This fine example of an English tower mill was built in 1819 for the brothers Thomas and
Isaac Reckitt by the Hull millwrights Norman and Smithson, for the sum of £1,826 – 10s –
6d. Remarkably, the original contracts from the building of the mill still
The Reckitt brothers carried on their business as millers, corn factors and bakers. In the
1820s a bakehouse was added, and a steam engine was installed to supply power to a bone mill (where bones
were ground for fertiliser) and to a "Roman Cement" mill built to the north of the granary. The 16hp beam
engine was erected by Tuxfords of Boston at a cost of £300. The business failed in 1833 after a
succession of poor harvests; the mill was sold and the partnership dissolved.
Isaac Reckitt went to Nottingham and set himself up as a corn factor once more, but with
little success. Subsequently he moved to Hull and entered the starch business which proved a much more
profitable concern, eventually becoming Reckitt & Sons of ‘Blue’ fame – now Reckitt
& Colman Ltd.
The Ostler family took over the mill in 1914 and ran the business until 1948 when mechanical problems made
the windmill itself unusable. Trade carried on for some years using electrically driven equipment but was
gradually wound down, and the premises were sold in the late 1950s.The survival of the mill owes much to
Mr. Basil Reckitt, great-grandson of Isaac, the original builder, because in 1953 he was made aware of the
mill’s plight and arranged for the two Reckitt Family Charitable Trusts to finance essential repairs.
The work was carried out at a cost of £790 by Thompsons, millwrights of Alford.
By the time the present owners, the Waterfield family, arrived on the scene in June 1987,
the condition of the mill had deteriorated considerably, but the aim was to put Maud Foster Mill back into
working order - and to use it. Extensive repairs were undertaken, including the re-laying of all the floors
and the installation of new trapdoors, grain bins, millstone cases, balcony doors and windows where needed.
Three new sails had to be made, extensive repairs were required to the cap frame and roof, a new fantail was
fitted and all the machinery overhauled. The work was completed in July 1988 and it was fitting that Mr Basil
Reckitt was able to come along on 22nd July to perform the official re-opening ceremony. In 1998, two new
sails were fitted to replace the two oldest, dating from the 1970s. This brings the story up to date, but
windmills are rather like the Forth Bridge...