About this image
This Grade 2 Listed post mill was probably built about 1805. It is the mill listed by John Farey in 1808 and is shown on Greenwood's map of 1825 and on many subsequent maps. Throughout its life, it was owned by the local Wass family. The miller from 1851 to 1871 was Ralph Wass who was succeeded by Thomas Wass, and who continued to operate it until he died in 1908. After that it fell into disuse and was never sold as a working mill.
Clearly when it was built it was in the open country but during its final years it became surrounded by houses, the framing of the mill eventually ending up in the garden of one of them. A local inhabitant, Mr Norman Ludlam, who had worked as a gardener at the house, recalled that he had found a large stone, dated 1771, between the piers, which had possibly come from the early mill.
It was a classic open trestle post mill and stood on stone piers, which were about 3 feet high. The quarter bars were reinforced at the junction with the cross trees by large wedge shaped timbers. The roof was of rounded construction and the access ladder was off set to the centre of the mill. The crown tree was some 21inches square. The wooden wind shaft was 8 inch diameter at the neck but increased to 20 inches at the brake wheel location. The brake wheel itself was of clasp arm construction and had 56 wooden teeth. There were two pairs of stones driven by wooden stone nuts mounted on wrought iron spindles. Two pairs of overdriven stones provided the output of the mill, one with a centrifugal and the other with a lag governor. In the tail of the mill there was a wire-dressing machine.
Millers at this post mill all appear to be from the same family, namely the Wass family. Records include Thomas (1803), John (1829-43), Ralph (1851-57) and another Thomas (1871-1908), suggesting the mill worked into the 20th century.
By 1931, a painting of the mill by Karl Wood shows the roof of the buck exposed to the elements, apart from a few ribs. One sail still hung down from the pole end and the brake wheel is clearly visible. The steps and tail pole were missing, whilst much of the horizontal cladding of the framing had disappeared. A view by the same artist in 1939 shows the sail and all roof timbers to have disappeared whilst more of the ribbing of the buck is exposed. Photographed in 1946 by Frank Rogers all of the cladding had gone and the inside of the mill was empty, apart from the wooden windshaft which was inclined to the rear of the buck, lying over the cross tree. The brake wheel had disappeared. Over 15 years there had therefore been a significant deterioration in the condition of the windmill.
The structure became increasingly parlous until, in March 1975 the then unlisted structure was, following the death of Mrs. H. S. Sampson, the owner, sold at auction for £12 to a Mr. Andrew Pugh of Matlock. A report in the Derbyshire Times, March 1975, under a headline 'Old Windmill doomed for the Chop' advised that the new owner was 'only interested in it for the wood'. Within a few weeks the Bolsover District Council had instigated a Grade 2 listing and the future looked better. When seen in 1978 there was no cladding on the buck and only a wind shaft, lying within, survived of the mill's equipment.
Over the next five years various plans for the mill's future were considered but in 1980 it was finally dismantled and put into storage. For years the remains lay in Bolsover District Council's open storage yard, where they steadily deteriorated. Efforts by the council to get the mill re-erected in the grounds of the Midland Railway Trust, at Butterley, came to nothing. When they were eventually located by the author, in 1997, most were very rotten. They were removed from the site but eventually it was decided they were well past re-erection and all but a few small timbers were then burnt. A sad end for a listed structure! (information extracted from Alan Gifford's 'Derbyshire Windmills Past and Present)