North Leverton Windmill is a small tower windmill in the depths of the Nottinghamshire countryside, with only the miller’s house next to it.
Built in 1813, it is unique in that it is one of the few windmills, if not the only one, in the country that has never stopped working. It ground grain for local farmers for flour and animal feed. For many years it only had two sails but now has the full complement of four again.
It is owned and run by a trust and is only open on Saturdays. (The miller has a full time job and is only allowed out to ‘play’ one day at weekends.) The website says “if the wind is blowing, the sails will be turning.
The wind was blowing and the sails were turning the day we visited. The miller was just finishing bagging up polenta. The mill sells wholemeal flour, SR and plain white flour, polenta, knibbed barley and other animal feeds. All the grain comes from neighbouring farms and prices are very reasonable compared with other local mills.
The mill is a typical tower mill with black painted walls (a coal tar preparation which waterproofs them). At the top is the small white fantail which automatically turns the top of the mill so the sails get the best of the wind. Hanging down from it are two chains with a ‘bucket’ which allow the miller to adjust the angle of the blades on the sails so controlling speed.
Outside is the unloading ramp made of old railway sleepers which would have been used to unload bags of grain into the mill. The inside is whitewashed (designed to let the building breathe). Steep ladders lead to the upper floors with the milling equipment and the miller gives a guided tour. Watch out as their are moving cogs. The Derbyshire stones are used for grinding animal feed as they give a coarser product. The French stones are used for flour.
Entry is free but there is a box for donations which are used for upkeep of the mill.
This was an excellent visit and we really enjoyed it. The mill is popular with oldies as well as families with young children. Be warned, there are no facilities at the mill and the steps are not suitable for those with limited mobility.