Lower Mill, Dalham

A wind-powered corn mill in the historic county of Suffolk, England.

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The name of this smock mill distinguishes it from a similar mill nearby which actually stands on the Cambridgeshire side of the county boundary at Ashley. Thought to date from circa 1790, Lower Mill shares a number of characteristics with other smock mills in the region that were erected around the same date by a firm of millwrights from the Ballingdon area. One of the earliest references to the mill occurs in 1802 when it was damaged in a storm. The Ruffle family were associated with the mill from about this time until 1855. The subsequent millers were J. Dunning (1858 & 1864); A. Simpson (1874 & 1885); J & J Tabraham (1892) and Messrs Robinson and Turner (1926) which was the last date at which the mill was operated. Minus its fantail, the mill remained preserved and was bought by an enthusiast in 1969. It was partly restored in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

The mill’s most unusual feature is that its three pairs of underdriven millstones rest on a hurst frame above the level of the first floor. It is the only surviving windmill in the country with this feature. The smock tower of the mill contains four floors above the ground and the single-storey brick base is stepped on the outside. The internal machinery is mostly of wood with a clasp-arm brake wheel, crown wheel and great spur wheel. The stone nuts are also wooden and the sack hoist was powered by a lay shaft driven by the crown wheel. The windshaft is a replacement, in cast iron. There were four double-shuttered patent sails and an eight-bladed fantail. The cap is of the traditional local ‘beehive’ shape.

Full details

Power source Wind
Mill type Smock mill
Mill function Corn mill
Archive ID 2439
Location Dalham
Historic county Suffolk
Country England, United Kingdom
NGR TL 719 617
Latitude/longitude 52.22634633, 0.51658839



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