Wilton Windmill

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The sails of Wilton Windmill

The Wilton Windmill is a five-floor brick tower mill located on a chalk ridge between the villages of Wilton and Great Bedwyn in the southern English county of Wiltshire.

History[edit]

The mill was built in 1821 because the construction of the Kennet and Avon Canal had included the canalisation of the River Bedwyn which had previously powered several water mills in the area.

The windmill was in use for a century, continuing into the 1920s, but fell into disuse, probably as the result of competition from large steam roller mills. In the 1960s it was added to the list of buildings of architectural or historical merit as Grade II. In 1971 it was bought by Wiltshire County Council and leased to the Wiltshire Historic Buildings Trust, which early in 1972 began to restore it to working condition.[1] By the end of the summer of 1976 the windmill was once again making flour. It is now owned by the new Wiltshire Council and managed by the Wilton Windmill Society, formed in 1976 and operated entirely by volunteers.[1][2] In the 1980s the mill was in financial difficulties, which led to the Society forming a cricket XI, the Wilton Millers' Cricket Team, to raise funds by playing sponsored matches, and in 2011 this was still in existence, although no longer needed for fundraising.[1]

Flour, made from locally-grown wheat, is still produced at the mill and can be bought on site and in local shops.[1]

Sails[edit]

As when it was first constructed, the mill has a fantail, which causes the cap supporting the sails to turn to make best use of the available wind. Of the four sails, two are of canvas and two are more complicated "patent sails", each consisting of twenty-two sections which can be angled.[1]

Location[edit]

Position: grid reference SU275615

Nearby towns and cities: Hungerford, Marlborough, Newbury, Swindon

Nearby villages: Wilton, East Grafton, Great Bedwyn, Burbage, Shalbourne

Nearby places of interest: Crofton Pumping Station

Culture and media[edit]

Wilton Windmill featured in an episode of Victorian Farm Christmas, first aired on BBC Two on 11 December 2009.[3] It also appeared in the short movie Jerusalem starring pop group The Style Council, filmed in 1986 for a direct to video release in 1987. In the movie the band performs the song Heaven's Above at the windmill.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Anna Stowe, 'A brief history of Wilton Windmill' in Wiltshire Life magazine dated May 2011
  2. ^ official web site at wiltonwindmill.co.uk, accessed 14 June 2011
  3. ^ "Christmas Series of Victorian Farm". Windmill World. Retrieved 1 January 2009. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°21′07″N 1°36′23″W / 51.35192°N 1.60650°W / 51.35192; -1.60650

Images[edit]