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Glossary of Windmill Terms

Bin floor

The floor above the stone floor where grain is stored in bins


The upper part which revolves on the post and contains the working machinery


The main timber which rests and pivots on the post and carries the weight of the body


Horizontal members in a timber trestle supporting a post mill

Fan tail

A device for turning the mill automatically into the wind consisting of six or eight shaped vanes or blades

French Burr

A millstone made in France from a number of blocks or segments of quartz cemented together


Millstones made from a single block of millstone grit quarried in Derbyshire

Post Mill

A mill consisting of a timber building, known as the
body or buck, supported on a vertical post which acts as a pivot so
that the mill can be turned to face the wind


Brick building enclosing the trestle of the mill


The part which is turned by the wind, usually consisting of a timber frame in which moveable shutters are fitted

Side girts

The heavy horizontal timbers which run from front to
back on each side of the body of the mill resting on the ends of the
crown tree and supporting the corner posts.

Spout floor

The floor to which the meal descends from the millstones on the floor above.


The heavy timbers which pass through the sail canister and to which whips of the sails are fixed

Stone floor

The floor on which the millstones are situated


Millstones used for grinding grain comprising bedstone and runner stone

Sweep governor

A device for regulating the shutter openings


Another term for sails

Tail pole

The long pole projecting at the rear of the mill by which it can be turned into the wind

Tail stones

Millstones situated at the rear of the body

Tail wheel

The rear driving wheel on the windshaft which has a second pair of stones


The sub-structure comprising post, quarter bars and cross trees

Trestle floor

The floor level containing the trestle


The shaft on which the sails and brakewheel are mounted

Source: A glossary of windmill and milling terms by Norman Plastow, Wimbledon Windmill Museum