Sibsey Windmill in Lincolnshire was built in 1877 and is probably the best preserved example of advance windmill technology in Great Britain. It was built by the specialist windmill builders, Sandersons of Louth, and uses the most sophisticated patent sail technology. The six double sided sails are controlled by a weighted chain, hanging on the other side of the mill. This can be adjusted by the miller, currently Ian Ansell, as he stands on the tower balcony with its distinctive wrought iron rails, a distinctive Sanderson design feature. Ian also explains the internal workings of the mill and why it is such a powerful example of Victorian windmill technology. It is worth comparing this tower windmill with my Wrawby Windmill film, to see how much windmill technology developed from the original post windmill and common sail design. The last commercial miller was Tommy Ward and his ghost is still said to haunt the mill, sometimes rattling the sack hoist chains and nearby residents claim to have seen his ghost loading sacks of grain into the mill!
Apart from the Windmill itself, there is a gift shop selling flour and souvenirs, including my giftware as well as a jolly country tea room serving tea and home-baked cakes – and a fine collection of working clocks. The scones in the tea room are made from various types of flour milled at the mill.
Sibsey Windmill is owned by English Heritage and details of opening times can be found at www.sibseytraderwindmill.co.uk
Location PE22 OSY. Telephone: +44 1205 750036