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When is a church not a church?

When is a church not a church? The answer is 'When its a windmill'.

St Cross Chapel at the Mill - Richard Rogerson - Creative Commons

Reigate Heath Windmill is unlike any other. In 1880 it became St Cross Chapel, believed to be the world’s first consecrated windmill.

The chapel, now known as Reigate Mill Church, serves the local St Mary’s Parish Church. Built on the site of an earlier windmill, Reigate Heath Windmill began its life in 1765 and remained in use for almost 100 years until 1862. Eighteen years later, having been acquired by the Anglican Church, the mill was restored, converted, and consecrated. Within four years, the chapel hosted its first wedding and to this day remains in frequent use, with once monthly services during the summer and yearly Christmas carol services.

Photo: Stephen Craven - Creative Commons

There are car parks around the windmill, which is in the middle of a busy golf course.

The key to the quirky church within can be obtained from the bar opposite.

The entrance to the church - Atlas Obscura - Creative Commons

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