Institute of Archaeology


Exploring post mill history

Martin Bridge is undertaking an ongoing programme of investigation of post mills.

Great Gransden Windmill (Image: Martin Bridge)

Over the last 20 years, a number of post-mills have been investigated by Martin Bridge  – nearly all turning out to be an amalgam of timbers from different ages, with the outsize load-bearing main posts usually being the oldest timber surviving. Several phases of rebuild/renovation have been identified, making the concept of asking how old a particular mill is largely redundant.

This work is ongoing as mills are renovated and made accessible.

Related outputs

  • Historic England Research Department Series reports for several individual mills. 

  • A paper for Vernacular Architecture 2022 is currently in progress.

  • Paper given in the TRACE (Tree-Rings, Archaeology, Climate and Ecology) international conference (June 2021) (hosted by Lund University Sweden – virtual conference).

  • Paper given to ICOMOS UK Wood Committee – June 2021

  • Paper given to Suffolk Historic Buildings Group – March 2021