The Mill Site
The five-Sailed Windmill was built in 1837 by the local
Alford millwright, Sam Oxley, whose business is still trading today under the
name of R. Thompson and Sons; the only traditional millwrights in the
At one time there were four, five and six-sailed windmills
in Alford, but today only the five-sailed mill remains. This mill is often
considered to be the finest windmill in England and the novel use of five sails was based on efficiency
experiments by the celebrated engineer John Smeaton. He is also credited with
advocating the use of the rounded onion-shaped (Ogee) cap to reduce wind
The site consists of a working windmill and a shop in the old engine house which sells a wide range of our own stoneground flour as well as jams, cereals and gifts.
The mill has been wind powered for most of its working life.
However, the addition of a town gas-driven engine in the adjacent shed, permitted
flour production when there was no wind. The mill is now owned by the county
Well-behaved dogs are welcome on-site (but obviously not in the mill to comply with hygiene regulations) and there is disabled
access to the toilets.