Pocklington's Mill - Heckington
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Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member V70PDB
N 52° 58.618 W 000° 17.715
30U E 681595 N 5873132
Quick Description: Heckington 8 Sailed Windmill
Location: United Kingdom
Date Posted: 5/11/2007 9:44:31 AM
Waymark Code: WM1HDZ
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member montythemule
Views: 320

Long Description:
The late Peter Dolmans writes in his book "Lincolnshire Windmills - a contemporary survey...

“Known throughout the country as the only remaining eight sail mill, this tower mill 's history has also been widely, if at times inaccurately published. It is dated 'MHI830' and was built for Michael Hare by the millwright Edward Ingledew. When first built it had five of Sutton's patent sails, which here were reputed to be 15 feet wide at the tip and 12 feet wide at the heel, with longitudinal shutters on both sides of the backs, which were 36 feet long. These drove three pairs of stones and in this form the mill worked until 1890 when it fell victim to one of the windmill 's most dangerous enemies, a tail- wind. The sails ran backwards and after a short while were blown off completely, taking the entire cap with them, smashing all to pieces. The mill is also reputed to have caught fire in the incident and to have been gutted although this is now believed to have been an error , applying instead to another mill in the village which was burnt out in 1894. At any rate, the mill was a wreck and was abandoned by Mr. Nash, the miller.

This would have been the end of it but for the happy coincidence that the miller at Wyberton mill (see below), John Pocklington, was looking for a suitable mill to fit some mill gear which he had just bought (in 1891) at auction, without having anything specific in mind. The machinery in question was the entire gear, cap, sails etc. from the eight sail mill built in 1813 at Skirbeck, Boston, which was owned and operated at first by Tuxfords, the millwrights and engineers, who no doubt used it as a shining example of their work to show prospective clients around.
During 1891 Mr. Pocklington worked on the refitting of the mill, using direct labour with assistance from the local millwright John Hodgson when necessary. Work was completed in early 1892 and the mill was then set to work, later gaining a large saw-mill on one side, also driven by wind-power. John Pocklington set up a many sided and thriving business combining milling, baking, building and farming. He died in 1941 and the mill ceased work a few years later. It was saved from being dismantled by Kesteven County Council who bought it in 1953 and then restored it as a landmark, replacing four of the sails with two each from Old Bolingbroke and Wainfleet St. Mary mills, the work being done by Thompsons of Alford. Further repairs have been needed from time to time but in 1985 major repairs were put in hand by Lincolnshire County Council, including the construction of 192 new shades and four new sails, with the laudable aim of getting the mill working once more, the work again being entrusted to Thomspons of Alford, with help from the Friends of Heckington Mill.

Heckington mill has eight single-sided patent sails, mounted on across which is reputed to weigh five tons. The ogee cap betrays the fact that it is from another mill, being much too large for the tower, but nevertheless it gives the mill a certain elegance. The tips of the sails are linked together by iron rods, an unusual and probably unique refinement, intended to prevent excessive sagging in the sails, although probably unnecessary.

The brake-wheel is of timber clasp-arm construction with iron teeth and a wooden brake. It drives an iron wallower on an iron upright shaft. It is thought that only the upper section of the upright shaft, with the wallower , came from Boston, the remainder of the driving gear being original to Heckington. On the third floor, which is the lower of the two bin floors, are two grain cleaners, one a fairly modern Boby driven by electric motor and the other an old separator by Penney and Co, driven by wind. The original three pairs of stones are on the second floor, which also gives access to the stage, driven by an iron great spur wheel and mortice stone nuts. There are two pairs of grey and one pair of French stones and a fourth stone nut takes a drive down to the first floor where there is yet another pair of grey stones. The shaft to this pair utilize spare components including a cunning universal joint above the floor using a quant and mace (the coupling which normally drives the runner stone).

Also on the first floor is the large lag governor which by various cunningly contrived links is able to control all four pairs of stones. At one time a fifth pair of stones, on a ground floor hurst, could also be driven by wind if desired or more usually by engine. There is a mixer on the first floor and there was an elevator from the ground floor as well. An unusual machine is preserved on the first floor; 'Felton's Patent American Grist Mill " made by Riches & Watts of Norwich around the turn of the century. This was tried out but was not a success and so was abandoned. Line shafting formerly took the wind power into the adjoining shed to drive circular and frame saws, but none of this now survives. In a good wind the mill was able to drive all five pairs of stones at the same time and due to its large sail area and well winded site was able to work in very light breezes, when other local mills would have to stand idle.”

Supposedly this is the only eight sailed mill in Western Europe.

Wikipedia page… (visit link)

Date of Manufacture: 01/01/1830

Purpose: Milling

Open to the public: yes

Is This Windmill Functional?: Yes!

Windmill Farm: no

Cost: Not Listed

Museum on Site: Not Listed

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Recent Visits/Logs:
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Nimblenod visited Pocklington's Mill - Heckington 6/5/2011 Nimblenod visited it
Kizzy Ball visited Pocklington's Mill - Heckington 2/15/2010 Kizzy Ball visited it
Claire78 visited Pocklington's Mill - Heckington 7/25/2008 Claire78 visited it

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