Avoncroft’s windmill is part of England’s original open-air museum – home to over thirty historic buildings and structures which have been rescued and re-built in rural Worcestershire. The 19th century post mill is one of only three surviving examples in the English Midlands. Built in 1820 in Danzey Green near Tanworth-in-Arden, and damaged in a huge storm in 1874, it became derelict before being rescued and moved in 1969.
It is a typical West Midlands post mill: the entire upper structure, called the buck, pivots on a huge central post. It can be turned so that its sails always face into the wind and generate the maximum possible power. Each pair of sails has an 18 meter-wide span and is attached to the windshaft. As this rotates it powers a giant cog wheel that turns the millstones inside the mill. The windshaft also powers a winding mechanism to lift sacks of grain to the top of the mill (through trap doors) to be fed between the grinding stones to make flour.
Some Facts and Figures
Officially opened for milling on 1 April 1977 by Rex Wailes (a leading expert on English windmills).
A replacement post was needed and sourced from Baxterley Mill, near Atherstone, dated 1793.
The mill stones were taken from Western-Jones Watermill in Staffordshire.
The crown tree is original to Danzey Green Mill.
James Waterfield, now running Maud Foster Windmill in Boston, Lincs, was the first full time miller at Avoncroft in 1980 and 1981.
Max Sinclair was the miller for about 10 years, until 1995.
In 2005, a sail was broken and damaged in a storm.
In 2011, repair and maintenance work commenced, led by Mike Field, who had brought the windmill to Avoncroft in 1969.
The mill sailed again in 2013. In 2014, flour was milled for the first time since 2003.
Three new sails were fitted in 2018, after two years of restoration work.
There are monthly “sailing” days when – weather permitting – the windmill is operated by a team of specially trained volunteers, details of these can be found
on Avoncroft’s website: www.avoncroft.org.uk/whats-on/events-programme
Stoneground wholemeal flour from organically grown wheat, available from the Museum shop.
Situated close to both the M5 and M42 motorways, approximately two miles south of Bromsgrove. You can get there by bus or train.
Avoncroft is open throughout the year, with reduced opening hours between the start of November and the end of February. Full details via this link.
Reduced rates are available for school visits and pre-booked group visits.
Well-behaved dogs are allowed to visit the Museum grounds but must be kept on leads at all times. Service dogs are welcome at the Museum including the Edwardian Tea Room.
The Miller, Avoncroft Windmill, Avoncroft Museum of Historic Buildings, Stoke Heath, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, B60 4JR
Tel: 01527 831363 / 831886
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Website : www.avoncroft.org.uk
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