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Photographer's Note

Just outside the North East town of Whitburn stands this majestic in its own green overlooking the north sea.

Windmills were used in the East in ancient times and in Europe were first used in Germany and in the Netherlands around the 12th Century. Mills with sails or vanes by action of the wind drive machinery were used for grinding corn or pumping water. Mills were also used to some extent to saw wood, making textiles and crushing ores. Windmills have a fantail which enables the sails to be continuously pointed into the wind.

A tower windmill was constructed in 1790 following the failure due to strong gales of the previous wooden post windmill. The windmill was used to grind corn from local farms which would be used to make bread. The windmill fell into miss-use during the 1980's when steam mills took over. During the Second World War the mill was used by the nearby Territorial Army base for training exercises.
The walls are constructed of solid local stone and are approximately 1.20m think. The ground floor has an internal diameter of 5.20m and the height to the top of the cap is approximately 12.0m.
The mill consists of a solid stone conical tower and a timber cap with sails and a fantail. Internally the mill has four floors with Ground floor, 1st floor, 2nd floor and 3rd into the cap.
In 1991/1992 South Tyneside Council carried out major restoration work. The mill was an empty shell when they began, the working gear having been removed more than 100 years earlier. Only one of the old timber beams and the original fireplace set into the wall on the ground floor remained. The walls were repaired, doors and windows opened up, floors rebuilt, staircases and information panels installed.

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Additional Photos by Chris Dyson (CPD66) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 248 W: 52 N: 102] (960)
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