A strategy of renovation work has been drawn up prioritising weatherproofing along with the crown tree and the cross trees.
The Friends Of Argos Hill Windmill was formed in 1999 with the aims of supporting the restoration and preservation of the mill as well as promoting knowledge of the mill in schools and the wider community.
The future of this mill is uncertain.
[Text : Morgan Bleek]
UPDATE JANUARY 2008
At a meeting of the Mayfield & Five Ashes Parish Council, on 14th January 2008, Wealden District Council (WDC) made a presentation regarding the future of Argos Hill Windmill.
At very short notice we were able to get about 40 people to attend; most were locals but some came from Kent, East and West Sussex. They included members of Sussex Mills Group and the chairman of the Mills Section of the Society For The Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB). An alert on the Sussex Mills Group website and associated e-mails sent around the UK certainly boosted numbers.
WDC proposals were to either form a Trust or to remove the windmill to storage until funds became available for her rebuilding.
There was much discussion amongst the attendees, parish and district councillors regarding the demolition of the windmill. As the windmill is a Grade 2* listed building, WDC would need the consent of English Heritage, The Secretary Of State and SPAB for demolition to take place. Such consent seemed extremely unlikely.
The implication of WDC demolishing a listed building that they own and for which they are responsible, would make vulnerable other buildings with WDC area as there may well be other owners who would like to demolish their listed building, thus weakening the protection afforded by Listed Building legislation.
There was much criticism of WDC for not carrying out repairs, not spending money allocated for the windmill, and for allowing her to deteriorate. The terms of the planning permission granted for scaffolding and covering the mill had a number of conditions that had not been carried out by WDC. The three year time limit had expired and there were concerns that vital repairs and waterproofing to be carried before removal of the scaffolding would not take place.
There were people willing to form a Trust and they will be negotiating with WDC regarding the transfer of the windmill to them.
It was rather unclear as to whether the money that had been allocated by WDC for the proposed demolition could instead be used for the vital work mentioned above, following the formation of the Trust.
WDC must carry out the work of weatherproofing and installation of temporary supports. We were informed at a previous presentation by WDC to the Parish Council that, provided a trust was formed, a large amount of funding would be available. We have now fulfilled out part of the deal to form a trust and therefore we expect that WDC will carry out their part.
The above is based upon a report prepared by Brian Pike and discussions at a subsequent committee meeting of Sussex Mills Group.
UPDATE FEBRUARY 2008
The Friends now have a solicitor on their committee. Wealden DC are arranging a meeting for people who have volunteered to be trustees. A petition to save the Mill has been drawn up and is being circulated locally. Please e-mail us if you wish to add your support, and we will forward your e-mails to the Friends.
UPDATE APRIL 2010
The Friends now have their own website www.argoshillwindmill.org.uk
UPDATE JULY 2016
Following restoration work, four new sweeps have been fitted.