Lost windmills of Balsham, and one to visit in Fulbourn.

We're all delighted to see that the Fulbourn Windmill is having an open day on 12th May. We encourage you to pop along and find out more about this iconic buiding that's been a landmark between Balsham and Cambridge for many years.

The windmill on the Waye, Linton Road, Balsham © Cambridgeshire Collection

The windmill on the Waye, Linton Road, Balsham © Cambridgeshire Collection

Did you know that Balsham had two windmills and we've recorded what we know of them in Balsham, a village story 1617-2017?

The windmills and the miller

The job of the miller was an important one in Balsham. Windmills housed quern-stones which ground cereal crops to make flour for bread making. The quern-stone consisted of a large, fixed stone as a base and another movable stone operated manually by the miller.

There are two windmills recorded on the 1617 map of Balsham.  One was situated south of Button Field next to a track leading from Beavis Lane (now called Old House Road).  It was built between two fields owned by Mr. Linsdale. The miller is recorded as Mr Edwards. On the 1806 Enclosure map a mill is shown in Button or Burton Field adjacent to a foot path leading to West Wratting but how long it stood is a mystery as it’s not recorded on later maps. The present owner of the field was unaware of its existence until our project began.

The windmill on the ‘Waye’

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The second windmill was situated on the ‘Waye from New Market to Walden’ (now Linton Road). It stood next to the road in a field called Asheley. In 1617 the miller was Mr Ro (Robert) Bland. The windmill on the ‘Waye’ is referred to in a sale document (page 66) in 1753. There are several crossings-out as the writer seemed unsure of the year - 1754 or 53, the month June or October, or the day 1st or the 12th.  He may well have struggled to read and write which was common at the time. At this time the mill was run by the Day family.

You can find out more about the Day family and how the maps solved the mystery of what happened to the windmill on the Waye in Balsham, a village story 1617-2017