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Over Windmill
Over, Cambridgeshire
Over Windmill
associated engineer
Not known
date  1853
era  Victorian  |  category  Windmill  |  reference  TL379689
photo  Paul Dunkerley
Reputedly the only mill in the country capable of, and still grinding, grist in 1989. Built quite late as far as windmills go, it was constructed using materials from an old smock mill, ceased work in 1939, was brought back to life in 1969 and has since been restored.
Over Windmill is a tarred three-storey tower mill. It has leaded windows on the bottom two floors, two doors at ground level, and a basement. Inside, ladders are used between floors as space is tight.
The old smock mill materials were purchased by Samuel Froment from Joseph Gifford in 1851. As well the name of the Froment family, Benjamin and Wallis Cattell's names can be found in old mill directories of the 1850s and 60s. The mill was bought in 1875 by Jonathan Parish. It passed to his son William in 1894 by which time a steam engine had been installed. The mill was worked by William Mustill from 1912 to 1929, when it ceased milling.
The building was derelict in 1950. It was purchased in 1960 for 100 by Graham Chris Wilson, who fitted a pair of patent sails and a pair of stones from the derelict mill at Upwell, enabling the mill to work again in October 1969. It has been restored since and is worked by its owner, who also rebuilt the cap, the brake-wheel and most of the internal timberwork. It is now operated with two double shuttered and two single shuttered patent clockwise sails with leading boards.
The mill has an external gallery around the beehive cap, which runs on a dead curb with two rollers, the top of the cap being flat and removable. There is an eight-blade fantail and fan drive with spur and bevel gears.
Mill equipment includes a cast iron windshaft with a balance weight to counteract the weight of the sails, elm neck bearings, a wood and iron brake-wheel with iron cogs, an iron wallower and an iron circular section vertical shaft that changes to 125mm square section on the first floor.
Also on the first floor are two pairs of stones (one pair French, one Peak runner stone and one French bedstone), both sets underdriven from a cast iron Great Spur Wheel on the ground floor. Both hoppers have alarm bells and one pair of stones had a round iron vat. There is a centrifugal flour dresser by T. Robinson & Son of Rochdale on the ground floor. The sack hoist is slack belt tensioned, the drive having to be pulled off rather than on. The mill can also drive a saw and a drill.
Research: PD
"The Windmills of Cambridgeshire" by R. Wailes
Transactions of the Newcomen Society, Vol XXVIII, 97-119, 1951/3
"England's Vanishing Windmills" by A.E.P. Shillingford
Godfrey Cave Associates Ltd, London, 1979
reference sources   WofEWGE

Over Windmill