Chimney Mill, Spital Tongues
13 Feb 2023
This is a
Current status is
Designer (if known):
Listed Grade II
"This was the site of a windmill before 1649, with the last mill being built here in 1782. This last mill was the first five-sailed windmill in the country, a smock mill designed by Smeaton, and may have been the last working windmill in Newcastle. It fell out of use in 1872. Prior to this the mill had been part of a complex which contained other activities, including a snuff mill. Following its closure it was utilised by Newcastle Golf Club as a clubhouse. The surviving window arrangements were installed at this time along with a new front to the building.
The sails were dismantled in the 1920s, the fan tail removed in the 1930s and the windshaft and cap removed in 1951. It remained in use as a clubhouse until the early 1970s when it became an architect's office, at which time the covering of the tower was replaced with a modern "shiplap" boarding and a temporary flat cap was erected. At some point during the life of the golf club, asbestos tiling was laid over this earlier covering.
The building is the only surviving smock mill in Tyne and Wear and possibly the northern region. Within the building there survives sections of the main timbers of the shell, parts of the ancillary timber work and importantly the interior roller mechanisms on which the cap turned." - Sitelines
NEHL - The windmill had fell out of use for a good 40 yrs before this, with the building below used as the clubhouse for the City of Newcastle Golf Club. Their legacy stands proudly above the door.
Listing Description (if available)
Both maps above show the Chimney Mills area of Spital Tongues from the 1850s until the 1890s. The first is from the 6 inch edition surveyed in 1858. The immediately area has actually changed quite little, as the terraces of Claremont Road have been retained. St Lukes Church had not been built, though a tin iteration had been constructed by 1879 in a similar location. The North Terrace Inn is already in operation. The windmill can be seen as the circular structure under the 'H'. There is also a pond shown, which was related to John Smeaton's snuff mill slightly north west.
The 1890s town plan delivers a clearer view - St Luke's has been constructed as has the parish hall, and the windmill is the long rectangular structure in the centre of the plan.
The 1919 edition shows the windmill decades after its closure, with the sails having been dismantled in the same decade. The base of the mill had become part of the fabric of the road by this time. Since the 1890s, there is no dramatic transformation of the area.
Photograph from 2023 of the windmill and adjoining terraces.
A sign adorns the top of the door saying 'GOLF CLUB', erected by the members of the City of Newcastle Golf Club when they called the Town Moor their home.
St Luke’s, foreground, can be seen next to the windmill. A car with children can be seen on Claremont Road. The garage and smaller single floor building have been demolished. Unknown original source.