Tuxford Windmill

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Family including children under 16

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Tuxford windmill standing on higher ground to the north of Tuxford. It is a traditional tower mill with black painted brick base and white wooden cap and fantail. If there is enough wind, the mill is working grinding flour.

it was a fairly still day when we visited so we were relieved to see the sails turning when we arrived, although the wind wasn’t strong enough to grind.

The windmill is set in attractive grounds with grass and trees. We were greeted by the friendly collie named Sid, who is getting a bit old now and arthritic. The grandchildren were warned not to stroke him as he can snap a bit. He does, however, love having his ball thrown for him.

The windmill dates from 1810 and has four sails. It worked until the 1920 when it was badly damaged. Coupled with the development of large industrial mills, it was left derelict. It was lovingly restored at the end of the 20thC.

We were given a leaflet about the mill and warned about not touching any moving equipment, touch the flour and come down the stairs backwards.

There are two doors into the meal floor at the base of the windmill. This is where flour from the chutes is bagged. Steep wooden stairs lead up to the stone floor which has two sets of stones which are driven by the huge tree truck in the centre of the room. The grain is fed from a small hopper at the side of the stone.

Another flight of stairs leads up to the bin floor where the bags of grain are stored before milling. They are lifted up by a wind powered hoist through trap doors.

Another flight of stairs leads up to the upper bin floor which was used for bulk storage. There are examples of hand querns up here and good views across the surrounding countryside from the windows.

There are more steps up to the dust floor in the cap. This is closed off by a metal screen and there is o entry. We could see the giant cog wheel turned by the sails which turns the vertical shaft which turns the mill stones.

Behind the windmill was the engine shed which was built to house a steam engine for days when there wasn’t enough wind to power the mill. This is now in ruins.

There is disabled entry into the small shop in the tea room selling their own flours including spelt and one described as four grain which contains wheat and rye flour, malted wheat grain, spelt and oat flakes. At £5 for 1.5kg, it wasn’t heap but I’ve bought a bag to try. They sell porridge oats, pinhead oatmeal and several different mueslis, as well as honey, jams and chutneys.

The mill also runs baking classes on bread making. These include a tour of the mill with the miller and lunch.

Visits to the windmill are £2 and £1 for children. There was no reduction for seniors. There isn’t a lot of see, and the stairs are very steep. If you’ve never been inside a working mill before, it is a worthwhile visit.

The tea room serves snacks as well as a range of excellent cakes. The Mill closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays but is open the rest of the week from 10-4.30.

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