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Chesterton Windmill
Chesterton, Wawickshire
Chesterton Windmill
associated engineer
Sir Edward Peyto
date  1632
UK era  Stuart  |  category  Windmill  |  reference  SP347594
ICE reference number  HEW 867
photo  Peter S.M. Cross-Rudkin
Sometimes attributed to Inigo Jones but now thought to be by local squire Sir Edward Peyto, whose initials and the date 1632 are inscribed on the cap, Chesterton Windmill is unique in Britain.
The cylindrical stone tower mill sits on six piers and arches, all of local ashlar limestone. The structure is 7m in diameter and 11m tall. It has a single wooden floor, accessed via a ladder through a trapdoor. The tradition that the mill was built as an observatory or gazebo and then converted is probably apocryphal. There are references to a windmill in the estate records of 1636.
As for its equipment, the mill has an aluminium covered shallow-domed cap luffed by hand winch, four common anticlockwise sails and two pairs of underdrift stones. Major repairs are known to have been carried out in 1776 and 1860.
The last millers were the Haynes family from about 1880 to 1910. It was operated by Samuel Haynes until his death in 1900, then by his nephew William Haynes together with Harbury Mill during the early 20th century. Work ceased in 1910 when the cap jammed.
The sails were repaired in 1930. The mill was sold in 1965 and taken into the care of Warwickshire County Council. Repairs to the fabric were completed in 1971. It is Grade I listed and is open once a year.
Though unique in this country, the mill had a counterpart in Newport, Rhode Island. Here, an eight arched tower of about the same diameter was built of rough masonry, originally rendered — possibly in imitation of the smooth stone at Chesterton. This tower may have been built between 1635 and 1698 by Governor Benedict Arnold but was already in ruins by the 1770s.
Contractor: E.H. Burgess (1965-71 repairs)
Millwright: Derek Ogden (1965-71 repairs)
Research: PD
"Windmills in Warwickshire" by W.A. Seaby and A.C. Smith
Warwickshire Museum Publication, 1977
reference sources   CEH E&CWofEWGE

Chesterton Windmill