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Alford Windmill

also known as Hoyle's 5 sailed mill

Alford, Lincolnshire

Working 5 sails, 7 storey, Tower mill

Alford Windmill (pron. "Olford Windmill" in Lincolnshire) is a five-sailed windmill in Alford, Lincolnshire and the only surviving windmill out of four.

Today the windmill has been restored to working order, and grinds grain to organic flour. It is open as a tourist attraction.

Alford Windmill is a seven-storey Lincolnshire type tower windmill with a stage - featuring a slender, tapering brick tower, tarred to keep the moisture out, covered with a white onion-shaped (ogee) cap with fan-stage, huge fantail, and white sails. She has five patent-shutter sails and originally three, later on four pairs of stones (two pairs of grey or peak stones (cut from rock found in the Peak District) and two French "quartzite" stones). The seven storeys are called: ground floor (contains a hurst frame with the engine-driven (from the outside) fourth pair of (grey) stones), storage floor, spout (stage) floor (also called meal floor), stones floor (with the original three pairs of stones (one grey pair, two French pairs)), lower bin floor, upper bin floor (with the sack hoist), dust or cap floor (providing access to the inside of the cap). The mill provides a flywheel at the mill's base connected by pulley to a town gas driven engine in the adjacent shed. This engine makes the mill independent of wind if it has insufficient to drive the sailcross. In her hey day Alford Mill was capable of grinding 4 to 5 tonnes of corn a day.

Built as a seven-storey windmill in 1837 by the well-known local millwright John Oxley the mill belonged to a group of four windmills and is the sole survivor today. At the end of the 19th to the beginning of the 20th century Alford featured a four-sailed mill (Wallace's OR Station Mill, now a stump), a five-sailed windmill (Hoyles' Windmill, today's Alford Mill), and a six-sailer (the now dismantled (in 1973) six-storey Myers's Windmill, built in 1827 with six left-handed sails, in her time also called the Alford Mill) as the only place in Lincolnshire beside Horncastle.

The last commercial operators of the windmill were the Hoyles family. Purchased by Harry Hoyles, a local farmer and land owner, in the early 20th century, the business of milling and baking continued until 1955, run by his sons Walter, Arthur and Winston (The Miller). In those times the mill was known as the Hoyles Mill. The business closed due to advancements in technology in 1955 and the mill was initially sold to Frank Banks of Kirton in Lindsey in 1957, a private buyer and owner of Mount Pleasant Mill, who subsequently restored the windmill to working order. The last surviving windmill became then known as the Alford Windmill. Twenty years later in 1978 miller F. Banks had to replace the mill's cap and all five sails. The same year the mill changed hands to Lincolnshire County Council which took care of the mill's restoration over many years resulting in the fine edifice that now once again plays its part in the local community. The mill remained leased to Mr Banks, the former owner, until 1986 when he gave up his milling business, his place being taken by James Waterfield of Boston in the following year, owner of the famous Maud Foster Windmill. Now Alford Mill is leased to miller Geoff Dees.

Information from Wikipedia.


All 3 images above 


Dave Hitchborne

The building on the left is an antique centre.

Further information Grid


Alford Windmill, Alford, Lincolnshire

Ceremonial County: Lincolnshire

Grid Reference:

TF457766   OS Sheet - 122

Map Link:

Ordnance survey link TF457766


Aerial photo: Google aerial photo



Best Times to Visit:






Other useful websites:

Listed buildings - http://www.imagesofengland.org.uk/

Many more images, including old ones at Windmill World



Nearby Locations:  
Other Relevant pages:  

Planning Grid


Alford Windmill, Alford, Lincolnshire

Grid Reference:


Getting there:

A1104 north/east out of Alford, on left, own car park.


From road or car park. They have an open gate policy and leave their front gate open so that visitors can take pictures or stroll around "out of hours".


Large Free car park for about 30 cars


Café, WC, working mill, antiques

Things To Do, See and Photograph:

Very large windmill and Grounds

What to take:

wide angle lenses

Nature highlights:



Five Sailed Windmill
East Street


LN13 9EQ


Geoff Dees. 01507 462136

Opening times:

Jan-Mar: Tues, Sat & Sun (closing at 4pm)
Apr-Jun: Tues, Fri, Sat & Sun
Jul-Sep: Tues-Sun
Oct: Tues, Fri, Sat & Sun
Nov-Dec: Tues, Fri, Sat & Sun  (closing at 4pm)

Bank Holiday Mondays 10am-5pm

Hours: 10am-5pm (Sundays 11am-5pm)

Closed: Dec 24th-Jan 1 inclusive.

National Mills Weekend opening times
Saturday 10am5pm, Sunday 11am5pm 


Adult £3; Child £2, Senior; £2.75, Family (2+2) £8.75

Photo Restrictions:

None when we visited.

Other Restrictions:  
Special Needs Access:  
Special Needs Facilities:  
Children Facilities:  
Dogs Allowed: Well behaved dogs allowed

Please let us know any other information that we can add to the Further information and Planning Grids or page and any errors that you discover. Before making a long trip to any location it is always wise to double check the current information, websites like magazines may be correct at the time the information is written, but things change and it is of course impossible to double check all entries on a regular basis. If you have any good photographs that you feel would improve the illustration of this page then please let us have copies. In referring to this page it is helpful if you quote both the Page Ref and Topic or Section references from the Grid below. To print the planning grid select it then right click and print the selected area.

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By: Keith Park Section: Windmill Section Key:
Page Ref: Alford Topic: Windmills Last Updated: 08/2010

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