Gallery ~ Landmarks
The Ruiton Mill
Off Vale Street, Ruiton, Upper Gornal.
The present windmill at Ruiton was built by George Richmond in 1830, it occupies a lofty position well suited to its 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.
Notice on the bankruptcy of George Richmond, 1837
"TO MILLERS, BAKERS, SHOPKEEPERS, BROKERS, AND OTHERS
Extensive sale of Household furniture, Stock of Wheat, Flour, Beans, Peas, Spring Carts, capital Black Gelding, &c., at Ruiton Mills, in the parish of Sedgley, by the order of assignees of Mr. George Richmond, bankrupt.
By R. Adams - To be SOLD by AUCTION, this present Monday, November 27, and following days, until the whole is disposed of-all the valuable large stock of Wheat, Flour, Sharps, Brans, Beans, Peas, part of a Rick of Oats, Potatoes, Scales and Weights, large quantity of bags, Capital Black Gelding, rising five, steady to ride or drive, two light Spring Carts, Gig Harness, two sets of Cart Gearing, Baking Peals, Tins, tubs, scales and weights &c., also the gentile and useful Household Furniture, including oak four post, tent, and other bedsteads, capital feather beds, eight-day clock in mahogany case, mahogany dining and other tables, chest of drawers, chairs, pier and swing glasses, prints, pictures, glassware, linen, china, brass mounted wire and other fenders, garden chair, together with well seasoned brewing vessels kitchen and culinary utensils, and other effects. "
George Richmond also purchased a much older corn windmill at Ruiton in 1835.
This older mill was built in the 17th century and located in Windmill Street just a short distance away.
Thomas Maullin of "Overgornal" was owner of the old windmill during the early 18th Century, among the probate items in 1722, were two millstones, 'Barley on the ground', hayricks, 4 cows, pig and mare, plus a large list workshop and household items, all totalling 73.13.11. [Sedgley Probate Inventories, Roper]
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..."
However the old mill fell down due to age and the proximity of quarry workings sometime in 1872.
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 its 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.
Newspaper Sale Notice, 1861
"All that FLOUR MILL, situate at Ruiton, in the parish of Sedgley, with Wind-mills, Machinery, and two pairs of French Stones, two Store Rooms, Stable, and Piggery; also a MESSUAGE or Dwelling House adjoining, consisting of Shop, Parlour, Kitchen, and three Chambers, Washhouse and Cistern. The whole contains an area of 580 square yards or thereabouts, and is Leasehold for the term of 999 years, of which 841 years are unexpired."
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 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
"RUITON WINDMILL, UPPER GORNAL - To be LET.
The above Mill having Three Pairs of Stones, Flour Machine, Smutter, Duster, &c., in good repair, with trade attached.
-For particular apply on the Premises."
The new mill at Ruiton apparently didn't prosper under any ownersship, no doubt partly due to the changing landscape of the area -the once farmland yeilding to quarrying and mining enterprises.
Two photos of Ruiton windmill in 1958. The spars and gears were removed shortly after.
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.
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.
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