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is situated on Bidston Hill
Bidston Hill is of heathland and woodland that contains historic buildings and ancient rock carvings. It is located on the Wirral Peninsula, near the Birkenhead suburb of Bidston, in Merseyside, England...
, near Birkenhead
Birkenhead is a town within the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral in Merseyside, England. It is on the Wirral Peninsula, along the west bank of the River Mersey, opposite the city of Liverpool...
, on the Wirral Peninsula
Wirral or the Wirral is a peninsula in North West England. It is bounded by three bodies of water: to the west by the River Dee, forming a boundary with Wales, to the east by the River Mersey and to the north by the Irish Sea. Both terms "Wirral" and "the Wirral" are used locally , although the...
It is believed that there has been a windmill
A windmill is a machine which converts the energy of wind into rotational energy by means of vanes called sails or blades. Originally windmills were developed for milling grain for food production. In the course of history the windmill was adapted to many other industrial uses. An important...
on this site since 1596.
The mill was ideally placed to catch the wind, but difficult to access by cart. The previous structure, a wooden peg mill
The post mill is the earliest type of European windmill. The defining feature is that the whole body of the mill that houses the machinery is mounted on a single vertical post, around which it can be turned to bring the sails into the wind. The earliest post mills in England are thought to have...
, was destroyed by fire in 1791 (although some sources state 1793).
During a gale, the sails got out of control and the friction produced by the revolving wooden mechanism caused the entire mill to burst into flames.
The current building was built in about 1800 and continued working as a flour
Flour is a powder which is made by grinding cereal grains, other seeds or roots . It is the main ingredient of bread, which is a staple food for many cultures, making the availability of adequate supplies of flour a major economic and political issue at various times throughout history...
mill until about 1875.
After falling into disuse, The windmill, and the land on which it stands, was purchased by Birkenhead Corporation and restored from 1894.
There is a plaque on the windmill that reads as follows:
- This land, including the woods surrounding this windmill, containing with the adjacent piece of land known as Thermopylae about 90 acres (364,217.4 m²) was purchased from RG de Grey Vyner during the years 1894 to 1908 at a cost of £30,310. Of this sum the Corporation of Birkenhead contributed £14,625 and £15,685 was raised by public subscription. A portion of this land, viz the eastern wood containing 22 acres (89,030.9 m²), was purchased as a memorial of the late Edmund Taylor, of Oxton
Oxton is a suburb of Birkenhead, on the Wirral Peninsula, England. Administratively it is a ward of the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral. Originally a village in its own right, it became part of the Municipal Borough of Birkenhead upon its creation in 1877...
, in recognition of his great services in connection with the acquisition of Bidston Hill for the benefit of the public. The land belongs to and is maintained at the expense of the Corporation of Birkenhead. But according to the deeds of conveyance it must always be used as an open space and place of public recreation and must be preserved and maintained, so far as possible, in its present wild and natural condition. Special care being given to preservation of the trees, gorse, heath and also of this windmill. Bye laws have been made and a keeper and assistant appointed so that they are observed. The public, for whose enjoyment alone the land was secured, are invited to aid in preserving it from fire and damage. AD
and Before Christ are designations used to label or number years used with the Julian and Gregorian calendars....
MCMIX. This tablet restored 1971.
It was again badly damaged in 1927 and a public subscription was raised to carry out the necessary repairs.
The windmill has since been reconditioned several times since. During 2006 the roof of the windmill was replaced as part of a refurbishment program to maintain the structure.