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The Ruiton Mill
Ruiton Windmill around 1900, showing the sails in tatters.
John Price postcard c1905 (CDM Collection).
Off Vale Street, Ruiton, Upper Gornal.
A windmill at Ruiton has existed since the 17th century, the old mill has long since been demolished, a new windmill, the remains of which still show on the skyline, was built by George Richmond in 1830.
The mills occupied a lofty position well suited to their purpose.
Ruiton Mill tower has long since lost its sails, internal workings and grinding stones.
The adjacent mill cottages which included the bake-house were also constructed using the local quarried stone.
The Old Rewardine Windmill.
The old windmill at 'Rewardine' [Ruiton] was built of local stone, it was situated at the lower end of what was to become called Windmill Street, Ruiton, the old windmill site was at the end of modern day Club Row cul de sac.
In the 17th Century, it belonged to local gentry, the Persehouse family.
In 1702, Peter Persehouse sold Rewardine Mill to Thomas Maullin.
Among the probate items of Thomas Maullin of "Overgornal" [Upper Gornal] in 1722, were two millstones, 'Barley on the ground', hayricks, 4 cows, pig and mare, plus a large list of workshop and household items, all totalling £73.13.11. [Sedgley Probate Inventories, Roper]
It continued in the ownership of the Maullin family and leased to local millers.
In 1759, Job Maullin disposed of it to William Woodward of Bloxwich and John Lees of Walsall. Their ownership lasted only a short time and it was sold to Samuel Fereday of Upper Gornal.
In 1790, Samuel Fereday transferred ownership of the windmill to his Son, Samuel Fereday, farmer of Park Farm, Sedgley.
Newspaper Sale Notice, 1861
Thomas Turner and Benjamin Lloyd took possession in 1795, and in 1805 it was sold to William Richmond.
By 1835, it was in the ownership of his son George Richmond who had just built the new windmill nearby in Vale Street.
It was described in Mr. Richmonds bankruptcy notice in 1837 as...
"all that other corn wind mill, with a messuage or dwelling-house, store-room, stabling, pump of water and garden..."
After the failure of George Richmond in 1837, it passed to a succession of owners, the last of these being Edward Jones who took possession in 1861.
It is likely that it was used for grinding sand from the local quarries in much of it's later life.
However the windmill fell into a dilapidated condition and eventually fell down due to age and the proximity of the quarry workings sometime in 1872.
The New Windmill at Ruiton
George Richmond, who owned the old mill, built a new windmill in 1830.
Notice on the bankruptcy of George Richmond, 1837
The 'new' windmill was substantially built of sandstone from the nearby quarry, it had three grinding stones capable of grinding 120 bags of corn per week.
The new venture by George Richmond was short-lived and he was bankrupted in 1837 and both mills were sold off.
George Richmond was described as a Miller, Baker, Dealer and Chapman in bankruptcy notices in 1837.
In the last few years of it's active life, the 'new' mill was possibly used to grind sand from the nearby stone quarry after the old mill had fallen, the resulting fine sand was extensively used around the area for scouring.
The last recorded use was in the 1870s, in 1877 a storm hit Ruiton and it was reported that the sails were damaged.
A newspaper of December 1877, reported violent gales accompanying bad snow storms had affected Ruiton and damaged several buildings in the area.
"..the sails of Ruiton Windmill which is used for grinding sand, were destroyed".
It is likely that it was no longer used for grinding after that time.
Newspaper Notice, 1864
The new mill at Ruiton apparently didn't prosper under any ownership, no doubt partly due to the changing landscape of the area -the once farmland yeilding to quarrying and mining enterprises.
The four spars - the wooden remains of the sails, were removed in the late 1950s after a very long period of disuse and decay.
The windmill became a grade II listed building in 1950, although throughout that decade its future was in still in doubt, the preservation of the windmill tower was taken over by the local authority.
The nearby stone cottages are also listed buildings and of the same period as the tower.
The Mill Cottages are now a private residence.
The Mill is now used as the headquarters for the Dudley Caving Club, who use the structure for abseiling, and also Dudley Amateur Radio Club who regularly meet there as well as local youth groups.
Internally, it has been refurbished and has toilet and kitchen facilities, it occupies three floors, as well as the roof which gives impressive views on a clear day over Shropshire, Staffordshire, Worcestershire, West Midlands and beyond.
Remains of the windmill can be seen on virtually every horizon in the area.
Photo CDM 2015
Showing the courtyard and entrancde.
Photo CDM 2017
Fabulous views to the west showing Titterstone Clee Hill (left) and Brown Clee (right) on the horizon more than 20 miles away.
Photo CDM 2017.
Standing around 900 feet above sea level, the top gallery of the mill gives outstanding views in all directions but particularily to the south and west, where on a clear day the horizon 40 miles way can be seen.
Mill Cottages with the remains of the old windmill towering in the background.
Photo CDM 2014
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