About Us

Here is just a little info to let you get to know our pub better...



Here is little potted history of our pub and the local area... if you have a spare minute or two and maybe a cup of tea (or is that a G&T), we think it's well worth read.

Read on...

South Hanningfield

A map from 1884 showing the
Old Windmill Inn, well away from
the future site of the resevoir

At the time of the First World War the village consisted of the school, the Windmill public house, the post office and general store, the blacksmith's forge and the parish church of St Peter. 'Bearmains', the big house, was lived in by Mr and Mrs Gray, employing many servants and gardeners and there was a scattering of cottages mainly occupied by the farmers and their families.

The post office and general stores were run by the Clarence family. You could always purchase lovely hand-cut bacon and cheese, and all perishable goods were kept in a back room with a brick floor, slate shelves and no heat. The blacksmith's forge was run by the two Smith brothers who were kept busy with the farm horses. When anyone wanted the doctor to call from Wickford, a white flag was placed on the smithy's wall and the doctor on his motor-bike used to call there to see where he was wanted (there were no phones in the village until the 1930s).

Old Windmill

The Old Windmill in 1890

The Old Windmill was built in 1702, and has been a public house at least from 1799, when records show that Joshua Appleton, Licensed Victualler, held the lease for 14 years.

From 1848, William Hunt, described in a census as a Licensed Victualler and Farmer, had the pub. His family took the Windmill on after him and ran it until at least 1933. It is described at that time as a small country pub with a tap room, the floor of which was covered in sawdust, and was run by Tom Hunt and his sister Peg, together with a housekeeper Mrs Aspin. All three by all accounts were very deaf, but managed to keep the locals happy, especially in wintertime with a large fire in the tap room which had seats built in the side of the fireplace.

Since then, the pub has seen a few changes, and legend had it that the pub was demolished in 1954 and rebuilt in a different location to facilitate the building of Hanningfield reservoir. However, the 1884 Ordnance Survey Map below clearly shows the Old Windmill Inn in its current location, well away from the waters of the new reservoir.

It has since undergone much extension work, but the old charm of the building remains.


If you'd like to put a name to a face, allow us to introduce you to the crew...


Front of house

Nicholas Clark


The irony of a bald, convertible driving person called Nick(y) Clark is not lost on any of us. Nick is a hard working guy who was previously with M&B before making the jump to B&P and overseeing the Two Brewers in Chigwell, before taking on the Old Windmill. A former Essex county swimmer, he could be a doppelganger for a certain Duncan Goodhew. Nick's natural charm and charisma make him a natural behind the bar, and come to think of it, he's a natural in front of the bar too.

Karen Wall

Deputy Manager

After working at various fine dining restaurants and wedding catering, Karen found her home with us as our new deputy. An avid foodie, she is often seen eating at the best restaurants and food festivals. Not satisfied with only eating at the best places, she is a great cook and not afraid to try any kind of cuisine. Always with a smile on her face, Karen adores her dotting dog Ollie and the two of them are sure to be found at The Windmill dog walks!

Angela Shearer

Bar/Waiting Staff

Angela has a degree in Tourism Management and Hospitality so she has a good grounding in the industry. When she's not at the Old Windmill she helps to host functions at Hylands House at Chelmsford, ensuring people's big day goes smoothly, so she must be able to cope with stress, big time. An ardent Chelsea fan, she can also be found at the odd beer festival or two.

Cali Barker

Bar/Waiting Staff

Putting the 'front' in front of house, Cali is our whirl wind on the restaurant floor. The second member of the Barker family to join the ranks, she clearly studied at the same school of hard graft that her Mum did. Never happier than when the pub is bursting at the seams, Cali is all smiles and efficiency, sashaying her way between tables and making sure everything is being done to her high standards. Dedicated to the end: Barker genes we salute you.



Keith Jones

Head Chef

Keith came to the Old Windmill after running his own resturant and brings a wealth of experince to the team. He is an avid traveller and has visited nearly all four corners of the world. When he's not jet setting around the globe he enjoys a round a golf or shopping for trainers and shoes - a big passion of his. At the end of a busy shift Keith enjoys nothing better than a glass of red and a Turkish delight.

Paige Bartholomew

Junior Sous Chef

Paige is never without a smile on her face and is sure to be keeping the boys in check. Paige is happy, bubbly and fun - and after a long day in the kitchen, she prefers nothing more than enjoying a large glass of rose.

Robert Hall


Rob is our resident sportsman with a desire for fire fighting in his eyes. He is a long standing Windmiller having been with us for four years, so he knows this place inside out. Any knowledge required on beer, food or chocolate Baileys, Rob is the man to ask.

Mark Chong

Senior Chef de Partie

Mark is a fitness fanatic, and his natural abundance of energy certainly helps fuel the cookers in the kitchen. His favourite holiday destination is the Alps, and he has a passion for skiing and road cycling. By night, he can be found in the halls of Southend Casino.

Neil Jennings

Chef de Partie

Another long term B&P'er, Neil has been with the company since 2008 and doesn't show any sign of jumping ship. A fellow Two Brewers chap, it didn't take long for Neil to follow his best mate Nick over across the Essex county. A beloved uncle, he spends much of his time finding ways to entertain his two year old niece - when he's not quaffing beer of course.

Michael Tyas

Kitchen Porter

Mike is our demon of the dishes and keeps all our plates, pots, pans and cutlery squeaky clean. Mike takes great pride in his work and keeps the kitchen looking ship shape. When Mike hasn't got a scouring brush in his hand he enjoys taking camping trips to France, and is an avid cyclist.

Charlotte Prebble

Kitchen Porter

Charlotte is bubbly, fun and super enthusiastic. A whizz in the kitchen, she shows those dirty plates no mercy. When she's not working away like a trooper, she's a keen dancer and gymnast.

Book online

Use the calendar to book a table. If the time you're after is not available, give us a call and we will try our best to fit you in. We keep some tables for phone bookings.


Upcoming event

Christmas Fayre Menu

Friday 1st to Sunday 31st December

Click for more info