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 Kent celebrates its many heritage sites on the KENT BIG WEEKEND at the end of April, and, as part of that, Drapers Windmill will have an open weekend and you're very welcome to attend our marvellous mill on Saturday or Sunday afternoon.

 

  

The cap was removed from the Windmill in December 2016 by IJP Millwrights of Henley-on-Thames in order to replace the rotten weatherbeam and carry out other essential repairs to the cap. These repairs are now complete and the restored cap has been returned to pride of place at the top of the Windmill.

The following photos were taken in early March 2017 and show the work being done as part  of the cap restoration. 


Photo credits all Drapers Windmill Trust.

Millwrights from IJP Millwrights working on the Cap in March 2017

 

The Windmill is located on the historic St Peter's Footpath, around 1 mile inland from the sea. Situated in a prominent position on top of a hill, the windmill is easily visible from some distance around.

GETTING HERE BY ROAD

Approaching Margate on the A299/A28, continue along the A28 until you pass Margate Main Sands on your left. At the Clock Tower Roundabout, take the 2nd exit and climb the hill to Cecil Square. Turn right at the traffic lights and after 1/3rd of a mile, merge left onto the High Street, next to St John's Church. After another half a mile, take the 2nd exit at the roundabout onto College Road. The next turning on the right is St Peter's Footpath and you will be able to see the Windmill in front of you.
There is limited on street parking outside the Mill.

GETTING HERE BY PUBLIC TRANSPORT

The nearest railway station is Margate, around 1.5miles from the Mill. Unfortunately, no bus routes directly connect the station to the Windmill. The nearest bus stop is at St John's Church, served by the LOOP. The Mill is around half a miles walk from here along St Peter's Footpath.

GETTING HERE ON FOOT

We are ideally situated on St Peter's Footpath, which connects St Peter's Church and St Johns Church and forms the major part of the Turner and Dickens Walk, connecting both Margate and Broadstairs seafronts. This is well signposted with small, brown, T&D signs and following this route will bring you directly to the front of the mill.

 

The Windmill will reopen to the general public on Sunday 2nd June 2024, and each Sunday thereafter, 2pm to 4pm until late September.

If you wish to visit the windmill outside of these times, then please contact us via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or via telephone on 07985 147563Visits can sometimes be made at short notice as there are often volunteers on site who would be happy to show you around.

Admission is free, but donations towards the upkeep of the windmill are gratefully received.

The windmill also opens at other times for special events.  These will be advertised on our "Notices" page.

The current mill is one of 3 that were originally on the site - Draper's Mill, Little Draper's Mill, which stood next door, and the Pumper, which was located where the new houses to the rear of the mill now exist.  The latter was for pumping water for Margate town.


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 prepared 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, fully supported by the Drapers Windmill Trust, 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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