Windmills remind us of a slower, gentler pace of life. The steady turn of the sails and the rhythmic grinding of the millstones are in fact only two components among dozens more that the miller needs to grind wheat into flour. A complex array of cogs, gears, belts, pulleys, boxes, chutes, chain and levers assist wheat at the top to become fine flour at the bottom.
The beauty of Whissendine Windmill is that you can see all this for yourself. Built in 1809, miller Nigel Moon bought the mill in 1995 and is welcoming and enthusiastic to visitors. Visiting is a real education.
You can buy flour directly from Nigel – prices are more than reasonable – and you will be helping to support a local craftsman keep this bucolic tradition alive.
You can see an excellent video on Nigel and Whissendine Windmill here.
By Robin Stewart, Rutland editor