Draper’s Mill

Draper’s Mill, also known as Tivoli Mill and Silverhill Mill took its name from the Draper family who ran it for several decades. Draper’s was a smock windmill standing on the site of a previous mill which burned down in 1867. (Some reports suggest 1865) This new larger mill was rebuilt by Agricultural Engineers from Catsfield for the Draper family around 1866 (possibly as late as 1868) and was in use until 1941. Continue reading Draper’s Mill

The Rye Mill


Rye Mill
Rye Mill

Actual documentary evidence on the history of Rye Mill is virtually non-existent. It was the subject of Victorian mezzotints and oleographs, but beyond that visual and literary records are silent. Whether a mill existed on the present site earlier than, say, 1850, is a matter of pure conjecture. We do know, however, that long before the Webb family, who used the mill for baking and bread-making before and after the Second War, came into residence the buildings had been given over to storing grain. Probably the last flour actually produced there was sold either before or during the First World War. Then the bakery was at the Mill Cottage – the old tall chimney of the bakehouse can be seen in the photographs taken in the 1920s. Continue reading The Rye Mill

The Day the Mill Burned Down


By Arthur Woodgate

When I awoke on 13th June 1930, my bedroom window was full of flame (A sight not unusual ten years later). This was out beloved Windmill, by the River Tillingham, on fire. A different sight than that on the Rye’s Own Christmas card. By the time I dressed and got out to be on hand should any help be needed the mill was completely alight with its out line shape still showing through the flames, but seconds later it seemed to twist and collapse. Continue reading The Day the Mill Burned Down