- The first written record from 1185 is of a Yorkshire windmill near South Cave in Weedley. The land was owned by the Knights Templar who may have been copying a 9th Century Iranian design.
- The 13th century saw an increase in mills for example in Stillingfleet, Drax, Easington and Colton.
- Medieval mills were designed on a central massive upright post supported by cross bars of timber.
- Under ‘Soke law’ medieval rights to collect payments led in the 19th century to a number of ‘Union Mill’ and cooperative ventures to be established.
- The golden age of mills in Yorkshire was the 19th century from when the oldest surviving example date.
- Since 1880 the number of surviving mills has been in decline
- It is no surprise that there was a concentration of mills on the east of the county eg Hull, Beverley, Bridlington and York.
- There are good databases of former locations but the best indicator may be in addresses. Windhill is an large area of Bradford/Shipley and in Leeds there is a Windmill Hotel.
- Many street names still retain the link to a former wind mill within the name.
- Repurposed mills have produced some innovative renovations and designs including a dwelling at Scott Hall road Leeds.
- Skidby Windmill (below) is a Grade II* listed windmill at Skidby near Beverley, in the East Riding. Originally built in 1821, the mill was further extended to its current 5 stories in 1870 and in 2022 is currently being refurbished. It is powered by 4 sails, 11 metres in length, and was in commercial use until 1966. Wikipedia
thanks to Alan Whitworth and ‘Yorkshire Windmills’ for background information that is far more detailed in this MTD Publication