Weybourne Windmill


Weybourne Windmill

Geobox|Windmill
name = Weybourne Windmill
category = Windmill


image_caption =Weybourne Windmill


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country = England
state = Norfolk
region = East of England
district = North Norfolk
municipality = Weybourne
location =Village of Weybourne
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established =1850
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owner = Privately Owned
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visitation =Not open to the Public
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map_caption =Weybourne Windmill within Norfolk
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map_locator_x =61
map_locator_y =7
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footnotes =Map Ref: TF76033267

Weybourne Windmill is located on the eastern high ground above the village of Weybourne in the English county of Norfolk [ "OS Explorer Map 24”(Edition A 1997) – “Norfolk Coast Central". ISBN 0-319-21726-4.] . It is on the northern side of the A149 coastal road that links King’s Lynn to Great Yarmouth. The Windmill is 3 miles west of Sheringham and is within the Norfolk Coast AONB.

Description

The Windmill was built in 1850 and consists of five storey’s built from red brick. When it was in operation the sails, which are now fixed in an easterly direction, powered three pairs of overdriven millstones. The millstones were located on the second floor. The mill had four double shuttered sails. The cap is boat shaped and has an eight bladed fan. It once also had a stage around its girth at the second floor which has long been removed.

History

The windmill ceased production in 1916 and fell into disrepair. In 1925 some restoration work of sorts took place but as a result most of the machinery was removed except for the windshaft. By 1929 the windmill had passed into the hands of Sydney Broklesby and the mill had no sails, fantail or gallery.

The strange tale of the German spy ring at Weybourne windmill

Rumours surrounded the residence of the Windmill, Mr and Mrs Dodds [Taken from an Account related by Jim Baker from Rosemary Read, the daughter of William Read, a 9 year old resident of Weybourne at the time] that during the Second World War that they were spying for the Germans.A local policeman and a boy called William Read were walking down the lane from the old coastguard cottages towards the mill at night when they both saw a light flashing from the top of the mill out towards the sea. Suspicions rose in the village about the man and his strange wife who lived at the mill. Mr. Dodds wife apparently had a strong foreign accent which locals described as "like German or Austrian". Apparently nothing was done (which seems odd, given the war time conditions and its closeness to Weybourne Camp), but seemingly it bothered the Policeman and he went back out a couple of nights later and saw the light again. The story goes that Mrs Dodds left her bicycle unattended outside the tennis court one day, and the bicycle fell over. William Read picked the bicycle up and then the bag, which had fallen out of the basket. He took a look inside and found a radio transmitter! He told the policeman and a day or two later the authorities arrived and took the lady and her husband away. Mrs Dodds was not seen again but Mr Dodds came back some weeks later, cleared out all their possessions from the Windmill and then he also vanished. Their daughter was in the Red Cross during the war years and their son fought for Britain against the Germans. He was badly wounded and was being brought home by ship when it received a direct hit from the Germans.

1967 0nwards

In 1967 the windmill was purchased by A Mr Body and in 1968 a new cap made and installed by William Bird & Son, Contractors Ltd. of North Walsham. In 1969 the skeleton sails seen to this day were installed by Thompson & Son. There was no brakewheel and so sails were fixed accordingly to face to the East. In 1970 a grant was given by the Norfolk Windmills Trust to restore the paintwork of the windmill and in 1973 a further grant was given by the Trust for further renovation and maintenance work. In 1982 the windmill was once again up for sale and was sold for £125,000.

References


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