Is it just me or is there something really spooky about windmills?
They’re fine from a distance; very picturesque. But get up close to them & they’re strangely scary things in a Scooby Doo haunted house kinda way. Those huge towers & great big sails, creaking & groaning in the wind -just me? O.K then.
Wilton windmill sits on the chalk downs of the Berkshire/Wiltshire borders, surrounded by wheat fields & woodland. It’s a cracking ride out there. A lovely twisty, uppy downy country road with plenty of opportunities to open the bike up & have some fun. As the first brown tourist sign crops up for the windmill a bend in the road brings it into view, high on the hill above you, it’s white dome standing out against the clear blue sky -damn I’m good at this stuff!
This is the only working windmill in Wiltshire. It was built in 1821 after the Kennet & Avon Canal company had taken the water out of the river Bedwyn for their canal, depriving the water millers of the power to drive their mills

The four wooden slatted sails are the most common design in Britain, though other mills use six or even eight sails. Earlier foreign examples used ship builder’s sail cloth, usually stretched over wooden triangular frames. Wilton mill was in use until 1920, when it was eventually overtaken by steam power & electricity, falling idle & derelict for the next 50 years.
Thankfully enthusiasts rescued it, restoring it between 1971 & 1976 & giving guided tours every Sunday during the Summer. The site appears to be open but unattended for the rest of the week -I visited on a Tuesday morning & found it completely deserted but very tranquil.
In the early 80s my brother Steve, (a carpenter & joiner), was working on buildings around the site when the Style Council descended & spent a day shooting a video in & around the mill. He got to meet Paul Weller & Dee.C.Lee

A fun ride & a nice spot to just sit & watch the World go by. But still spooky.

Wilton Windmill is 6 miles South of Hungerford in Berkshire, on the A338.
Open from Easter until late September on Sundays & Bank Holidays between 2 & 5pm.
Guided tours are available.