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“Spectacular site, perhaps should be open more often?”
Review of Union Mill

Union Mill
Ranked #1 of 16 things to do in Cranbrook
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Fee: No
Owner description: Union Mill is a Grade I listed smock mill in Cranbrook, Kent, England which has been restored to working order. It is the tallest smock mill in the UK. Standing at the highest point overlooking the historic Wealden town of Cranbrook and maintained in working order, this Grade 1 Listed Building is the tallest surviving "smock mill" in the British Isles. Managed by Volunteers of the Cranbrook Windmill Association, the windmill is open at regular times from the end of March to the end of September each year. Educational and other Group Visits are welcome throughout the year. Whenever there is sufficient wind, wheat is ground and, subject to availability, the Stoneground Wholemeal Flour can be purchased from the mill shop on open days.
Reviewed August 1, 2013

A massive windmill and virtually in the town centre. Days of opening are set, so when we were there it was closed. No worries about that but it's worthwhile checking opening times for those who want to get a look on the inside.

Thank Jeremy314
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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35 - 39 of 45 reviews

Reviewed July 30, 2013

Union Mill is run entirely by volunteers, who love to share their knowledge of its mechanism and history, and are particularly enthusiastic in relaying information to interested children. You can climb right up to the top, and outside on the deck to watch the paddles go by - on a windy day the whole building shakes. It is very exhilarating !
This is a fascinating experience with a real taste of the past, and you can even grind your own flour, and take some with you to bake with. I really recommend it to all visitors.

1  Thank Marie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 14, 2013

The windmill is a genuine build from 1814 and in the style of an archetypical English windmill.

Entrance is notionally free, but there is a donations pot which I strongly encourage you to add something to. The mill is maintained by volunteers, who are on hand to explain the inner workings. The mill is spread over a number of levels, each accessed by steep steps (but kids can manage OK).

At the top there is the main gear. Next down the mill stones. Then there are various machines for dechaffing the corn and sieving the flour.

There's a full circumferential platform about halfway up that you can go outside and walk around the whole mill. One of the floors has a number of small hand powered milling devices ranging from a simple hand held stone working against a flat stone, to circular grinding stones with handles. All of these were available to try grinding real wheat.

The volunteer staff were knowledgeable, very interesting and extremely nice, particularly with the kids. It's a full educational and fun experience rolled into one.

Parking is easy in The Tanyard car park nearby, or if that's full there is another car park down the High Street.

1  Thank Robertsbridge_Watts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 27, 2013

The staff were very helpful and made the trip interest ing. Nothing to dilike for me although some folk may find the steps difficult.

Thank LALLYSTU
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 12, 2013

The Union Windmill was built in 1814 and is overlooking the town of Cranbrook. It is the tallest surviving smock mill in the British Isles, measuring 22m. It has an eight-sided three-storey brick base and a four-storey, fixed wooden tower above that, clad in white painted weather-board. It has four big sails with patent shutters and a fantail which keeps the sweeps facing into the wind at all times. The mill is in excellent working order and can be visited from April to September. Check the entrance time beforehand. A visit is a must and you can learn a lot about it from volunteers explaining the workings of the mill. Entrance is free but donations are very welcomed to support this fabulous mill.

1  Thank PunchBasel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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