Outwood Mills Story

Outwood Windmill was built for Thomas Budgen (1640–1716) in 1665. the original deed for its erection is still in existence. Thomas Budgen borrowed the money to finance the building of the windmill from two of his brothers-in-law. He was able to repay them within two years.

The builders of the mill are traditionally said to have watched the Great Fire of London glowing in the distance, some 25 miles (40 km) away. In 1678, Thomas Budgen was convicted under the Convecticle Act as a seditious preacher, and fined £20.

John Budgen took the mill on his father’s death, and in 1715 was paying Quit Rent on the mill, a malthouse and a brick kiln. John Budgen died in 1765 and the rent was paid by his widow until she died in 1768, when Ezekial Budgen took the mill. Ezekial Budgen was involved in a quarrel with his brother Isaac, which led to William Budgen (Ezekial’s nephew) being granted a piece of land in near the mill in 1796 with liberty to erect a windmill upon it.

A view of the Post Mill and the Smock Mill at Outwood Common circa 1900

By 1806, the mill was in the possession of John Jupp. William Jupp took the mill sometime before 1880 and ran it until he died in 1934. In 1929, the Windmill Section of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings recognised the mill as “of paramount importance”.

A new pair of Spring sails were needed in 1931. The Society paid for Thomas Hunt, the Soham millwright to make and fit these at a cost of £80. William Jupp agreed not to sell the mill for demolition as a condition of the work being done. Publicity generated at the time led to an increase in orders at the mill. On 30 October 1931, a meeting was held to appeal for funds to replace the older pair of sails. Hilaire Belloc, who at the time owned Shipley windmill in Sussex, was the main speaker. Sir Joseph Rank was one of the subscribers.

In 1933, a pair of sails was purchased secondhand These had previously been on the Black Mill, Forncett End, Norfolk, which had been demolished in September 1932. These replaced a pair of sails that had been on the mill for in excess of sixty years. William Jupp died in 1934.

Stanley Jupp then took the mill. In the 1930s, the mill was little used, and started to deteriorate. Plans were drawn up for further restoration, but were postponed due to World War II.

Milling ceased at Outwood in 1949 when the breast beam cracked and the windshaft dropped causing the sails to touch the roundhouse roof.

Temporary repairs were made by millwrights E Hole & Son of Burgess Hill, followed by extensive repairs, including a new breast beam and prick post, in 1952. One of the sail stocks was found to be defective in 1955 and a new pair of spring sails was fitted. A grant of £750 from the Ministry of Works being given to enable the work to be carried out, on condition that public access would be given on appointment.

The older of the two stocks broke in January 1956. E Hole & Son fitted a new stock and sail on 25 October 1958. William Jupp ran the mill until 1962. In the autumn of 1962, the mill was bought by the Thomas brothers. On 12 June 1964, the mill was caught in a severe thunderstorm. The mill was tailwinded, and only saved when the new owners turned the mill so that the wind was side on to the mill.

In 2003, the mill was offered for sale, with a price tag of £600,000.

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