Cap Restoration 2017

The current Mill is one of 3 that were originally on the site. Draper's Mill, Little Draper's, which stood next door and the Pumper, which was located where the allotments to the rear of the Mill now exist.
Built in 1845, by John Holman, millwright of Canterbury it is a four-storey smock mill on a single-storey brick base. There is a gallery stage at first-floor level. The majestic four double Patent sweeps, or sails as they are know outside Kent, are 26'6" (8.08m) long and 6'6" (1.98m) wide, with a total span of 66 feet (20.12m). These are carried on a cast-iron windshaft, with a Brake Wheel of 8'6" (2.59m) diameter. The cap of the mill is winded by a fantail. Inside, three pairs of millstones are driven overdrift.

The Mill was worked solely by wind until 1916 and then by a 20 horsepower (15kW) gas engine until the late 1930s, with the sweeps and fantail being removed in 1927. Threatened with demolition in 1965, the Drapers Windmill Trust was formed by the then headmaster of Draper's Mills School, Mr RM Towes, with the purpose of preserving the Mill for the future and in 1968 the Kent Education Committee acquired the Mill, which was restored at a cost of over £2000. The fantail was replaced in 1970 with one pair of sweeps following in December 1971. A new stage, which had been prepare for fitting to the Black Mill at Barham was donated to Drapers when the Black Mill was destroyed by fire. This was adapted to fit by millwright Vincent Pargeter. The second pair of sweeps were fitted in the autumn of 1974.

The Mill is now in the care of Kent County Council who are fully supported by the Drapers Windmill Trust, who are responsible for the day to day running and restoration of the Mill, with larger projects financed by the authority,

Please take a look at this short film showing some of the restoration work carried out to the Mill during the 1970s

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