Somerset in focus

  • Share
  • Share on Facebook
  • Share on Twitter
  • Email a friend

    Please enter your own name and your friend's email address below and we will email them a link to this page.


    Cancel


    This email address will only be used this once to send your friend a link to this page. No record will be kept, and the email address will not be shared with any third party.
  • Print this page

Ashton Windmill

Visiting

Ashton windmill is a Tower mill in Chapel Allerton, Somerset. The earliest known reference to a windmill at Chapel Allerton is in 1317. The high ground here, known as the “Isle of Wedmore”, is an ideal place for a windmill as it catches the wind from many different directions.

By 1549 we know that the windmill was in a bad way, for an agreement was made with John Mawdeley, a wealthy clothier of Wells, to rebuild the mill and lease it for 50 years. In 1650 the windmill was still working, and held by Edward Bower of Wells. In 1705, John Paine junior, a notary of Wells, took the manor and the windmill on a lease that lasted until 1765. It was probably the Paine family who made the investment of building the present mill.

The windmill tower you see now was built sometime between 1760 and 1774. It is said to have been built on a former post mill mound, and to have used timbers from an earlier structure. Re-use of timbers was certainly common, and many of the Ashton beams show signs of previous use.

The tower is more than 7.5 metres (25 feet) high and has an external diameter of over 3.5 metres (12 feet). The stone walls are 60 centimetres (2 feet) thick. The sails are 13 metres (44 feet) across, and until 1900 were of plain canvas (what you see now are the bare sail frames to which the canvas was fixed at milling times). For the last 30 years of the Mill’s active life, two sails were replaced with spring sails for smoother operation. The cap was thatched until 1900. The mill was painted white at least in the last quarter of the nineteenth century, and the weathercock was a prominent feature, as in many Somerset tower mills. The last millstones used here were 1.2 metres (4 feet) in diameter, and made of a cement composition, although French Burr millstones were more commonly used. You can see earlier millstones set into the ground on each side of the mill.

The present structure was modernised in 1900 with machinery brought from the demolished Moorlinch mill, and iron hoops around the building being added. It was restored in 1967. The mill has been designated by English Heritage as a grade II* listed building. It is now preserved, having been given to Bristol City Museum in 1966 and is owned by Sedgemoor District Council, and maintained by volunteers.

Location

Accommodation Options

Cottages

Cottage Holidays

Specially selected cottages give you the ideal base for your self-catering holiday

Holiday Parks

Holiday Parks

The affordable option for families seeking fun and entertainment

Hotels

Hotels

Lounge in luxury in some excellent locations around the county

Caravans

Caravan Holidays

Five Star or No Frills - there are sites to suit everyone

Bed and Breakfasts

Guesthouses

Explore the South West from these carefully chosen bed and breakfasts

Youth Hostels

Youth Hostels

Independent traveller? Youth Hostels enable you to explore on a budget

Information

Contact

Newsletter

About us

Privacy policy

Cookies

Advertise

Promote events

Advertising options

 

Follow us

Facebook

Twitter

 

Related sites

Cornwall in Focus

Devon in Focus

Dorset in Focus

A SouthWest in Focus brand
© Shimbo 2000 - 2017

© http://www.somersetinfocus.co.uk 2000 - 2017