Ancient Monuments

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Post mill at Church Hills

A Scheduled Monument in Royal Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.5486 / 51°32'54"N

Longitude: -1.8847 / 1°53'5"W

OS Eastings: 408087.759591

OS Northings: 183307.441561

OS Grid: SU080833

Mapcode National: GBR 3SZ.Y0G

Mapcode Global: VHB3K.8BZP

Entry Name: Post mill at Church Hills

Scheduled Date: 23 October 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018126

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29000

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Royal Wootton Bassett

Built-Up Area: Wootton Bassett

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: West Swindon and the Lydiards

Church of England Diocese: Bristol


The monument includes a post mill mound located approximately 1km to the south
of Midgehall Farm. The monument is situated near the top of a south facing
slope on the north side of Wootton Bassett, affording views of the clay plain
and chalk escarpment to the south.
The monument lies at the corner of two field boundaries in a field known as
Church Hills. The mound is circular and well defined, 29m in diameter and 1.5m
high. It is surrounded by a ditch 2m wide and 0.3m deep representing the track
of the mill wheel, giving an overall diameter of 33m. On the top of the mound
there is a central depression 0.5m deep and 7m in diameter.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Post mills were the form of windmills in the medieval period in which the
wooden superstructure rotated about a central vertical post. The central post
was mounted on cross timbers which were stabilised by being set into a mound.
This mound might be newly built but earlier mounds were also frequently
reused. The whole superstructure of such a mill was rotated to face into the
wind by pushing a horizontal pole projecting from the mill on the opposite
side from the sails. The end of this pole was supported by a wheel and
rotation eventually resulted in a shallow ditch surrounding the mill mound.
Post mills were in use from the 12th century onwards. No medieval examples of
the wooden superstructures survive today but the mounds, typically between 15m
and 25m in diameter, survive as field monuments. In general, only those mounds
which are components of larger sites or which are likely to preserve organic
remains will be considered worthy of protection through scheduling. However,
some mills reused earlier mounds, such as castle mottes and barrows, which are
worthy of protection in their own right.

The post mill at Church Hills survives well and is a good example of this
class of monument. It will contain archaeological remains and environmental
evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was

Source: Historic England

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