On a visit to Shipley Church, I took the chance to photograph the windmill too. Although bereft of most of her sweeps (presumably being repaired or restored), she still makes an impressive sight.
Shipley mill has been made famous as the fictional home of the hero of the BBC television series, Jonathan Creek.
Here is another view taken from the road leading to the church. Shipley is an eight-sided smock mill, so-called because she is supposed to look like the old-fashioned farm labourer's smock.
The mill is built on a brick base; two stories high. Above there is a wooden tower, three stories high, tapering towards the top. On the very top is the cap which carries the sails or sweeps. At the back of the cap is the fantail, another little windmill, set at right angles to the sails. The wind blowing against the sweeps causes them to rotate. For the Mill to work, it is necessary for the sweeps to be facing directly into the wind. To do this the whole cap must be turned. This is done automatically by the fantail. The fantail turns when the wind blows on it from one side, driving a series of gears, connecting to a worm which in turn mates with a toothed ring on the top of the smock tower, known as the curb. It is on this curb that the cap rests and turns. The cap has no wheels - it slides on greased iron plates on the top of the curb. The whole cap, together with the sweeps, fantail and gearing weighs about fourteen tons.
Here is a closer picture of the fantail and cap.
Shipley windmill has been closed to the public following the owners refusal to renew the lease to the Trust which has managed and maintained the mill for many years. The Trus has an excellent website with lots of information about the mill and its history, where you will find further information about this sad turn of events.
More information on this and other wind and water mills may be found on the excellent Windmill World site.
Check out my other windmill photographs in my Windmill Album.
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Photographs © Mark Collins 2006
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