Most people visiting
Thorpeness in Suffolk will have noticed the
wonderful ‘House in the Clouds’ with a smart white
post mill nearby, but they may not have realised the
connection between the two.
The developing resort
village of Thorpeness was first served by a 24-sail
wind pump on a steel tower with a small water tank.
In 1923-24 a new
larger water tower was constructed and disguised as
the ‘House in the Clouds’. At the same time, a
disused post mill, first erected at nearby
Aldringham in 1803 was moved to the site and
modified so that the brake wheel could drive a
3-throw pump. As this was a turret post mill – that
is, with a round house – the main post had to be
replaced by a cast iron pipe carrying the drive down
to the pump. The mill fell out of use in about
1940, and was replaced by an engine (no details).
This arrangement became redundant in 1963 when an
area water supply scheme was introduced. The ‘House
in the Clouds’ is now holiday accommodation, as the
tank was removed in 1977. I think you would have to
be very fit to stay there!
Also at this time the
mill was restored (again!) and is now on private
land, having been sold by Suffolk County Council in