Two-bladed traditional windmill

25 February, 2015

Unusual sight: A traditional windmill turning as a 'two-blader' - why?

This is one of the Jack & Jill Windmills in Sussex, UK. Jill, built in 1821, is a working flour mill that is regularly opened to the public.

Jill's sweeps (blades) are taken down for refurbishment on a seven-year cycle.  Traditionally those were made from long-leaf pitch pine, but nowadays Siberian larch is preferred. Each sweep is 28 feet long and is fitted with 31 shutters. The sweeps twist through 19 degrees to catch the wind and to ensure that they always turn anti-clockwise.

In 2014 severe rot was found in sweep IV. A new sweep was built by volunteers.  Sweep IV was constructed in 1983- it had lasted well, considering Jill's exposed location on top of the South Downs.

The film shows three sweeps laying on the ground (Sweep II, condemned sweep IV and new sweep IV).  After the final coat of paint sweeps II and IV will be re-hung and the other pair removed for refurbishment.

Still image © Aerotrope
Technical infomation with thanks to Simon Potter/ Jack and Jill Windmills Society

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