History of Swilland Windmill and Steam Mills built circa 1800

Swilland post mill was one of the largest post mills ever built in Suffolk, and probably anywhere. It stood 51 feet high with a 25 foot high roundhouse containing three floors. It was first recorded on Greenwood's country map of 1825 although a note in the Lummis Collection in the Suffolk Record Office states it was built in 1800, without giving any provenance.

We believe it was probably built for Frederick Buttrum, whose family also owned similar large post mills at Burgh and Ipswich. Frederick died c.1849 and was succeeded by his son John. Kelly's Directory of 1853 names William Buttrum as a miller and farmer. In 1858 J.Buttrum (possibly John) is listed and in 1868 another William Buttrum.

By 1883 William Smyth was the miller and in 1896 he is listed as possessing Steam Roller Mills. These stood adjacent to the windmill, indeed the flyer hardly had enough room to clear the wall and a bridge could be put across to the roundhouse from the steam mill.

In December 1905 the mill was sold to Robert Collins, who in turn sold it in April 1920 to Cyril A. Barron who continued to use the windmill until 1936. It stood derelict for a few years after the War and is believed to have been pulled down c. 1955.

The roundhouse stood as a broken down shell until the early 1970's when Bernard Rooke, a potter, who used the steam mill building as a studio, reroofed it and used it as a gallery to display his work.

The picture to the right shows Colonel C.A Barron seated on the right of the group in the foreground with his butler by his side. Two Ford vans registered in 1924 and a 3 ton Foden steam wagon No. 4750 which was owned by the Barron's from 1925 to 1927. The roller mill ceased production in the 1930's and today the base of the windmill remains in the form of the roundhouse.