Heage Windmill in Derbyshire is a Grade II listed tower mill and is the only stone-towered, six sailed windmill in Britain.
The windmill became operational in 1797.
In 1997 after years of neglect the Heage windmill society was formed, with an aim to bring the mill back to working order. This windmill was opened to the public on the 1st June 2002.
The area I have photographed is not open to the general public for safety reasons, so this is quite a unique viewpoint that few will have seen.
This is one of the most unusual places I have created a 360 in, During filming the wind changed direction which caused 'my floor' to start moving, it was odd standing on wooden beams that were moving around relative to the actual floor. I can see why the general public are not allowed up here! The brake was applied for the rest of the photography.
You are in the Cap of Heage windmill, on what is known as the ‘Dust Floor’
The 360 image is actually taken from one of the sheers, large structural timbers, which form the floor of the rotating cap about 5 foot above the dust floor.
The first thing you can see in the view is the Windshaft, this is the iron pole which connect to the six sails outside the cap. It brings the rotational drive into the cap, passing through the Brake Wheel (the very large wheel covered in metal teeth). This connects to the wooden upright shaft via the Wallower, The upright shaft transmits the power from the sails to the millstones.
Look down and to the right slightly and you will see the sack hoist which is used to raise the sacks of corn into the mill.
The wire guarded area is around the top of the stairs and the angled shaft is the manual drive to turn the cap, if the miller wishes to alter the auto setting of the cap position.
Running around the perimeter of the cap (just below the sheers) is the 360 degree cast iron track which turns the cap round to face into the wind, driven by two large pinions, see next item..
The Fan Tail, sits outside on the opposite side to the main sails, this moves the entire cap of the mill around to face the wind. You can see the drive shaft from the fan tail behind you.
You can also see the 'striking arm' entering through the wall of the cap. The sails of the mill, despite appearances from a distance, are not solid but are made up of a number of shutters. A rod passes through the centre of the hollow windshaft and it is this mechanism which allows the miller to control the angle of the sail shutters.
Look up and you can see up into the very top of the windmill cap.
Look down and you can see the sheers that I had to walk on to take the photos. As you can see there is not a lot of room to stand!
The best way to see all of these parts in action is to visit Heage Windmill.
If you would like to visit Heage Windmill or learn more about the history then please visit their website for full details :
Heage Windmill website
Its open from April to October, So go along and show your appreciation for the restoration work that the team of volunteers put into keeping this historical mill alive for the public to enjoy.
I have some photos I took at the windmill shortly after it opened to the public, you can see these here :
Heage Windmill photographs
I would like to thank all at The Heage Windmill Society and wish them well in the future.