Kent’s windmills are a striking visual feature of the landscape

Kent’s windmills are a striking visual feature of the landscape and provide an historical insight into the county’s agricultural past.

Kent County Council is responsible for eight windmills in the county. These include six smock mills and two post mills and all eight are listed buildings. They are:

  • Chillenden Mill, Goodnestone, Dover
  • Davison’s Mill, Stelling Minnis
  • Drapers Mill, Margate
  • Herne Mill, Herne Bay
  • Meopham Mill, Meopham
  • Stocks Mill, Wittersham, Ashford
  • Union Mill, Cranbrook
  • West Kingsdown Mill, Sevenoaks

National Mills Weekend, earlier this month, saw the sweeps of Drapers Mill in Margate turn again for the first time in several years.

Deputy cabinet member for transportation Michael Payne said: “The windmill was originally one of three grouped together, two to grind corn and another to pump water. Drapers Mill was worked entirely by wind until 1916 when a gas engine was installed.

“Thanks to the hard work of our volunteer engineers, this working smock mill was able to grind corn using its own gas engine which has been returned to all its glory.

“The recent repair work to the windmill was funded by Kent County Council which owns it. The sweeps, the customary name in Kent for a windmill’s sails, needed urgent work. Specialist millwrights, Owlsworth IJP of Reading, repaired the sweeps of the mill at ground level before lifting them back into place with the aid of a large crane.

“It was wonderful to once again see the sweeps turning and visitors can now see the mill in the best condition it has been in since its original restoration in the 1970s.”

The creation of the Drapers Windmill Trust secured the mill’s future and the Trust opens the mill on Saturday afternoons from June.

For more information about windmill opening times and how to volunteer visit

Kent’s windmills are a striking visual feature of the landscape was last modified: May 28th, 2019 by Thom Morris