Collection SPAB - SPAB Mills Section Collection

Gloucestershire Portrait of Rex Wailes Portrait of E M Gardner Mill files Scarthing Moor Mill, Weston Meal floor, Osberton Mill, Ranby Waterwheel, Ollerton Mill, Ollerton Overdrift stones, Ollerton Mill, Ollerton Pit gear, Scarthing Moor Mill, Weston Pit gear, Ollerton Mill, Ollerton Ollerton Mill, Ollerton Pit gear, Osberton Mill, Ranby Stone floor, Ollerton Mill, Ollerton Osberton Mill, Ranby Measured drawings, Scarthing Moor Mill, Weston Bulwick Mill, Bulwick Spur gear Castle Mill, Linby Waterwheel hub Pit gear
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Reference code



SPAB Mills Section Collection


  • 1920s onwards (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

212 boxes

Name of creator


Administrative history

In 1929, following an article in the Daily Mail about Britain's disappearing windmills, the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) launched a campaign to survey and protect England's windmills. The work was led by pioneering mill expert Rex Wailes, and soon became separate Windmill Section of the SPAB. In 1946 this became the Wind and Watermill Section, later referred to simply as the Mills Section. It still continues working to save England's historic mills today.


Archival history

From the beginning of the SPAB's attempt to survey English windmills in 1929, records were kept of mills across England, and these continued to be added to over the decades. They were supplemented by the personal collections of mill enthusiasts who left their material to the Section. The lack of space and expertise for dealing with this ever growing collection of archives was one of the main factors which prompted the establishment of the Mills Archive, and the SPAB was a supporter from the beginning, the understanding being that their archival material would be transferred to the Mills Archive, becoming one of the four foundation collections.

The bulk of the archives were transferred in February 2004. Where a set of material in the SPAB collection could be identified as having come originally from a named individual who donated their collection to the SPAB, this was treated as a separate collection in the Mills Archive catalogue (see list of related collections below). The remainder, consisting of records created by the Mills Section and miscellaneous items donated to the Section over the years, has been catalogued as the SPAB Mills Section Foundation Collection.

The Mills Section's correspondence files were retained by the Section, although listed on the Archive catalogue. They were eventually transferred in October 2015. Additional casework files were transferred in September 2022.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Scope and content

Records of the work of the SPAB Mills Section preserving windmills and watermills. Wind and watermill related items donated to the Society.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Conditions governing access

This collection may be consulted free of charge at the Mills Archive; please email to arrange an appointment.

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script notes

Finding aids

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

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Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion




Archivist's note

Collection level description revised by Luke Bonwick and Nathanael Hodge, 2012; and by Nathanael Hodge, 2018. Whole collection catalogued to file level by Nathanael Hodge, 2018.

Digital object (Master) rights area

Digital object (Reference) rights area

Digital object (Thumbnail) rights area

Accession area

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Physical storage

  • Box: SPAB Casework files 1
  • Box: SPAB Casework files 2
  • Box: SPAB Casework files 3
  • Box: SPAB Casework files 4
  • Box: SPAB Casework files 5
  • Box: SPAB Casework files 6
  • Box: SPAB Casework files 7
  • Box: SPAB Casework files 8
  • Box: SPAB Casework files 9
  • Box: SPAB Casework files 10
  • Box: SPAB Casework files 11
  • Box: SPAB Casework files 12
  • Box: SPAB Casework files 13
  • Box: SPAB Casework files 14
  • Box: SPAB Casework files 15
  • Box: SPAB Casework files 16
  • Box: SPAB Casework files 17
  • Box: SPAB Casework files 18
  • Box: SPAB Casework files 19
  • Box: SPAB Casework files 20
  • Box: SPAB Casework files 21
  • Box: SPAB Casework files 22
  • Box: SPAB Casework files 23
  • Box: SPAB Casework files 24
  • Box: SPAB Casework files 25
  • Box: SPAB Casework files 26
  • Box: SPAB Casework files 27
  • Box: SPAB Unsorted files 1
  • Box: SPAB Unsorted files 2
  • Box: SPAB Unsorted files 3
  • Box: SPAB Unsorted files 4
  • Box: SPAB Unsorted files 5
  • Box: SPAB Unsorted files 6
  • Box: SPAB Unsorted files 7
  • Box: SPAB Unsorted files 8
  • Box: SPAB Unsorted files 9
  • Box: SPAB Unsorted files 10
  • Box: SPAB Unsorted files 11
  • Box: SPAB Unsorted files 12
  • Box: SPAB Unsorted files 13
  • Box: SPAB Unsorted files 14
  • Box: SPAB Unsorted files 15
  • Box: SPAB Unsorted files 16
  • Box: SPAB Unsorted files 17
  • Box: SPAB Unsorted files 18
  • Box: SPAB Unsorted files 19
  • Box: SPAB Unsorted files 20
  • Box: SPAB Casework A-Z by mill box 1
  • Box: SPAB Casework A-Z by mill box 2
  • Box: SPAB Casework A-Z by mill box 3