Post Mills

Post Mills – This type of mill is supported and pivoted on a single stout upright post, so that the whole “buck” or body of the mill is rotated in order that the sails could be faced square into the wind at all times.The post-mill spread rapidly throughout Western Europe, as far south as the […]

Wind-engines

Local Windmills – Today the commonest windmill in South Africa is the familiar steel wind-pump. These are particularly prevalent in the arid highveld region, where rainfall is limited to torrential thunderstorms but where water can often be reached by shallow boreholes. Throughout this semi-desert region these slender wind-engines pump up water to fill the concrete […]

Hollow Post Mills

Hollow Post Mills – Wooden hollow-post windmills were used for lifting water and irrigation. One of the early hollow-post windmills in South Africa was built by J.C. Poortermans in 1848 at the home of a Mr. Brink at Saldanha Bay. (Not the illustration on the left). It consisted of a vertical hollow post which was […]

Smock mills

Smock Mills – A third type of vertical windmill is the ‘smock-mill’, which was probably a wooden derivative from the stone or brick tower-mill, and was a Dutch invention. The earliest reliable mention of such a mill is dated 1526. The name ‘smock-mill’ is derived from its resemblance to a shepherd’s smock, and it is […]

Tower mills

Tower Mills – The commonest type of windmill in South Africa is the ‘tower-mill’, which has a cylindrical or truncated-cone of brick or stone surmounted by a thatched or wooden cap. The cylindrical tower-mill probably originated in France as early as the twelfth century, and could well have had a fixed cap (roof), which meant […]

Local Windmills

Local Windmills – The crude tower-mills built at the Cape before the end of the seventeenth century suffered so badly from the strong south-east winds that the Council of Seventeen (‘die Here Sewentien’) decided in 1717 to send out masons, carpenters and materials to erect a more efficient mill. This mill, completed in 1718, later […]