Windmills, Minus Sails, Plus A Lot More

Four windmills that are quite local to where we live in the Fens.  None of them are now working, and only one has been restored into a home.  The first windmill is behind Mill House, which is really in need of being restored, if one had a lot of money to take on the task.

The next windmill is behind a garage and I suppose it will just all fall down one day, again such a shame.

Now this windmill has been saved and turned into a home, which is what could have happen to the other three.

Not from far from the above windmill, is this poor specimen, full of rubbish, I think it belongs to a small farm, there are old sheds nearby, which could have something to do with the mill.  But in the ten years we have lived here in the Fens, the mill has just got worse.  I just wanted to record them, while they are still standing.  There are many more dotted around, and I suppose you just can’t save everything.

Just a bystander, watching with interest.

Iceland Cruise 4 – Het Jonge Schaap Sawmill, Zaanse Schans, Zaandam, The Netherlands

On our visit to Zaanse Schans to see the Historic Windmills, we visited Het Jonge Schaap, a sawmill.  Before we visit the mill, I want to explain that around about 1920, there were only about 20 windmills left of the 1000 that had made the Zaan district the oldest industrial area in the world.  On the 17th March 1925, a windmill society De Zaansche Molen was founded to preserve the mills for further generations.  The society now owns thirteen industrial windmills and Het Jonge Schaap Sawmill is the societies latest asset.  

I keep thinking of how a 1000 windmills would have looked like, especially being industrial ones, with all the bustle and noise.  We have lots of windmills in the Fens where we live, most were drainage pumping mills, but quite a few for flour, at one point it would seem that nearly every village had one.  There are still many left in some of our larger towns, but these are single mills, not a 1000, yes it must have looked amazing.   But back to the Sawmill, which is also called ‘The Young Sheep’ but I have no idea why.  Just incase no one notices, the mills are covered in thatch, apart from the green painted ones.

The original sawmill was from the the former Westzijderveld and was demolished in 1942.  Reconstruction started on the basis of some drawings, using the latest technology.  The first pile was sunk into the ground on 24th September 2005 and the mill was open two years later on 27th September 2007.  

The mill is a cap winder, only the cap turns in wind by means of a winch, the so called capstan wheel that is operated on the platform (the balcony).  At the peak of the industrial mill industry, there were more than 200 sawmills in the Zaan district.  When circumstance were favourable and they were working hard, they could saw around twenty logs a day.  There were usually five people staffing a sawmill, off encamped at mill formerly morning to late at night.

Thats the last of the windmills, sorry for the amount, but I really enjoyed visiting them, as you can tell 🙂  Next post, cheese and clogs.



Iceland Cruise 3 – Amsterdam & Windmills

On the 5th March 2016 at 08.00 our cruise ship Magellan arrived at the Port of Amsterdam, Netherlands.  We had a lovely smooth crossing, the sun was shining, but it was very cold.  We decided, as we had visited the city quite a few times in the past, we would do ‘Windmills & Volendam’  Our coach left at 8.30 and we had to be back by 12.30 as we were departing at 13.00.  I only mention the times, as they became a little important later on in the excursion.  Now there is one thing I have not attempted before, and that’s taking photos from a moving coach window, not quite the same as a car, mainly because I couldn’t  open the window.  So if there are any shadows on the photos, sorry and please ignore them, I have 🙂  We visited a cap winder sawmill which I really enjoyed and a cheese farm, where they also make clogs.  Not sure we would have chosen that stop if we had been on our own, but I did get some quite good photos for my occupation category.  Lastly we stopped at the lovely fishing village of Volendam.  

This post is the journey to the Windmills in Zaanse Schans, from leaving Magellan, driving through a little of Amsterdam and then out to the district of Zaandam to visit the windmills.  

A little history on Zaanse Schans……The mid-19th century saw the start of the industrial revolution in the Zaan district.  What you see today on the Zaanse Schans is how a living and working community which would have been similar to that time: farmsteads, paths, wooden houses, warehouses and windmills, ditches and fields  This is what architect Jaap Schipper must have been thinking when he came up with the plan for the Zaanse Schans in 1946.  Starting from 1961, several buildings were transported to the area by road and water. The Zaanse Schans, with its windmills, museums, nature and culture has become a popular attraction where you can experience up close the industrial history of the Netherlands.

Next post a visit to a cap winder sawmill.

Happy New Year 2018

Well thats the end of another year, they do seem to be going faster, or is that just me 🙂  I would like to thank all my blogging friends, for the likes and most of all, the comments that people take the time to leave.  Hopefully next year I will catch up on some of the tons of churches that I still have to post 🙂

‘Happy New Year’ and I do hope it’s as peaceful as it can be for everyone.

The photo is of the Fens in Norfolk, and I am sure that if it wasn’t pouring down in rain, this is what the end of 2017 would have looked like 🙂

John Whittome The Millwright & Miller


This headstone in Hilgay Churchyard, Norfolk, jumped straight out at me when I walk around the corner of the church, I have never seen one like it before.  I was quite fascinated by it and wondered if John Whittome had been a miller.  So I did a bit of researching to day and found out quite a lot of John Whittome, who was a Millwright and also became a Miller.

In loving memory of John Whittome died May 10th 1891 aged 74 years also of Elizabeth his wife died March 31st 1894 aged 76 years God is love

John Whittome died in 1891 and was buried in Hilgay churchyard, to the south of the church. The distinctive headstone has the carving of a large tower windmill with a stage, possibly Denver Mill, and was inscribed:Wheel & Millwright, Joiner & General Smith.  

The Whittome family ran The Hilgay Post Mill (which stood for 250 years) and also The Hilgay Smock Mill.  John had also been a Corn Miller from 1868 to 1883.  The Smock Mill was used for grinding corn, and had a pair of fine French dress stones. John built a house in the village with a foundry and steam mill nearby.  Sad to say that that not any of the mills survive today.

The following was found in the Lynn Advertiser – 13th October 1866

Wheel & Millwright, Joiner & General Smith

Thanks his friends for their patronage during the last 30 years & solicits a continuance of their commands in the above branches of business 

Steam & Horse machines of all kinds carefully attended to.

Agricultural Implements of the most approved principles built or repaired.
Joiners & Smiths work of every description.
Timbers sawn by steam power.

It is a wonderful headstone to commemorate the life of a Millwright and Miller.


Inigo Jones Windmill


After we had explored St Giles Church with its Inigo Jones gateway we drove pass this wonderful windmill.  Stopped the car for a quick photo shot, I would have loved to walked up and explored, but we were fast running out of time and there were still a couple of churches to explore.


Chesterton Windmill is a 17th-century cylindric stone tower windmill with an arched base, located outside the village of Chesterton, Warwickshire. It’s a Grade I listed building and erected in 1632 from a design attributed to Inigo Jones.  The machinery was extensively modified in 1860 but last used in 1910.  There is a thought that it could have been used for another purpose prior to that of a windmill, but whatever its use, it is a very impressive landmark on the horizon as you drive pass.