Fulwell MillSunderland City Council
Fulwell Windmill is one of only 16 grade II* listed buildings in the City of Sunderland. It is a nationally important example of a vaulted tower windmill and is a cherished community asset and iconic landmark.
Dating from the early years of the 19th century, the Windmill is an unusually complete example of a ‘vaulted tower mill’. Its design is typical of five floor English tower mills, but Fulwell Mill is unique among this group for having the outside gallery built as part of the main structure, topping the first two floors. Built of magnesian limestone blocks from the adjacent Fulwell quarry, it is actually six storeys tall, but its height is deceptive because the structure is built into the slope of the hill.
Fulwell Mill is also unique regionally for being the most internally complete example of its type, retaining almost all of its machinery and working parts and providing physical evidence of crafts and traditions that span over seven hundred years of English history.
Because of their poor condition and inauthentic design, the cap, cap frame, fantail and sails were redesigned by Luke Bonwick, our millwright consultant. They were manufactured from new oak and douglas fir and assembled by Owlsworth.
The original parts of brake wheel, brake lever and band were retained and repaired, together with the cast iron windshaft and the six centring wheels which maintain the position of the cap above the tower. New striking gear to operate the sail shutters was designed and installed. A limited number of shutters are fitted to enable the sails to idle round when wanted. The cap now turns itself to face the wind and it is intended that the sails be braked (i.e. not spinning) until a time when the project is further funded to achieve an operational mill. In the meantime the cap and sails will continue to turn to the wind but the wind will pass through the sails as the shuttering is mostly absent.
Associated with the project was the removal of all external paint finish from the render and new finish by Keim. Replacement of all windows with more traditional design, modest upgrade of internal electrical items and new external lighting.
Thanks to Simon Woodley for some of these images.