Stembridge Tower Mill - Windmill
High Ham, Somerset
The Last remaining Thatched Windmill in England
Stembridge Tower Mill in High Ham, Somerset, is the last remaining thatched windmill in England. It is the last survivor of five windmills that once existed in the area.
A Tower Mill is a type of windmill which consists of a brick or stone tower, on top of which sits a roof or cap which can be turned to bring the sails into the wind. The advantage of the tower mill over the earlier post mill is that it is not necessary to turn the whole mill ("body", "buck") with all its machinery into the wind, this allows more space for the machinery as well as for storage.
In the earliest tower mills the cap was turned into the wind with a long tail-pole which stretched down to the ground at the back of the mill. Later an endless chain was used which drove the cap through gearing as is used at Stembridge.
Constructed in 1822, including parts from the earlier Ham Mill which stood nearby, it was damaged by storms and left running via steam by 1897/8 and last used commercially in 1910. In 1969 Professor H. H. Bellot left the windmill, cottage and garden to the National Trust in his will. The mill has four floors, a thatched cap and is constructed of local limestone known in the area as Blue Lias.
The remains of the old bakehouse can still be seen to the rear of the mill.
Based on information from Wikipedia.
The mill can also be rented as a holiday home.
When we visited
I was aware it was owned by the National Trust but unaware we could go around the outside of the mill when it is not open. However I don't think I would have got any better photos from inside the National Trust grounds. I was able to get the top left photo from the road and the top right from a field next to the mill. There is a limit to the angle that you can take from, the hedge was immediately on my left, the other option would be a high vehicle or steps to get a view over the field hedge.
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