Millwrights directory

SPAB Mills Section: Directory of Millwrights

The Section wishes to stress the importance of traditional millwrights in the repair and maintenance of the historic machinery in our mills. This Directory has been prepared in the hope that it will be of assistance to persons seeking the services of millwrights.

To ensure that this Directory remains representative, we welcome enquiries from millwrights wishing to be added to the Directory. We also welcome comments regarding quality of workmanship from those who have recently used the services of a millwright (whether listed in the Directory or not).

On the basis of reports received, the Section believes that the millwrights listed below should offer a satisfactory standard of workmanship, but it cannot guarantee that this will be the case, and can bear no liability for any claims or other matters which may arise from reliance on the Directory. It is essential that you make your own enquiries. Nonetheless, to assist those seeking the service of millwrights listed in this Directory, the following may be relevant:

  • All millwrights on the Directory must be members of the Mills Section and must also confirm that they will abide by the principles laid out in “A philosophy of repair of windmills and watermills”

  • It is expected that all millwrights on the Directory will maintain certain minimum standards with respect to documentation and communication in their commercial relationships with customers (and these expectations have been communicated to the millwrights). These include the following: (i) specification of works signed off by both parties; (ii) written quotation based on such specification, which the customer accepts; (iii) drawings (where required) to illustrate proposed work; even if these are not necessarily to professional draughtsman standards, they should be reasonably accurate; and (iv) adequate communication to be maintained throughout the period during which work is underway, such that each party is kept informed about project milestones and delivery dates (accepting these will change due other circumstances, e.g. weather conditions).

  • References are available for the majority of the millwrights listed in this Directory, by written application to The Mills Section, SPAB, 37 Spital Square, London E1 6DY.

Note that the firms and individuals listed do not operate only in their own local areas, and they may be prepared to travel to carry out suitable work.

Inclusion in this directory is not, in any way, a recommendation. Neither The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) nor the Mills Section of the SPAB accepts any liability.


Practising millwrights

Ian M. Clark
ACR Eng Tech MIMechE
Ian Clark Restoration
1 Railway Cottages, Itchen Abbas, Hampshire SO21 1BA
Tel: 01962 779495 (mobile 07836 536932)
Email: ian@ianclarkrestoration.com
Web: www.ianclarkrestoration.com

Further information on professional experience, including case studies of recent mill work, can be found on Ian Clark Restoration's website.

Malcolm Cooper

Carom Water Crafts
365 Snarlton Lane, Melksham, Wiltshire SN12 7QW
Tel: 01225 707153
Email: carolac71@msn.com

Dorothea Restorations Unit 4, William Street, St Philips, Bristol, BS2 0RG
Tel: 0117 2392691
Email: john@dorothearestorations.com
Web: www.dorothearestorations.com

Dorothea Restorations can undertake: complete or part restoration of any kind of windmill or watermill; condition surveys, maintenance reports and emergency repairs; millstone dressing; supply of composite millstones. They also stock a few French burr stones, depending on sizes required.

Projects include:

Clencher's Mill: restoration of the waterwheel, replication of pentrough and missing bypass sluice; refurbishment of main shaft bearings and renewal of foot and upright shaft bearings.

Houghton Watermill: installation of a refurbished set of French burr millstones and stone crane into the mill and motorising to provide additional flour production due to increased demand.

David Empringham Woodworking
233 Desborough Avenue, High Wycombe, Bucks HP11 2TW
Tel: 01494 443271 or 01494 715264 (workshop)

David Empringham Woodworking have a combined experience of 76 years and have worked on both traditional watermills and windmills. They deal with timber frame work, engineering, castings - making patterns both large and small, reassembling and dressing French burr stones, masonry work, and research into social and technological history.

Projects include:

Great Haseley Windmill, Oxfordshire: rebuilding all floors; replacing masonry internally and externally together with new lintels; making and fitting new sash windows throughout; rebuilding bolter and drive; making new stone furniture; raking out old cement pointing and repointingwhole tower with lime mortar; complete rebuild of cap; making common sails and fan with associated drive mechanism.

Feckenham Watermill, Worcestershire: making patterns to provide rim sections and hib spiders; making oak shaft and fitting cross tail gudgeons and bands

Eastington Watermill, Gloucestershire: making complete set of parts including a pattern for hubs, providing machined steel shaft with shell bearings, and making oak rims and spokes, starts, paddles and sole boards.

Janes Limited The Old Dairy, Holwell, Cranborne, Wimborne, Dorset BH21 5QP
Tel: 01725 517170

Paul Kemp 26 Abbots Drive, Stanford-le-Hope, Essex, SS17 7DG
Tel: 07973 701584
Email: paulkemp77@btinternet.com

Paul Kemp is experienced in: applying lead flashing, the Belzona Membrane System and various types of paint; producing steelwork and patterns for casting; applying weatherboarding to caps, smock towers and post mill bucks.

Projects include:

Fulbourn Windmill, Cambridgeshire: new sail frames, stocks and clamps.

Coleshill Windmill, Buckinghamshire: rebuilding of fanstage and fan; re-boarding of the cap; repairs to the sails and stocks and production of new stock clamps with iron work.

Hawridge Windmill, Cholesbury, Buckinghamshire: repairs to cap frame and cap circle; ongoing work to produce a new fanstage, fan and four new sails.

Further examples of work are available on request.

Neil Medcalf Traditional Millwrights Ltd.
Home Farm, Alford Road, Farlesthorpe, Alford, Lincolnshire LN13 9PH
Tel: 01507 463617 (mobile 07958 710378)
Email: tradmillwrights@aol.com 
Web: www.tradmillwrights.co.uk

Traditional Millwrights Ltd was founded by Neil Medcalf in 2002. They have almost 60 years' combined experience repairing and maintaining historic wind and water mills. Many of these mills are working mills, some commercially. This allows them to work closely with experienced millers so understanding how to present mills to the public as well keeping them running smoothly. Specifications for grants undertaken, general advice or in depth consultation carried out. The company works nationwide for a variety of clients including local authorities, English Heritage, Historic Scotland, The National Trust, heritage organisations and private individuals. They have recently restored an empty Mill Tower back to full commercial working order and so have practical experience of all millwrighting work. Customers use the company time and again and are happy to provide references which you are encouraged to take up. Information on latest projects can be found on their website and Twitter.

Owlsworth IJP Ltd Unit 2, Paddock Road Industrial Estate, Caversham, Reading RG4 5BY
Tel: 0118 946 9169
Email: info@ijp.co.uk
Web: www.ijp.co.uk

Owlsworth IJP work on both windmills and watermills and offer the full spectrum of mill-related work from minor repairs to full conservation projects on working mills and mill machinery plus full condition surveys, including repair specifications for funding applications.
All work is undertaken in-house by highly skilled craftsmen including carpenters, heavy timber framers, blacksmiths, masons and bricklayers. Work can be carried out either on site or in Owlsworth IJP's extensive workshops to include sail manufacture, stone furniture and gear cogging. They also carry out regular maintenance regimes including stone dressing to small mills and commercial outlets. 

Projects include:

Downfield Windmill, Soham: new sails and stocks; repairs to cap frame; re-cladding cap in traditional Cambridgeshire style; re-instating fan stage and fly frame to original detail.

Shepherd Wheel, Sheffield: complete rebuild of iron waterwheel including main shaft bearings; construction of new timber pentrough, recogging of pitwheel; new bronze shells made to fit existing cast iron bearing chairs for layshafts, repairs to timber belt pulleys and new belts; returned to working order.

Shipton Mill, Gloucestershire: construction of new timber hurst frame to carry two pairs of millstones; electric motors installed with gearboxes and softstart electric invertors; regular stonedressing for commercial milling of Duchy of Cornwall wheat.

Richard M. Seago Mill House, Mill Road, South Walsham, Norwich NR13 6DF
Tel: 01603 270214
Email: swalshammill@aol.com

Geoff Wallis Conservation Tamar House, 14 Broncksea Road, Bristol BS7 0SE
Tel & Fax: 0117 9697815 (mobile 0758 4060 806)
Email: gwconservation@gmail.com
Web: www.gwconservation.com

Tim Whiting
9 Mayflower Avenue, Saxmundham, Suffolk, IP17 1BU
Tel: 07773 992438 or 01728 605770
Email: twcm@talktalk.net
Web: www.suffolkmillwright.co.uk


Consultant millwrights

Bonwick Milling Heritage Consultancy Luke Bonwick
Stoneycroft, West End Road, Bursledon, Southampton, SO31 8BP
Tel: 07733 108409
Email: luke@bonwick.co.uk
Web: www.bonwick.co.uk

Martin Watts

1 Trinity Cottages, Cullompton, Devon EX15 1PE
Tel: 01884 34676
Email: mdcwatts@btinternet.com

Page last updated 1st February 2016