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Page 5

Newsletter 98, Autumn 2012  Hampshire Mills Group

The TIMS Post Tour of Denmark - September 2012, by Mick Edgeworth




Elstrup Vindmolle Havnbjerg Molle Vibaek Vandmolle

Another early start, it must be a ferry crossing. That was my thought as I staggered (no, not through drink, as you would know if you had seen the price of alcohol in Denmark) to breakfast. The trouble with taking a coach on ferries is that you have to be there ten minutes before the ferry docks, so they can work out the loading schedule.  On arrival at the docks in plenty of time we had a wait with nothing to do. But after a short ten minute turnaround, with the usual Danish efficiency, the ferry departed from Bajden on the island of Mark, where we had spent the night in Svenborg, on a breezy but sunny day. After a fifty minute crossing we sailed into Fynshav on the island of Als where we were due to inspect three sites of windmills and one watermill. These are all that remain from a total of forty sites in 1906.

The first was Elstrup Vindmolle, a  Dutch windmill built 1859 in Osterholm; in 1888 it was moved to Elstrup.  The cap was off and it had iron sail stocks. It was unusual to see roller mills installed as well as the usual sets of stones.

Our second location was Havnbjerg Molle a fully thatched smock mill and then the third site of the day was the water and windmill site at Vibaek Molle.  The water mill had been moved nearer the harbour in 1756, gaining a higher fall and a little water, but reusing the original materials of the 16th century. It has an overshot wheel of 2.5 m. diameter which drives one pair of stones for flour and grist grinding and a barley stone. The windmill, a small thatched smock mill, was constructed in 1983 from old materials from another windmill and has no machinery.      

Ballum Enge Watering Mills Mando Mill
We then travelled to the mainland, thankfully by bridge, and onto the last mill site of the day at Dybbol to another Dutch wind mill built in 1744 but being rebuilt in 1849, 1864, 1880, 1935 and reconstructed again later. It has patent sails of 24m. span with shutters on the driving side and the lowest part of the leading edge. Dybbol Molle is known to every schoolchild in Denmark both as a symbol of the Danish nation and Danish mentality.
Dybbol Molle Borkop Molle

The next day we traversed the width of the Danish peninsula from our hotel in Haderslev in the east to the Isle of Mando in the west.  It is connected to the mainland by a causeway which is covered at the high tide. Unfortunately due to the stormy weather our stay on the island would be curtailed as the storm was driving the tide in early. On the isle was Mando Molle a very small smock mill with common sails built in the 1830's which has one pair of stones, two barley stones, a winnower and a bolter. The mill has been fully restored and is able to grind. We had a brief look around the isle and its village before being recalled to our transport.   This turned out to be a specially built covered wagon set very high above the wheels and pulled by a tractor. We were only just in time as the tide was starting to flood the causeway. After lunch we viewed two small watering mills at Ballum Enge which lifted water with a water-screw from a small brook to the meadows to provide water for the grazing animals. Then we travelled south to Hojer Molle, a 22m. wooden smock mill of seven storeys, the tallest in Denmark, built in 1857. The mill is equipped with four pairs of stones and an oat crusher. The mill has lost its transmission to some of the machines and is now a museum.

Hojer Molle Brundlund Molle
Gammelby Molle Sillerup Molle Damgards Boghvedemolle
Gammelby Molle, which was built in 1783, was next. This is a water mill powered by two overshot waterwheels. The mill house has a room decorated with beautiful frescos painted in 1843 with scenes of famous Danish buildings. Further mileage took us to Sillerup Molle, an octagonal brick windmill, but, strangely, inside it is round.  The afternoon started with a drive to Damgards Boghvedemolle, a buckwheat smock mill. The mill was completely restored in 1986 and still has a barley stone and two pairs of stones for flour and grist feed. The buckwheat mill consists of an oven (buckwheat must be dry as dust before processing), tools for cleaning the seeds, a pair of stones, a bolter with winnower and sieve.


Our last visit of the tour was to Brundlund or Slotsmollen Molle in Abenra. This was a watermill that was built as part of the fortifications of Brundlund Castle, and has Denmark's only paddle blade wheel. Back in Haderslev we hastened, as it was getting dark with the threat of an oncoming rain storm, to the museum of preserved buildings to see a large post mill. This was built in 1742 in Mogeltonder, moved to Rangstrup and then when it went out of use in 1912 was moved to the museum.

My thanks must go to Lise Andersen and all the members of the Danish TIMS group who helped with the organisation of this extremely well presented tour.

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