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Bourn Windmill
Bourn, Cambridgeshire
Bourn Windmill
associated engineer
Not known
date  pre 1636
era  Stuart  |  category  Windmill  |  reference  TL310580
ICE reference number  HEW 690
photo  Peter Cross-Rudkin
Although this tiny windmill cannot be dated exactly, it is considered to be the oldest surviving open trestle post mill in Britain. A deed of 1653 mentions it changing hands in 1636 and the dates of progressive repairs in 1742, 1758 and 1874 have been carved into it.
Bourn Windmill is also the smallest post mill in Cambridgeshire. Its buck, or body, is only 10ft 6in by 14ft 6in and 31ft 6in high. It is built mostly of wood and has a simple pitched roof. The machinery inside has changed many times but from the outside the building provides a good idea of what a late medieval mill was like.
At some point, the buck was extended to allow for two more millstones in the tail. This makes it a 'head and tail' mill. The buck's windows have shutters rather than glazing and there is a rear ladder and tailpole. Unusually, the body of the mill is carried on two vertical members instead of beams at each end of the crowntree. Of the original four 'common' sails, two have been replaced by spring anticlockwise versions.
Gales damaged the mill in both 1925, when it ended its working life, and again in 1976 but repairs have kept it in good condition. Steel angles have been added to the buck to stiffen it.
reference sources   IndArchCEH E&CWofEEngW

Bourn Windmill