Building record 0258300000 - BRILL WINDMILL


Timber-framed windmill, probably built in 1686 and last worked in the 1920s.

Protected Status/Designation

  • Listed Building (II*) 1124265: WINDMILL


Type and Period (3)

  • POST MILL (17th Century to Modern - 1600 AD to 1999 AD) + Sci.Date
  • WINDMILL (17th Century to Modern - 1600 AD to 1999 AD)
  • (Alternate Type) CORN MILL (17th Century to Modern - 1600 AD to 1999 AD)


Plan Form - Rectangular.
Grade II*. Post mill. Late C17, dated RCE?68? IC on beam. Much repaired C20. Mill has timber frame with weatherboard cladding carried up over curved roof pitches. Circular base of C19 brick with conical slate roof, 2 wooden louvres and a board door. 4 sails, tail pole. Important landmark. RCHM I p. 66 Mon. 22 (B12).
'Brill' or 'Nixeys' mill (B11).
Dated 1668 (B4).
Of heavy timbers (B5-8).
In a good condition; 4 common sails, tailpole, red brick roundhouse, all gear inside (B9).
Original roundhouse removed when repairs made in 1930'S; roundhouse reconstructed in August 1950 (B11).
Brill Society 1985 history and guide to the windmill. The present mill is believed to have been built in the 1680s. The inscription on a beam on the meal floor RCE 18 IC was damaged during the installation of a belt drive for oat kibbling, but stands for Rex Carolus of England with 'IC' being the first owner - Issac Cummings. Historical references to the mill include its sale on 20th November 1753 by Issac's son Charles to Sir Thomas Snell for £120. The original plan form was 11ft 6in x 9ft 6in. In 1757 the mill was blown down and Sir Thomas Snell incurred expenses of £175 5s for rebuilding before letting to John Atkins for £9 per annun. It is possible that an addtion to the rear of the building was made at this time. Brill Mill was a sunken post mill with exposed cross trees and quarter bars until the first round house was built by Andrew Nixey in 1865. The mill was sold to Sir John Aubrey in the 1700s and his heir, Major H L Aubrey Fletcher, licensed the Brill Windmill Trust to administer the mill and open it to the public in 1929. The mill has probably only been operated by six millers; Joseph Rymer, Robert Crump, John Adkins or Atkins, William Adkins or Atkins, Andrews Nixey and Albert Nixey. When last operated it had two sets of stones, a pair of French burr stones for milling wheat and pair of peak stones (Derbyshire millstone grit) for milling barley. The mill ceased to mill flour in 1919, although it is likely that is continued to grind barley for animal feed (B13).
Background research and building recording carried out in May and June 2006 by Bonwick Milling Heritage Consultancy. Dendro-dating obtains a felling date of winter1685/6 for timber from the breast beam, suggesting that construction of the mill took place in 1686, with 2 subsequent datable phases of repairs and alterations. Building recording suggests a total of 4 phases of repairs: about 1725 when mill was substantially rebuilt, 1757 when mill was again substantially rebuilt, 1760 or later and in the mid-19th century. Mill one of only 6 remaining postmills in Britain to contain 17th century timbers dated by dendrochronology. See report for detail (B14,B19).
Detailed drawings (B15,B19).
Condition survey carried out in June and July 2006 by Richard Oxley of Oxley Conservation. See report for detail (B16).
Programme of stabilisation, conservation and repairs from October 2008 to June 2009 B19).
Buildings report held in NMR (B17).

Sources (21)

  • ---SBC20720 Aerial Photograph: Michael Farley. 2001. 2001 Michael Farley oblique AP. SP65111446. Yes.
  • ---SBC20723 Aerial Photograph: Michael Farley. 2001. 2001 Michael Farley oblique AP. SP65331412. Yes.
  • <1>SBC12387 Bibliographic reference: POSSE COMITATUS 1798 (MS AT BRO REF L/P15& 16).
  • <2>SBC15858 Bibliographic reference: VCH BUCKS 4 P16.
  • <3>SBC12739 Bibliographic reference: RCHM BUCKS 1 P66.
  • <4>SBC14596 Bibliographic reference: SMITH 1932 ENGLISH WINDMILLS 2 P132 (PLATE) & 133.
  • <5>SBC5466 Bibliographic reference: Stanley Freese. 1957. Windmills and Millwrighting. Various pp; Plates 21, 23, 29.
  • <6>SBC10413 Bibliographic reference: OS 1960 6IN (1:10560).
  • <7>SBC11768 Bibliographic reference: PEVSNER N 1960 BUCKINGHAMSHIRE P73.
  • <8>SBC16328 Bibliographic reference: VINCE J 1976 WINDMILLS IN BUCKS& THE CHILTERNS P17.
  • <9>SBC14614 Bibliographic reference: SMITH AC 1976 WINDMILLS IN BUCKS& OXON P8 (PLATE) & P16.
  • <11>SBC16264 Verbal communication: VENN JH JULY 1986 PERS COMM.
  • <12>SBC19811 Bibliographic reference: DoE. 1985. List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest: Buckinghamshire: Aylesbury Vale: Parishes of Boarstall &C. p33.
  • <13>SBC20303 Bibliographic reference: Mark Waghorn. 1985. Brill Windmill: an explanation.
  • <14>SBC22711 Unpublished document: Luke Bonwick. 2006. Brill Windmill: Archaeological Buildings Survey Report.
  • <15>SBC23020 Digital archive: Luke Bonwick. 2006. Brill Windmill: Archaeological Buildings Survey Report.
  • <16>SBC23019 Unpublished document: Oxley Conservation. 2006. Condition Survey Report: Brill Windmill, Brill.
  • <17>SBC23358 Unpublished document: English Heritage. 2006. NMR Buildings Reports. BF001924.
  • <18>SBC22686 Digital archive: Vernacular Architecture Group. 2000 onwards. Vernacular Architecture Group: Dendrochronology Database. VA vol 38 p120.
  • <19>SBC23798 Bibliographic reference: Luke Bonwick. 2010. Brill Windmill: The History, Technology, Conservation and Repair of a 17th Century Post Mill.


Grid reference SP 65198 14146 (point) (Exact)
Civil Parish BRILL, Aylesbury Vale, Buckinghamshire

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (3)

  • Event - Survey: Building recording (EBC16734)
  • Event - Survey: Condition survey (EBC16903)
  • Event - Survey: Site visit (EBC13596)

Record last edited

Sep 22 2021 10:02PM

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