Tuesday, 4 April 2017

The Miller’s Tale, some thoughts on Ramsgate’s Dark Satanic Mills

Yesterday’s photos included one of the mill in Grange Road Ramsgate which resulted in some questions on Facebook, which I answered between bookshop customers this morning.  
This picture shows the mill, after 1901 as you can see the tram wire support, but still very rural as you can see the corn field in the foreground.

So a bit of bookshop research here today, this is from the book we publish, written by Hudson's mill wright, From Wind to Power, see http://michaelsbookshop.com/catalogue/from_wind_to_power.htm which is mostly about Hudsons Mill in Margate Road in Ramsgate.

Henry [Hudson] went into partnership with the owner of the Grange Road Mill, known and listed as the Ramsgate Mill, and it now became the Hudson & Parkin Mill. When Henry's son grew up, William joined his father, Parkin moved out, and the mills came under Henry and Son. This mill used to be on the East Cliff and was on a print of Ramsgate in 1799. It was built by Messrs. Marshall & Joad, Corn Factors, and was fitted with all the latest improvements of that time. Its cost was £800.
For the first load of wheat, purchased from Mr. Blackburn of St. Peters, they paid 120 guineas, but as this price left so little margin for profit on the manufacture of flour, they pulled the mill down piece by piece and moved it to Grange Road on the West Cliff where two other windmills of a very old and primitive construction stood, they being a post and stump mill. In a map of 1823 the three mills are shown. One was the above. The second stood where West Cliff Road is, and the third was the same distance down the road. By 1847 only Henry's mill remained.

The picture I put on the internet yesterday was this next one
and in various places on Facebook people either identified it or asked  where it was so I replied it was The Grange Road mill and added a picture from the other side.
I also pointed out that the mill rotated so the sails faced into the wind

There followed some comments in different places about various types of mill and how they rotated, so when I got to work in my bookshop this morning the main book on the windmills of Kent is by William Coles Finch and fortunately we have it in stock, here is the Grange Road entry     


oh and here is the bit of the 1823 map mentioned earlier which is actually the 1822 map and as you see has 3 mills and not the 2, like it says above. 

On to the, what type of mill is it. Fortunately we have a copy of the 1825 edition of Nicholson’s Operative Mechanic in stock so, building mills from the Georgian millwright’s point of view. Easier to come in browse the book as there are a lot of pages on milling however I have photographed the first bit on windmills which gives the different types.



I think an interesting thing here is the various points of view formed by the different sources.

The book written by a Ramsgate millwright.

The professionally published book written by a historian.

The contemporary writer of 1825 explaining the workings and design of mills.  

Plenty of errors and contradictions but in the end you ger a reasonable picture of how it could have been.  


I gather that a fork lift truck working in The Royal Victoria Pavilion caught fire today, the big fire there was in 1955, 
I gather today's fire won't delay the 29th August opening date.

Vide forklift truck training film 


Oddly enough mostly general history books in my bookshop today, see http://michaelsbookshop.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/maze-runner-in-bookshop.html

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