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Bourn Windmill

Bourn,  Cambridgeshire

Restored open trestle post mill

Photo by  Richard Thomas

Bourn Mill is a type of mill called an 'open trestle post mill'. With the weight of the body, or 'buck' supported on a central post which is in turn supported by a trestle.

The earliest record we have of the mill is from 1636, but it may be much earlier as this type of windmill has hardly changed since the 13th century.

The buck has two floors. The upper stone floor contains the grinding stones which rotate against each other to grind grain. The upper or runner stone is turned by energy provided by the sails. Grain is poured from a hopper into the gap between the stones and is ground into flour. A chute carries the flour down into the meal bins on the lower floor.

The sails have to face squarely into the wind and in order to achieve this the whole body of the mill, with all the machinery inside has to be rotated around the central post using the tail pole. To stop the sails, the mill must be turned again so that they are 'on edge' to the wind. It cannot be allowed to go too fast or the friction between wooden pieces can cause heat and fire to break out.

A detailed sketch or drawing of the working of this is on the Cambridge preservation society website, but too small to see well.

Further information Grid


Bourn Windmill, Bourn, Cambridgeshire

Ceremonial County: Cambridgeshire

Grid Reference:

TL 312580       OS Sheet 153

Map Link:

Ordnance survey TL312580


Aerial photo: Google aerial photo



Best Times to Visit:





www.cpswandlebury.org    Mill page

Other useful websites:

Listed building site www.imagesofengland.org.uk/details/default.aspx?pid=2&id=051047

More Images www.windmillworld.com/millid/2312.htm

Time lines www.engineering-timelines.com/scripts/engineeringItem.asp?id=440

Lottery grant


mills open

Nearby Locations:  
Other Relevant pages:  



Date Updated: 04/2008

Planning Grid


Bourn Windmill, Bourn, Cambridgeshire

Grid Reference:

TL 312580 

Getting there:

The Mill is located between Bourn & Caxton. It can be reached by the A428 from Cambridge, via Bourn village or the A1198 Royston to Huntingdon Rd.

Via Caxton. Mill is mile east of Caxton, signposted on open days only.


There is a footpath that goes up the farm drive and over the hill, passing within feet of the windmill.


There appears on the aerial photo to be a small car park one field west of farm entrance.



Things To Do, See and Photograph:


What to take:


Nature highlights:



Janet Cornish
The Secretary
Cambridge Preservation Society


Mill - CB3 7SU


Tel - 01223 243830

Opening times:

Open on some special weekends.

Outside access may be available at other times.

May to September, last Sunday in the month and National Mills Sunday, 14.30 17.30. Other times by appointment.



Photo Restrictions:


Other Restrictions:  
Special Needs Access:  
Special Needs Facilities:  
Children Facilities:  
Dogs Allowed:  

CIN Page Ref:


Date Updated: 05/2008

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