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The County Windmill Lists and How They Were Created

Photo by  Richard Thomas

How these lists came about

There are a number of websites with information on windmills, none have them all, and none are aimed at photographers, most being for enthusiasts of mills of all types. From these sites we had difficulty in seeing which ones might be worth photographing.

We had a ring binder we had built up over many years, mostly from other websites, image collections and odd photographs we had seen, and some of these we had found and photographed ourselves. We created a listing from this, and combined other information, such as tourism information and Wikipedia entries, to create a selection list of 100 windmills and started to produce location guides, but then found some of these were not worth photographing while others were being missed, so started again on a completely new listing.

The new listing broke into counties, was built from the above and information from a wide range of other sources where windmills could be identified, have been combined, and de-duplicated. As windmills are often on high ground between villages and are known by a variety of names, you will see its easy for one windmill to look like several. As the largest listing of windmills before was on the Windmill World website we created our listing in the same order so we could compare ours with this site, adding links to all pages within the Windmill World site where we could. We then looked at every single entry, checking for duplicates, looking at photographs, listed building information, and more to try and work out exactly the current state. On the far right note column we made a note of what we believe the current situation is. However this may not be completely correct, more mills are being converted to houses, being done up and some will be lost. In some cases others will have misidentified a windmill and labelled it wrongly, or more likely got two mills confused. We came across examples of this on every site we looked at. Where we have been able, we have eliminated these errors from our system. However the only way not to make mistakes is not to do anything, so some errors will be present. You will see some entries  highlighted saying it needs checking, and we have other windmills still to check out further. These lists will never be complete, as the situation is always changing, but we will be refining and checking further so that over time they become even more accurate.

You can help us with this by letting us know of any errors you discover, windmills that are being redeveloped, have sails back on or change in any way. You will also see some have a '?' in the guide column, this means we don't know at present if it still exists, or what the current status is in most cases, so the only way to find out is for someone to take a look, so how about checking out some that are near you or if doing a circuit to photograph some of the others adding one or two to check out at the same time.

The Guide column

Each table has a guide column on the left, this indicates if I think I would like to photograph it, Y = Yes and has sails, N = No, numbers 1 to 9 is a rating of next most interesting, 1 being the highest. This is subjective, taking into account scenery, style, size and more. In counties with more similar windmills, the rating on some may be downgraded as I don't want too many the same. If you are the owner of a windmill, particularly one converted to a home, please don't take offence, this is not a rating of the attractiveness as a home, but a means of getting a representative photographic selection. This also has no relationship to if it's possible to get a good photograph, there may be obstacles, hedges or no access. Its a starting point to select those to look at further and perhaps visit.

The best any listing can be is a guide, where we know more its in a location guide that you can reach by clicking on the windmill name if linked. This is to pages within this system, links on the right are to external pages, and will throw in a new window.

Can you help

Please let us know of errors, or what you find is different from the impression we have given. We would be pleased if you also wanted to write up some location guides.  Click here to see how you go about this.

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