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Recent Listing - Drinkstone Smock Mill, Suffolk

Listed Grade ll* Oct 2016

At first sight, it's difficult to fathom why Drinkstone Smock Mill is so important – a windmill shorn of its sails and fantail, and now clad in black plastic sheeting. But this rather forlorn exterior conceals a sequence of milling technologies which is probably unique in England.

White wooden mill partially clad in black plastic sheeting.
At first sight, it is difficult to fathom why Drinkstone Smock Mill is so important. © Historic England

Drinkstone Mill was successively a horse-powered mill, then a windmill, and then, in its final phase of operation, an engine-powered mill. There's surviving structural fabric of each of these phases, together with evidence of how the mill functioned in its wind-powered and engine-driven phases of operation. This layered physical evidence of how mill buildings and milling technologies changed over time is unequalled elsewhere in England as far as we know.

The Smock Mill forms part of a milling site of outstanding historic interest. The Grade I listed post windmill is located at one end of the site. There's the smock mill, now listed at Grade II*. Then the mill cottage listed at Grade II lies at the other end. All three listed structures are now set within a conservation area which recognises the outstanding sequence of milling history on the site.

Other fascinating places listed in 2016

From Britain's oldest water chute ride to Crimean War gunboat sheds and a recently exposed shipwreck, read our national guide to 21 unusual or surprising places that have been listed this year.

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