Who knew that there was once a windmill in Redhill? I once saw it described as being located at the ‘bottom of The Mount’.I felt this a bit unlikely as The Mount began simply as a long driveway from Mansfield Road to the two large homes still situated at the top of the road, overlooking Redhill Cemetery. Mansfield Road is neither particuarly high up as in somewhere you might expect to find a windmill situated.
An acquaintance located the actual windmill site for me on an old OS map and it appears to have stood roughly around the area of the extension of Redhill Cemetery came to be. This would make sense being a little higher up and more exposed to the elements.
There are no pictures of the Redhill windmill that I am aware of though a little detail of the individuals who ran it still exist.
There was also a second windmill not too far away on Mill Lane which leads from Cross Street near the top of Galway Road. The building still remains as a private home I believe and is also marked on the map.
The map, dated from around the late 1890s I believe, contains some other interesting detail of our locality. The heavier dark hatched line running right to left near the top right of the map is what became the ‘twichell’ which still runs alongside Redhill Academy between Stanhope Road and Stanhope Crescent. In those days it carried on in a straight line from Arnold to Mansfield Road, Redhill and emerged opposite The Mount. Above it are orchards containing cherries and pears I believe. A modern-day link to them remains in the naming of Cherry Close adjacent the school and the line of around twenty pear trees which remained in the school grounds as ‘Pear Tree Avenue’. The area in general was well known for cherry growing in particular.
Mansfield Road and Arnold Lane/Oxclose Lane are both clearly visible on the map, as is Cross Street, probably called ‘Cross Lane’ around that time. Some locals also termed it ‘White Hart Lane’ as it indeed did represent a lane from Arnold to the original White Hart coaching inn demolished in the 1960s to be replaced by its predecessor built on the land behind it. At one point both buildings were extant.
Mansfield Road itself had previous names also in the form of ‘Sandy Lane’ as it was previously called by virtue of the sandy soil present in some parts of Redhill. Much further back in years it was termed the ‘rubeam rodam’, (red road). And so we see some of the origins of the naming of Red Hill/Redhill.