The Mills Research Group was founded in 1979 as a voluntary society of enthusiasts who were each conducting research into some aspect of traditional milling, whether it be by wind, water or muscle power. Most of the members also belonged to the Mill Section of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, and so the Mills Research Group sought to have a presence at the SPAB mill meetings. The Mills Research Group used to hold its meetings after the SPAB meetings and in the same or a nearby venue, but when that became no longer possible, the MRG instead held its own meetings at Watlington House in Reading, the headquarters of the Mills Archive.
Starting in 1983 the Mills Research Group organised an annual conference, at which members presented papers on research in progress. These conferences lasted one day and were located in various places around England, usually in or near a mill. On the following day some of the members would visit other mill sites near the location of the conference. For example, the 2009 Conference was held at Crabble Mill, Dover, in Kent, the 2010 Conference at the Museum of East Anglian Life at Stowmarket in Suffolk, and the 2011 Conference at Great Cornard, also in Suffolk. The 2012 Conference was held at Great Glen, near Leicester, in 2013 we met at Totton, near Southampton and the 2014 Conference was at Caersws in Powys. The 2015 conference was held at in Wymondham, Norfolk, and the 2016 (and final) gathering at the Avoncroft Museum in Bromsgrove.
The proceedings of each conference are printed and available for purchase to both members and non members. In addition, the Group has published a Gazetteer of windmills in England. Please have a look at our list of publications, which may be ordered on line from the Mills Archive Trust.
Maintainer - Duncan Breckels