Sneath’s Mill 1900's
Disuse of the Mill
The mill was still working at the time of a survey in 1923. After damage caused to the mill by a storm in the 1930s, the cost of repairs was too great, and the mill was abandoned. In 1936, the miller was listed as ‘John Sneath, Roman Bank, Long Sutton, retired miller’, which presumably indicates that the mill had ceased to function at that time.
Repair and Conservation
In 1939, an attempt was made to secure the preservation of the mill. The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings had the opportunity to purchase the mill for £75. Various factors, including lack of funds, and the onset of war, have been assigned to this not taking place; instead SPAB secured an option on the mill at £5 per annum. This was paid for three years, but in 1941, an inspection of the mill demonstrated that its condition had deteriorated.
‘Mr Wailes found that the tail and storm hatch shutters were missing, the boarding of the cap had been torn away on the left hand side of the next and centre beam, windows were missing from the dust bin and stone floors, and as a result the penetration of the weather was causing deterioration of the mill. It was suggested that the mill should be locked, the windows bricked up, and the tail and storm hatch shutters replaced, and the weatherboarding of the cap replaced.’
SPAB informed the owner that no further payments would be made unless the mill was in a fit condition when finally purchased. Two years later, further damage had occurred; one sail had fallen off, and the top had been damaged by a gale. The owner then disposed of the mill for demolition.
By 1971, only one part of the sail remained, and the cap of the mill was missing. Although deterioration occurred rapidly from this date, the temporary waterproof covering of the building will have prevented further deterioration.
The Long Sutton & District Civic Society became very concerned about the state of the mill. In October 1985 Mr Roy Pratt brought the wind shaft, top section of main shaft, brake wheel, wallower and beams supporting the rotating mill cap down to ground level. The main cap beams were put under cover and the brake wheel and wallower were taken back to his farm for safe keeping. These items were returned to the mill site in 2009 when Mr Pratt passed away.
In 1990 to 1992 emergency repairs were made to the mill to halt further decay, but the temporary roof gradually disintegrated and the mill continued to deteriorate. The site is currently on the Heritage at Risk Register.
It remained until 2010 for the current urgent repairs to commence.
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