A Piece of Surrey Heritage
We are very pleased to be marketing Britain’s oldest working post windmill complete with a three bedroom stable conversion in grounds that are laid out perfectly to accommodate visitors to enjoy the aspects of this historic landmark and this could be yours for £800.
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The 350 year old mill is among just a handful of working postmills left in Britain and one of only about 25 windmills of all types that still operates. It is the oldest, a fact testified by the original deed, which still exists and records that it was “made on the eleventh day of October in the seventeenth year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord Charles the Second by the grace of God of England Scotland France and Ireland King defender of the Faith Anno Domini 1665 . . .”
The mill stands 39ft high, with sails measuring 60ft across, to this day, when the wind blows, its four millstones grind flour and even now the 25-ton mill buck is so perfectly balanced on its 1,000-year-old oak post that it can be turned to the wind by just one man and can still be operated by one person thanks to the remarkable craftsmanship that went into building it.
The builder was a miller named Thomas Budgen and his work commenced in 1665, a year before the Great Fire of London. Legend has it that when the millwrights were completing their work, they looked north towards London and saw a vivid red glow in the sky It was the Great Fire.
The legend is immortalised in a poem that reads:
In sixteen hundred and sixty six,
When London was burning like rotten sticks,
To tell the news to neighbouring farms,
I, Outwood Mill, swung wide my arms.
The wind blew high on the Surrey Down,
And fanned the fire in the crumbling town.
Folk cried: ‘It will burn ’till the great wind calms,’
And wildly, wildly I turned my arms.
How the timber crashed! There were terrible falls,
London Bridge went and great St Paul’s;
The folk gathered round me were filled with alarms,
But I stuck to my post and I swung my arms.”
In 1792, a matter of yards from the post mill a stock mill was constructed as a result of a bitter family feud between William Budgen, the then miller and his nephew Ezekiel Budgen it was intended that the new mill would supersede the old, but when trade declined the old windmill triumphed and the new smock mill closed instead. After a period of dereliction, the smock mill finally collapsed in the early 1960s. Up until this point the two mills dominated the landscape and were known locally as the Cat, the smock mill and Kitten the post mill.
In more recent times previous owners have opened the mill to visitors who have been able to see this great piece of engineering in action and could even buy a bag of Outwood Mill flour. The grounds of the mill have been used for a multitude of events including vintage car meets and country food fayres.
Robert Leech himself, has lived in Outwood for over 35 years and says ‘If you ask anyone if they know of Outwood, I guarantee the response will be along the lines of ‘yes, the place with the windmill’. Arguably, it is one of the most famous and iconic structures in Surrey Outwood Mill quite literally is unique, being the oldest working windmill in the country, standing serenely in the centre of the Common, as it has done for hundreds of years and now the chance to own this piece of history could be yours. This could be a wonderful opportunity for entrepreneurs to take the windmill forward into the future.’