Windmills have been in existence for over eight hundred years and, although only a fraction of those that once ground corn, pumped water and provided power for industry and agriculture now survive, they are still a distinctive and often dramatic presence in the British landscape. Among the most important features of these survivors are the variations in design that have come about through their different origins, the use of local materials in their construction, and the influence of millwrights and millers – those who built and worked them – in different parts of the country. Understanding these variations is vital for the protection and maintenance of windmills, the continued survival of which allows a fascinating insight into the historic use of renewable energy, the development of engineering, and the processing of grain for flour and bread, as well as other essential products.
Since 1988 Martin Watts has worked as a traditional millwright and consultant, his work covering many aspects of the repair, maintenance, conservation and interpretation of historic mills and their machinery.
Other books for Shire by this author:
Water and Wind Power
Table of Contents
Historical background Windmill types Sails Winding Caps and curbs Machinery Corn milling Drainage mills Industrial and agricultural windmills Heyday and decline Preservation Glossary Further reading Windmills to visit