Society volunteers have carried out the vast majority of the restoration of Jill Windmill.
This page features a selection of photographs of our restoration and maintenance work
Some of the timbers used in the restoration of Jill Windmill were long and heavy
With enough volunteers, the carrying of a 5½ hundredweight (280 kg) Sweep is not a problem
Raising the Sweeps with ropes and pulleys
The blocks for the outer track were made to our specification
This chair bracket takes the drive from the fanblades to the fan carriage wheels
The completed Fantackle assembly
The stone furniture was constructed and installed by Society volunteers
The fine flour and course flour are collected in the Trow
The Windshaft was moved forward by inserting thin metal plates behind the Tail Bearing
The collar at the top of the Centre Post required replacement as the oak timbers had dried out and shrunk over a period of 180 years
The new collar is fitted
Please click here for details on our work on the Stock and Sweeps.
Lowering the Sweeps
Painting the Sweeps
The construction of the outer track could only be carried out on dry, windless Saturdays
As a result, this project took 18 months
A specially constructed scaffold platform was erected
for the fitting of the fan blades
These millstones are being "dressed" by Society volunteers
The 17½ hundredweight (890 kg) millstones are periodically cleaned with brushes and a vacuum cleaner
A very dusty job !!
The Flour Dresser on the floor above separates the ground meal into fine flour, course flour and bran
The mill was "Head Sick" so we constructed a moveable plate which allows us to correct the horizontal alignment of the 23 ton mill body
With the old collar removed, the timbers are prepared for the new collar
The new collar is constructed of two segments
Maintenance work is carried out on most Saturday mornings throughout the year.
Our volunteers carry out routine maintenance, lubrication and inspections throughout the year.
Scheduled projects are carried out on a seven year cycle.
The next column shows a selection of scheduled and unscheduled works over one cycle.
Remove Sweeps II and IV
Build new Sweep to replace rotted Sweep IV
Fit wooden Cheeks on one Stock
Hang Sweeps II and IV
Remove, refurbish, paint and hang Sweeps I and III
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Replace stringer on Rear Stairs
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Refurbish Fantackle Assembly
Paint Roundhouse walls and roof
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Refurbish & paint Mill Body
Replace section of Leading Edge on Sweep I
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Replace Crossbrace on Rear Stairs
Refurbish Wheels & bearings on Rear Stairs
Replace bottom step
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Remove & refurbish Shutters on Sweeps II and IV
Replace section of Leading Edge on Sweep II
The teeth in Jill's Brakewheel and Tailwheel were replaced during our restoration project.
Over the years we have received a lot of interest and help from schools.
Sondes Place School in Dorking volunteered to cut the basic shape of the new Brakewheel teeth.
The teeth were then seasoned before being
hand fitted by our volunteers
One of the old teeth removed from the Tailwheel
Our maintenance team discovered rot in one of Jill Windmill's Sweeps - originally constructed from Pitch Pine in 1982.
Following advice from millwrights and those in the timber trade, we were persuaded that Siberian Larch was of better quality than the current stocks of new Pitch Pine.
We decided to build a new Sweep using a Whip constructed from laminated larch.
The initial search of sawmills in Sussex had borne no useful results at all and so we had turned our gaze further north. Eventually we tracked down Sykes Timber, hardwood and softwood merchants based in Atherstone, Warwickshire who claimed to have a stock of top-grade slow-grown Siberian Larch and, to that end, a small group of our volunteers were dispatched to Warwickshire to check out their claims.
The team were not disappointed. They were positively overwhelmed by the quantity and quality of much of the larch.
They therefore explained to the timber merchant the reason for the potential purchase, stressing how important it was, if the team (for maintenance work) were to safely climb the sweeps once re erected on the mill, for there to be no significant knot holes or other impairments in the timber. This did not faze the timber merchant at all and he undertook to select the best timber for Jill Mill once an order was received.
The team returned to Sussex, discussed what they had seen, sized up the requirements (including spare timber for future work) and placed the order.
Within the week, the timber was dispatched by lorry to the Mill and work started immediately to cut and machine the large planks into the sections required for the rebuilding of the old sweep that needs replacing.
What is really remarkable is the quality and weight of the timber supplied. Apart from a limited amount of sap wood at the edges of the planks, all of it looks like it will be of sufficient quality to be usable for the job in hand. And the weight of the timber confirms that it really was slow-grow, and thus very close-grained which is just what was needed.
The photographs below show views of Jill Windmill before our restoration project commenced and their equivalent views in Spring 2010. It is interesting to note that most features have been retained both internally and externally, the main exceptions being the flooring in the Roundhouse and the new fantackle assembly.
Spring 2010 photos by David Meares