Many members will have
heard Peter Hill talk about his joint research for
this book, and at last this has come to fruition.
The book covers the
Channel Islands, Isle of Wight, Isle of Man, and
Isles of Scilly, areas which for the most part have
had little or nothing published about their
Each chapter starts
with an overview, then lists in gazetteer form all
of the remaining mills on that island, with a recent
photograph and detailed historical and current
information about each one. There are also photos
showing when some of these mills were more
complete. At the end of each chapter there is
information and some historic photos on some mills
that have been demolished.
What makes the book
interesting is the variety of designs and uses to
which the mills were put. A number of the Channel
Island mills look as though they were designed by
British millwrights with their tall towers,
domed/ogee caps, patent sails, and fantails. Others
are more squat and appear more primitive. Guernsey
also had its own design of wooden skeleton mills
which were used to irrigate market gardens. The
Isle of Man has the remains of 2 small farm mills
used for threshing and had a sawmill that once had
five sails. The mill at Buzza Hill on the Isles of
Scilly had Spanish style jib sails.
Bembridge windmill is the only restored mill on all
of the islands, though a millwright is currently
building a cap and sails for a mill on Guernsey.
Most of the mills on the Channel Islands suffered
during the German occupation when many were
considerably altered. Only Sark mill remains
reasonably complete and cared for, and deserves
complete repair to working order.