Windmills opened up this Bank Holiday Weekend

PUBLISHED: 17:23 21 May 2009 | UPDATED: 21:47 31 May 2010

THE fascinating history of the area s windmills will be opened up to the public this Bank Holiday Weekend. Windmills have been part of the skyline in the historic towns of Stansted Mountfitchet and Thaxted for more than 200 years and they are attracting m

THE fascinating history of the area's windmills will be opened up to the public this Bank Holiday Weekend.

Windmills have been part of the skyline in the historic towns of Stansted Mountfitchet and Thaxted for more than 200 years and they are attracting more visitors than ever.

Both the Stansted and Thaxted mills will be open to the public from 1.30pm to 5.30pm on Sunday May 24 and Bank Holiday Monday May 25.

Built in 1787, the Stansted Mountfitchet windmill was donated to the people of the town in 1935 and is now maintained by the parish council.

Although it is no longer used for milling, its sails are still turned when the wind is in a suitable direction.

Built by Joseph Linsell and his wife, the mill was scheduled as an ancient monument in 1952 and is also a Grade II listed building.

The windmill is of huge interest because it is a classic example of a tower mill and is unique in having most of its original machinery, with few replaced components. The mill was last used for crushing oats in 1910.

Thaxted windmill was built by John Webb, a local farmer and landowner in 1804 to satisfy the increasing demand for flour both locally and in London.

It was constructed using local materials, the bricks being made and fired less than half a mile away at a quarry in the Chelmer Valley also owned by John Webb.

The windmill is a fully restored Grade II listed building which is capable of grinding corn into flour.

On the ground and first floors there is a rural museum containing agricultural artefacts and there is a picnic area surrounding the windmill.

Admission for the Stansted mill is £1 for adults and 50p for children and admission to the Thaxted mill is free, but donations are welcomed.

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