, so have very little time for updating.  They rely on Lottery Heritage funding, which boosts activity when it arrives, as they can hire administrative people, rather than rely on volunteers.

Looking at those two pictures I have absolutely no doubt as to my identification.  The lack of base is distinct, as is the fantail, which is not entirely conventional and probably a later addition after Bekesbourne Mill was built.  

As for the mills deterioration, Coles Finch describes it as festooned with rats, and a regular haunt for curious children, so it doesn't surprise me that it's appearance changed quite quickly.  It was open to all comers during those last years, and presumably might have been a reason for it being burned down.  The patching up of the body with felt, rather than new weatherboard also suggests it was nearing the end of its usefulness when it stopped work, although the sails are new, and probably the last major investment on it.  You have to remember that in the bad times millers would patch up their mills for as long as possible just to maintain an income.  

Stone Hill Mill at Sellindge was very much a thing of the past by 1923, and bears only one very indistinct photo.

Offline unfairytale

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Bekesbourne Windmill.
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2011, 19:42:42 »
Could it be the mill at Stone Hill Sellindge? It's only two and a half miles away.
When you've got your back to wall, there's only one thing to do and that's to turn around and fight. (John Major)
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Offline Islesy

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Bekesbourne Windmill.
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2011, 07:21:26 »
Looks like Herbert Felton got his negs in a right old muddle  :)
Looking further at the Mills Archive, I'm wondering whether this picture may have been misfiled though? The shot held on file has been cropped severely but if you look closely at the building behind the mill it looks to be white, whereas all the other shots show a unpainted brick building.

[Westenhanger, circa 1923?] (Weald & Downland Open Air Museum / FWG 02602 - 02682) As held on the Mills Archive.


The report on Bekesbourne in 1929 states it is derelict, would it be possible for it to have deteriorated so badly in 6 years? Although very similar looking, given that the print held on the archive is a cropped version of the print I've posted (therefore not original), maybe it's worth investigating a little more?

Herbert Felton (1887-1968) was a fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, a well respected and regarded architectural photographer, many of his photographs now reside in the Getty collection & in private hands.

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burt

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Bekesbourne Windmill.
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2011, 01:04:57 »
That's not Stanford.. it's some way away and is Bekesbourne Mill at Adisham, destroyed by fire in 1933.

Offline Islesy

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Bekesbourne Windmill.
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2011, 22:24:29 »
From an old photo by Herbert Felton entitled "Westenhanger Windmill", which I initially took to be Stanford as I couldn't find a record of a mill at Westenhanger.



Edit: I've now come across further information on this print, it comes from, "a view of the old county produced in 1923 for inclusion in Walter Hutchinson's 'Beautiful Britain' series of topographiclal studies of the  British Isles. This is a lithographic duotone print of an old 1920s photograph."
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