New Mill, Willesborough

New Mill is a Grade II[1] listed smock mill in Hythe Road, Willesborough, Ashford, Kent. It stands just west of junction 10 of the M20 motorway. It was built in 1869 and is now a museum open to the public.

New Mill, Willesborough
Willesborough Windmill in 2007
Mill locationWillesborough, Ashford
Grid referenceTR 0313 4213
Coordinates51.14228°N 0.9025°E / 51.14228; 0.9025
Operator(s)Kent County Council
Year built1869
PurposeCorn mill
TypeSmock mill
StoreysFour-storey smock
Base storeysTwo-storey base
Smock sidesEight-sided
No. of sailsFour
Type of sailsPatent sails
WindshaftCast iron
Fantail bladesEight bladed
Auxiliary powerOil engine
No. of pairs of millstonesFour pairs


New Mill was built in 1869 by John Hill, the Ashford millwright, replacing an earlier smock mill. The mill was worked by the Cornes family until the First World War, and by the Manwaring family from 1920[2] until 1938 when the mill last worked by wind. The mill was then sold to T Denne and Sons and used for storage. The fantail was sold to Barham mill in 1946 and installed on that mill. In 1969 the mill was bought by Tom Robbins[3] and remained in his ownership until it was bought, in a very dilapidated state, and fully restored in 1991 to its former glory by Ashford Borough Council for the benefit of the citizens of Ashford and the public at large.[4]

The mill makes its own stoneground wholemeal bread flour, turning one set of stones with the power of a 14 horsepower (10 kW) Hornsby engine. The mill, with its neighbouring barn, is licensed for weddings, Christenings, (civil ceremonies) and many other meetings and functions. The Mill complex is open from April to the end of September on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays from 2pm to 5pm. School and group visits can be arranged for weekdays.

In 2006 the mill was awarded a Heritage Lottery Grant which enabled the replacement of the sails. The new sails were fitted on 13 April 2007.[5] Part of the grant was spent on producing an Education pack for use on school visits. The windmill is now fully operational and able to mill flour using wind or the engine. The mill is licensed to hold wedding ceremonies.[6]

Norman Museum

Norman Cycles was a bicycle, autocycle, moped, and motorcycle manufacturer based in Ashford, and the mill's barn complex houses the Norman Museum, where they have some mopeds and bicycles on display. The Norman Cycles Club is based at the Windmill.[7]


New Mill is a four-storey smock mill on a two-storey brick base with an attached miller's cottage. It has four patent sails carried on a cast-iron windshaft. It drives four pairs of millstones by wind, with a fifth pair powered by an auxiliary engine.[2] This was a steam engine until 1911, then an oil engine and latterly an electric motor. The Brake Wheel is of composite construction, with an iron centre and wooden rim. This drives a cast-iron Wallower on the Upright Shaft, which carries a cast-iron Great Spur Wheel, which drives the millstones overdrift.[3]


  • Cornes & Son 1869 - 1918
    • Thomas Sellins 1869 - 1904
    • John Cobb 1904 - 1940
  • William Manwaring 1920 - 1938
    • Cecil Coltham 1931- 1940
  • T Denne & Sons 1938 - 1969
    • Cecil Coltham 1957 - 1968

References for above:-[2][3][8]

See also

  • Windmills in KentWikipedia book


  1. Historic England. "Willesborough Windmill, Hythe Road (north east side), Willesborough, Ashford, Kent (1184561)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 21 April 2008.
  2. Coles Finch, William (1933). Watermills and Windmills. London: C W Daniel Company. p. 302.
  3. West, Jenny (1973). The Windmills of Kent. London: Charles Skilton Ltd. pp. 80–83. ISBN 0284-98534-1.
  4. "Welcome to Willesborough Windmill". Willesborough Windmill. Retrieved 21 April 2008.
  5. "Willesborough windmill new sails". Windmill World. Archived from the original on 9 May 2008. Retrieved 21 April 2008.
  6. "Wedding venues in mills". Windmill World. Archived from the original on 14 May 2008. Retrieved 8 July 2009.
  7. "Norman Cycles". Real Classic. Retrieved 21 April 2008.
  8. "Directory of Kent Mill People". The Mills Archive Trust. Archived from the original on 16 April 2009. Retrieved 21 April 2008.
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