The Restoration of Wicken Mill: Millwrighting, Milling, and History


Mills Archive Research Publication 15

A valuable historical record; A4, 112pp with 169 illustrations, mostly in colour.

Wicken Windmill was bought by millwrights and fellow enthusiasts in 1987, with the intention of returning it to full working order. The mill was extremely derelict, and long without its sails. The restoration work has been carried out as a labour of love, by the owners the Wicken Windmill Partnership, and their many supporters. Great things have been achieved, and this important and unusual windmill is now in full working order. In 2001 it ground its first wholemeal flour by wind power for many years. Since then flour dressing machinery has been brought into use, and the mill offers wholemeal and white flours to the public: the mill is one of a very small number still reliant on the sales of flour for much of its income.

This book sets out to tell the story of how Wicken Windmill was saved. The craft of millwrighting is discussed, together with the sister craft of milling stone-ground flour. NB The Heritage Crafts Association has placed millwrighting on its Red List of critically endangered crafts in the UK.The author would be happy for the book to treated as something of an advisory text full of information and hints on repairing and sustaining smock mills.

List of Illustrations
Introduction: Millers and Millwrights
Hunts the Millwrights
Beginning of the Wicken Restoration
The Smock Tower
Cap Repairs
Fantail and Winding Gear
Lifting the Cap
Main Gears and Shafts
Sail Making
Erecting the Sails, 1996
Completing the Restoration – Flour Machinery
Repairs and Maintenance
Putting The Mill To Work: Machinery, Weather, Flour
Epilogue – Twilight
Appendix 1 Acknowledgements
Appendix 2 Bill of Sale 1823
Appendix 3 Excerpts from Hunt’s Day Books for Wicken Windmill
Appendix 4 SPAB Certificate
Appendix 5 The Wicken Windmill Song

16 in stock