Stembridge Mill, High Ham
|Stembridge Tower Mill|
Stembridge Tower Mill (photo by Patrick Mackie)
|Architectural style||Tower mill|
|Town or city||High Ham|
A Tower Mill is a type of windmill which consists of a brick or stone tower, on top of which sits a roof or cap which can be turned to bring the sails into the wind. The advantage of the tower mill over the earlier post mill is that it is not necessary to turn the whole mill ("body", "buck") with all its machinery into the wind; this allows more space for the machinery as well as for storage. In the earliest tower mills the cap was turned into the wind with a long tail-pole which stretched down to the ground at the back of the mill. Later an endless chain was used which drove the cap through gearing as is used at Stembridge.
It was damaged by storms and left running via steam by 1897/8 and last used commercially in 1910. In 1969 Professor H. H. Bellot left the windmill, cottage and garden to the National Trust in his will. The mill has four floors, a thatched cap and is constructed of local limestone known in the area as Blue Lias.
The remains of the old bakehouse can still be see to the rear of the mill.
The mill has been designated by English Heritage as a grade II* listed building. The mill is owned by The National Trust and underwent a £100,000 restoration by local craftsmen funded by the Grantscape Community Heritage Fund in 2009 and was re-opened later in the year.
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