Around the 11th-12th centuries, in England, the windmill would
come into existence, conceivably by returning Christian crusaders
participating in the Crusade Wars in the Middle East.
In Northern Europe, one of the earliest records of windmills were
the ones in England recorded in 1185, courtesy of a rental note
for a windmill in Weedly, Yorkshire. Also, in 1191, records show
that a windmill in Bury St.Edmunds was constructed in defiance of
the local abbot. The windmill was ultimately destroyed, as an end
Windmills were governed by the “miling soke” division
of the manor’s charter. The windmill was the property of the
lord of the manor, possessing the monopoly over the windmill. The
lord was also responsible for the repairs, maintenance and amount
of mills needed to meet the demands of the people.
The church also had involvement with windmills. Pope Celestine
III claimed that air used by windmills belong to the church. He
made the assertion that windmills must be built with the expressed
consent of a papal tithe.
Tenants living on the manor were indebted to grind their corn at
the lord’s mill at a fixed rate of its toll. The lord’s
corn was ground free and given precedence over the rest. If the
mill fell into disrepair, this would be the only reason for the
lord's tenants to have their corn ground elsewhere.
There were a few types of windmills in Europe during the 12th century.
One such windmill was the vertical windmill, which made its appearance
during the last quarter of the 12th century, showcased in Eastern
England, Northern France and Flanders. The other was the post mill
which was small and had a trestle that was poorly protected. So
that means harsh weather conditions were more than enough to do
damage to the post mill. With its fine and delicate structure, it
was basic and among the earliest type of windmill in Europe. In
order for the post mill to exist, it was prepared to rest along
a vertical post. An extended lever projecting from the post mill’s
rear allowed it to spin around.
would shortly be used as a strategic defence device against enemy
armies. They were huge in physical infrastructure, so it was possible
that it would act as a fort and tower during the Age of Castles.
Occasionally windmills were built onto a castle tower.
In due course, as castles became a thing of the past, windmills
would still see life. Thousands of windmills would show themselves
along the European countryside. And even today, windmills are still
used to harness the power of the wind creating power for infrastructures
all over Europe.