Watermills and windmills alike have been an integral part of Kent and Sussex’ history and heritage for centuries. Watermill structures were once used to grind wheat, corn, and other grains into flour and were responsible for feeding the locals. Windmills were used once upon a time to convert energy from the wind into mechanical energy for grinding grain, pumping water and draining lowland areas. Today, many of these mills have been restored and provide a fascinating glimpse into the past of Kent and Sussex. In our opinion, here are the best watermills and windmills to visit when frequenting Kent or Sussex.
- Coldharbour Mill - Located in Uffculme, Cullompton, Devon, Coldharbour Mill is a Grade II* listed building that dates back to the 19th century. Visitors can explore the mill's five floors, see the machinery in action, and learn about the mill's history and its role in the community.
- Willesborough Windmill - Built in the 1860s, Willesborough windmill is a charming attraction located near Ashford. Visitors can climb the steep stairs to the top of the windmill and take in stunning views of the surrounding countryside. The adjacent cottage houses a museum with exhibits on the history of the windmill and Kent's milling industry.
- Union Windmill - The Union Windmill is one of the oldest windmills in Kent, dating back to the early 1800s. Located in Cranbrook, the windmill has been restored and offers visitors a chance to see the inner workings of the mill, as well as a collection of historic milling equipment.
- Romney Marsh Windmill - Set in the picturesque village of Newenden, the Romney Marsh Windmill is a Grade II listed building that has been restored to its former glory. Visitors can explore the mill's four floors and learn about the process of milling flour.
- Hadlow Tower Mill - The Hadlow Tower Mill is an impressive landmark that stands at over 50 feet tall. Built in the early 19th century, the mill has been restored and offers visitors a unique opportunity to see the tallest of it's kind in the UK.
In conclusion, both Kent and Sussex are home to some of the most fascinating water and windmills in the UK, offering a fascinating glimpse into the county's rich history and British heritage. Whether you're interested in the engineering of the mills or curious about the impact they had on the community, visiting these historic buildings is a must for anyone visiting.
Passionate about British heritage? So are we! Learn more about the work we do restoring and building traditional oast cowls for oast houses in Kent or read our blog for articles on best country walks, the best beer gardens in Kent, beer brewing, history of Kent and plenty more!