Station: [13] European Windmills

Now for a quick tour of some other European countries. You’ll discover mills from the Netherlands, the UK, Sweden and Germany. And these are just a few examples. The photographs were collected by mill enthusiast Hermann Driessen from Duisburg. 

Your journey begins – in Sweden:

Jordhamn scouring mill is a grinding and scrubbing mill on the west coast of the Swedish island of Öland in the Baltic Sea. It was built in the 19th century. The limestone slabs quarried nearby were ground smooth at the mill. Although the structure is near the water, there’s an adjoining well that supplied the water required for grinding. The mill remained in operation until 1938. 
The Dutch tower mill at Zeddam dates to 1450 and has common lattice sails. You’ll find it in the bottom row, third from the left. The mill is built on an artificial mound, which is reflected in the German name for this type, Wall-Holländer, basically Dutch-style windmill on a mound. It’s the only remaining operational medieval tower mill in the Netherlands, and one of Western Europe’s oldest brick built mills. Our own smock mill also had lattice sails until 1904, when they were replaced by slatted sails. However, in the case of our mill, the lattice was spread with sailcloth. In the early 1960s, those sails were replaced by Bilau ventisails.

Another mill from the Netherlands is the 1835 hollow post mill. It was used to drain the polders. The base, or roundhouse, is solid and fairly tall in relation to the squat rotating body. The latter houses the wind shaft and gears, while the roundhouse contains the mill machinery and pumping equipment. The mill has the tail pole typical of Dutch post mills — in other words, the long beam with which the miller turned the body so the sails would catch the wind

Our next mill is in the UK. Heckington windmill has eight sails and is England’s only working eight-sail tower mill with a gallery. German, of course, packs all that information into a single word: Turmgalerieholländerwindmühle. The tower has six floors, and the gallery, or reefing stage, is the platform that runs around the tower and gives access to the sails.

Photos: © Dagmar Trüpschuch und Förderkreis Alte Mühle Donsbrüggen