This film is part of Free

Outwood Mill

With the wind in her sails and some muscle power on the ground, Britain's oldest windmill gets into gear in front of an appreciative coach party of visitors to Outwood Common

Amateur film 1968 2 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Screen Archive South East


The film opens with two men, watched by the miller, pushing the sails into a position where they will catch the wind. The miller then closes the shutters of each sail by using the shutter bar before advancing the sail upwards. We get an interesting view of the shadows cast when the sails are in action, before a final view of the mill.

Outwood Mill, on Outwood Common in Surrey, is Britain's oldest working windmill. It was built by Thomas Budgen in 1665 and was once part of a pair. The structure is built around and balanced on a large central post which enables the mill to rotate and face the wind. Hence it is called a post mill. Its partner mill, erected in 1797, was of a type known as a smock mill. It was the tallest example of its type in Britain until it collapsed in 1960. Now listed as a Grade I building, Outwood Mill was put up for sale in 2014 at a cost of £900,000. Included in the price was a three bedroomed family bungalow.