HERNE MILL - Built 1789

The wooden structure dates from 1789. It was raised onto the octagonal brick base in 1856, to bring the sweeps (sails) above the surrounding orchards. The doors down to the Reefing Stage would have originally been at ground level. The 10 meter sweeps are slightly longer than the original ones.

It is known that Thomas Sweetlove built a mill in Deal in 1767 and rebuilt Barming Mill in 1805. There is conflicting opinion as to whether Sweetloves built Herne Mill.

Holman Bros started their millwrighting business in Canterbury before the 1851 census. John Holman, the founder was born in 1783 and later apprenticed to Sweetloves of Wingham. There are no surviving records in the Holman archive relating to Herne Mill, although it is known that they built and carried out work on mills elsewhere in the locality and further afield. His Kentish Smock Mill design was very simlar to that developed by Sweetloves.

For a detailed history of the mill, follow the link below to the Mill's Website, and this link for what is known about Holman Bros, Canterbury, from The Mills Archive Trust.







Rebuilding a Sail Shutter

Making New Steps

Positioning New Steps

Fitting New Steps

Making a new fantail blade & stock

Repainting the Wootton Room Floor!


Raising/Repainting an old 1 tonne Stock
We have 2 positioned as benches in the grounds

New Bin Floor Window Frame

IJP (Millwrights) - Fitting the refurbished sweeps - Oct 2018

These are just a few of the jobs undertaken by the Maintenance Group during 2016-2017. Others include the repair and repainting of the Reefing Stage handrail, replacing all the internal spot lights with LED's, replacing the door frame and stable door to the Reefing Stage on the Tentering Floor, making a new frame and cill for the window on the Bin Floor. All repair/maintenance work has to comply with the Mill's Grade 1 Listed status. ( under the watchful eye of our Mill Engineer, Megan Taylor, a Chartered Architect in her own right). Upkeep of the grounds around the mill has also been an ongoing task, pruning trees and shrubs and mowing the grass!

Installing CCTV From the Bin Floor to the Stone Floor and the Wootton Room

I am a 'Friend of Herne Mill'
One of the Maintenance Team and a Guide

You can tell who gets all the dirty jobs!
L>R Barry Thundow, Mike, Sally Jackson, Duncan Bray, Megan Taylor, Ray Jackson, Val James

VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR 2015 - Duncan Bray

(Left click on image to enlarge)

Follow this link to a video clip of recent maintenance work at the mill - (140MB download)

A tribute to Vincent Pargeter, Millwright, and long term Friend of Herne Mill, who died shortly after this sequence was shot.

When the Wind Blows-a short video sequence of the working mill - (22MB download)

Herne Mill's First Test in 2019 After Sail Repairs (181MB Download)

Video of Unfinished Model - Jan 2019 (47MB Download)

Repair Shop Video - Jan 2019 (27MB Download)

Sails turning

Posted by Duncan Bray on Saturday, 9 May 2015

Herne Mill is an APRS Object!

Membership of the Friends of Herne Mill (FoHM) is 2.50 a year and members have access to the mill during the Wednesday morning maintenance sessions from 10.00am-12.00noon (when the 'sweeps' (sails) can sometimes be seen turning), as well as free admission during public opening hours on Sunday afternoons during the Summer Season. The Mill closed to the public at the end of September but will re-open from Easter 2019. New members are always welcome.

There has been a mill on the site since 1405-1406 - the present one dates from 1789 and is a Grade 1 Listed Building.

A potted history of technological innovation