Hello, I am David "Gus" Goodwin, a nephew of the Tappin siblings. Living quite close to the last remaining 8 sailed
windmill and a fully working watermill has inspired me to take a look at the locations and opportunities for family members
to visit these fascinating historical old buildings. They can often be used as waypoints on walks around the county and many
have cafes or refreshments and provide excellent watering holes.
Windmills have been a feature of the Lincolnshire landscape for over 500 years.Early mills were simple wooden structures
called postmills and the only remaining postmill in the region can be found at Wrawby near Brigg. Lincolnshire saw the windmill reach
the height of its technology with the tall elegant brick tower topped by a distinctive onion shaped or ‘ogee’
cap.A feature peculiar to his region is a cast-iron device called the Lincolnshire
Cross which allows mills to be built with any number of sails.The area boasts
4, 5 & 6 sailers and as mentioned the last remaining 8-sailed windmill situated at Heckington near Sleaford.
Here is a guide to some
of the 19 mills open to visitors within our borders.
Located off the A52 near to Mablethorpe, Alford Windmill, built in 1837, is one of England’s
finest working mills. It also boasts a stylish new tea room and an Edwardian and Victorian antiques shop. The mill is usually open between and there is
a modest entry fee.
Just off the A16 near to Grimsby, Waltham Windmill was built
in 1879 by Saundersons of Waltham. There is plenty of free parking and free entry to the Museum of Rural Life, plus the usual café etc.Also of interest is the miniature railway and a picnic and play area for the kids. It is open during
the summer months with a token admission charge for entry to the mill. It's almost identical twin is the Sibsey Trader Windmill
near Boston, which was also built by Saundersons two years earlier in 1877.The Sibsey
is a working flour mill and reputed to be the finest of its type in England.
This magnificent 8-sailed windmill at Heckington was built in the 1830s and had the distinctive sails added in 1892
after losing the previous set in a storm.The mill produced flour until its closure
in 1946, however, local enthusiasts restored the mill in 1986 and are back again producing wholemeal and white flour. There is free entry to the ground floor but there is a small charge to visit to the
rest of the mill.Heckington also used to be known for the tea and coffee at the
Pea Room, but this has now closed and moved into the modern Hub site in Sleaford.
Some of the other windmills within Lincolnshire and their locations are:
Marsh – 5 miles west of Skegness on the A158, built in 1813, a working
tower mill with left handed sails!
Ellis’ Mill – near LincolnCastle and the Museum of Lincolnshire, Lincoln.
Maud Foster Mill, Boston – close to Boston town centre, just of A52 to Skegness.Built in 1819
and still earning its keep grinding local organic stone-ground flour.
MoultonMill – 4 miles east of Spalding. The
tallest windmill in Britain (over 99ft), built in 1822 this is a 9-storey windmill.
Mount Pleasant – near Kirton
in Lindsey – 4 sailed
brick tower mill built in 1875 and restored in 1991.
Wrawby Windmill – 1 mile off the A18 North East of Brigg. The last remaining postmill in the north of England.
I must make mention of the Watermills of Lincolnshire, not least because I live just 5 minutes from one of
the finest examples in Britain, Cogglesford Watermill.
Cogglesford near Sleaford is a fully restored and working watermill producing organic stone-ground flour sold
in the mill shop, the mill has probable Anglo-Saxon origins with parts dating back to the 17th century. There is free admission and there are idyllic walks along the canal, which should be navigable into Sleaford
Alvingham Mill is just 3 miles north of Louth, the village of Alvingham is famed for its two churches situated
next to each other sharing the one churchyard.The watermill has been in existance
for nearly 900 years and is open to the public.