also known as Hoyle's 5 sailed mill
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
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.