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Heckington Windmill
Heckington, Lincolnshire
associated engineer
Edward Ingledew (millwright)
date  1830
UK era  Georgian  |  category  Windmill  |  reference  TF144435
ICE reference number  HEW 691
Originally built as a five-sailed windmill, eight sails and a replacement cap and mechanism were installed in 1890-2. This is the last remaining eight-sail windmill in Britain, one of only a dozen built.
Edward Ingledew of Gainsborough built the mill for Michael Hare. Its five original sails were Sutton's patent ones, thought to have been 4.6m wide at the tips and 3.66m wide at the heals, with longitudinal shutters, 11m long, on both sides of the backs. There were three pairs of stones. The mill was worked for over 40 years by the Nash brothers Sleighton and Joseph until 1890, when a sudden tailwind destroyed the sails.
The building was bought by John Pocklington, who also bought Tuxford Mill in Boston, from which he transferred the cap, sails, eight-blade fantail and internal machinery to Heckington. The mill then drove five pairs of stones and a circular saw, which was used to cut elm boards for coffins. Work ceased in 1943 after Pocklington's death. The mill was purchased by the County Council in 1953. Extensive repair work was carried out in 1969, including the fitting of four sails— two from Old Bolingbroke and two from Wainfleet St. Mary — together with a replacement fantail. The mill was struck by lightning in 1972. The sails were damaged and then repaired.
There is a reefing gallery at the second floor of the tarred five storey 16.8m high tower, which tapers from 8.53m (the widest in Lincolnshire) to 3.35m in internal diameter. Externally, it measures 9.75m at the base. The windows sit in a vertical line. The mill has a white painted ogee cap of tarred canvas on boards (marouflage finish), which is too large for the tower, and a ball finial. The fantail gearing has three bevel gears in a frame inside the cap.
The eight patent single shuttered anticlockwise sails are about 21m from tip to tip and have a combined area of more than 139 sq m. Perhaps uniquely, the tips of the sails are tied together with iron rods. The mill has three pairs of overdrift stones on the second floor with space for another pair, and a fourth overdrift pair on the first floor. There used to be another pair on the ground floor. The cross that carries the eight sails supposedly weighs 5 tons.
The mill is Grade I listed and open to the public.
Contractor: John Hodgson, millwright (1891 move)
Contractor: R.Thompson & Son, millwright (1969, 1972)
Research: PD
"Collection of Photographs of Mills (1927-1938)" by E. Mitford Abrahams
John Rylands University Library, Manchester
" Lincolnshire Windmills - A Contemporary Survey" by P.C.J. Dolman
Lincolnshire County Council, Recreations Services - Museums, Lincoln, 1986
reference sources   CEH E&CWofEWGE

Heckington Windmill