We do not know when the first windmill was built on Bidston Hill. The mill is mentioned in a lease of
Kellie leased Bidston Manor, court, orchard and mill to William of Arrowe. Wind-driven mills are of
ancient origin. Mills may have been used in Persia as early as the 7th century AD, for irrigation and
milling grain. Throughout Wirral there is evidence of windmills, for example, in Heswall, Higher
Bebington and Willaston and across the River Mersey can be seen ‘wind energy’ being harnessed for
The earliest windmills on the Hill stood about 20 yards to the north of the windmill that we can see
today. There are two trenches dug into the sandstone in the shape of a cross, you can see it quite
clearly. This type was known as a peg mill, made of timber it was manually pushed round to meet the
prevailing wind. To push the mill around, holes were cut in the sandstone so a grip could be made and
they are visible still after two hundred years. In this style of windmill the top or 'cap' could be turned
so that the sails would face the wind, from whichever direction it was blowing. You can still see the
large wooden chain-wheel which was used to slowly turn the roof around by a rack and gear system.
One of the old millers was killed when he walked out of the mill door and was hit by one of the sails.
In those days there were two doors on opposite sides of the mill. As the sails could face any direction,
and came close to the ground there were times when one door could not be used. The miller must
have forgotten the position of the sails and he used the wrong door, was struck by the heavy wooden
sail and killed. Another story tells us that a tinker who was selling pots and pans tied his donkey to
one of the sails before he went in to call on the miller. While inside talking to the miller, the wind blew,
the sails turned, and the donkey and all the pots and pans were lifted into the air. By 1875 the mill
was no longer in use and it was allowed to fall into decay. The last miller was a man called
Mr Youds. In 1894 Mr R. S. Hudson, a soap manufacturer, paid for the mill to be restored.
The Mill was open to the public on the first Sunday of every month, until 2001 when a Health & Safety
inspection forced its closure until further notice.
The Friends of Bidston Hill are investigating strategies for reopening it in due course, possibly as an
educational and tourist attraction.
A Statement from the friends of Bidston
"We are aware of the damage to the roof, sustained between 2002 and 2005 and the Council have
allocated a sum of over £45,000 for the repair of the roof and the restoration of the fabric of the Mill.
We expect that this work will take place over the summer of 2005".
"We hope to develop plans to create an active tourist attraction in the Windmill by the year 2008 with
an interactive display of the history and the local natural environment. ?
Other pictures of the mill can be found in the IMAGES section of Bidston otherwise click page 3 to
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