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#161055 - 30th Jun 2007 11:44pm Bidston Hill - Windmill
Mark Online   Reading


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Registered: 9th Nov 2003
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Bidston Hill - Windmill

Do you remember when?
Do you have a storey to tell of days gone by in the picture?

Big thanks to mattyc for matching and taking the pictures.


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#182683 - 4th Nov 2007 3:39pm Re: Bidston Hill - Windmill [Re: Mark]
Mark Online   Reading


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Registered: 9th Nov 2003
Posts: 20883
Loc: Wirral
Originally Posted By: wirral.gov.uk
Bidston Windmill

This brick built tower mill replaced a wooden 'peg' mill that was destroyed by fire in 1793, and was used to grind corn into flour for 75 years up until 1875. Although access was difficult for a horse and cart laden with sacks of grain or flour the top of the hill was the ideal place to catch the wind. In fact, it is believed that there has been a windmill on this site since 1596.

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. The last miller to work in the mill was a Mr. Youds. Fortunately he did not meet the same fate as one of his predecessors. 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.

With the introduction of steam powered mills, windmills felt into disuse. During the 1890's Bidston Hill was purchased from Lord Vyner for public use and in 1894 a Mr. R.S. Hudson paid for Bidston Windmill to be restored. Further work has been carried out over the years, most recently by the present custodians Wirral Borough Council. The windmill is open on the first Sunday each month between 2:00pm and 4:00pm, when much of the machinery can be seen and a fine view can be had from the top.


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#182686 - 4th Nov 2007 4:07pm Re: Bidston Hill - Windmill [Re: Mark]
BMW Joe Offline
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Registered: 30th Apr 2006
Posts: 12369
Loc: Birkenhead
Originally Posted By: Mark
The windmill is open on the first Sunday each month between 2:00pm and 4:00pm, when much of the machinery can be seen and a fine view can be had from the top.


Didn't know that and I've just been up there today between them times and didnt see the door open or anyone around there?

Wish I had tried it now to see if it was open lol
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#182690 - 4th Nov 2007 4:54pm Re: Bidston Hill - Windmill [Re: BMW Joe]
MattLFC Offline
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Registered: 14th Aug 2004
Posts: 22315
Loc: Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
No that was before they started renovating the structure, it wont be open again till next spring/summer iirc.

I think its been shut for some years now as it was deemed unsafe?

Silly council probably dont even know lol.

Here's some more photographs hotlinked from my website - im at me mums atm and dont have any here, will find some bigger ones to upt up later.









The third one was actually taken on a crappy phone back in 2005, I love the photograph, but a 1.3mp 6680 just doesnt do it justice quality wise. Yobs burnt all the bushes in front since, so its hard to replicate the shot, if at all even possible!

Thought I had some better ones on me server ready for a forthcoming website update but alas it seems not frown

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#245114 - 28th Jul 2008 1:03am Re: Bidston Hill - Windmill [Re: MattLFC]
Handbag Offline
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Registered: 8th Jul 2008
Posts: 251
Loc: Egremont, Wallasey
I have very fond memories of that windmill. At weekends my Grandad used to take us for walks with his dog. Sometimes it was to 'The Greenies' which is a big field behind Flaybrick Cemetary and between Tam 'o Shanters Farm (where we often played Cricket or went picking Blackberries), Sometimes we went to Birkenhead Park... on a few occasions we used to walk across the Nannygoats Mountains up into Boundary Road and over Bidston Hill. I remember being about 6 years old and my grandad telling me that if I knocked on the door 3 times and ran round the windmill 50 times then the 'Witch' would come out... Crafty Old Sod... boy were us kids knackered when we got home LOL

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#245122 - 28th Jul 2008 8:30am Re: Bidston Hill - Windmill [Re: BMW Joe]
jonno40 Offline
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Registered: 7th Jan 2008
Posts: 1232
Loc: wirral
Originally Posted By: BMW Joe
Originally Posted By: Mark
The windmill is open on the first Sunday each month between 2:00pm and 4:00pm, when much of the machinery can be seen and a fine view can be had from the top.


Didn't know that and I've just been up there today between them times and didnt see the door open or anyone around there?

Wish I had tried it now to see if it was open lol
.

Unfortunately it is no longer open due to insurance and safety issues.
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#249514 - 20th Aug 2008 10:19am Re: Bidston Hill - Windmill [Re: jonno40]
mindplayer Offline
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Registered: 19th Aug 2008
Posts: 220
Loc: Sydney, Australia
This was also a place inhabited by the vikings, they even left some carvings behind one of a horse and I think one of a hammer.
Try this www.gavinrymill.com/wirral-vikings.html
But there are lots of others. You can see the carving in one of the granite rocks on the ground.

Dave Miller

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#249517 - 20th Aug 2008 10:49am Re: Bidston Hill - Windmill [Re: mindplayer]
jonno40 Offline
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Registered: 7th Jan 2008
Posts: 1232
Loc: wirral
A few of the carvings found on the hill are pictured in our Bidston Hill topic thumbsup
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#273402 - 4th Dec 2008 10:20pm Re: Bidston Hill - Windmill [Re: jonno40]
MattLFC Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 14th Aug 2004
Posts: 22315
Loc: Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
Was on the hill this afternoon, and the ranger was in the Windmill. Had a nice chat with him, and a nosey around the windmill. He said it should be opening about Easter next year, if all goes to plan.

They will need to arrange volunteers etc to staff the windmill during it's opening days, and as soon as they have anything sorted, the opening times will be posted on the door of the windmill.

So fingers crossed guys!!

smile

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#276050 - 14th Dec 2008 9:07pm Re: Bidston Hill - Windmill [Re: MattLFC]
oxtonmac Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 9th Aug 2008
Posts: 103
Loc: wirral
anyone else remember some kind of ritual taking place next to the windmill where a circular pagan/devil worship star shaped thingy (dont know what its called)was painted on the sandstone.

I was only young and it seemed very mysterious and scary at the time

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#276074 - 14th Dec 2008 9:56pm Re: Bidston Hill - Windmill [Re: oxtonmac]
Andy13 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 25th Apr 2008
Posts: 133
Loc: Tranmere Birkenhead
Would this still work if they ever wanted to get it to?

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#284650 - 17th Jan 2009 11:05pm Re: Bidston Hill - Windmill [Re: Andy13]
greasby_lad Offline
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Registered: 17th Jan 2009
Posts: 146
Loc: Wirral
Harry Neilson wrote in 'Auld Lang Syne' - "Later on, for some reason, these old stones were removed and now rest in Bidston Village ..... In 1933 I again entered the mill for the second time after a lapse of over half a century ..... the original mill-stones already mentioned have been replaced by replicas made of Portland cement".
I was in the mill in 2008 (as a volunteer preparing it for public opening) and was puzzled by the appearance of the millstones. One of them was partly fragmented. It looked like stones/cobbles encased in cement. Later I read Neilson's account and all was clear. The mill was renovated circa 1897, but only for visual effect. It was not intended to ever work again.

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#284652 - 17th Jan 2009 11:20pm Re: Bidston Hill - Windmill [Re: greasby_lad]
Dava2479 Offline

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Registered: 10th Feb 2008
Posts: 1924
Loc: Wirral
Are the originals still in Bidston village?

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#284667 - 18th Jan 2009 12:11am Re: Bidston Hill - Windmill [Re: Dava2479]
greasby_lad Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 17th Jan 2009
Posts: 146
Loc: Wirral
I don't know about the current location of the old millstones.
Neilson wrote in 1935 and stated that "One of them is at 'Park Lodge' in Eleanor Road, where it lies with a sundial in its centre, while the other reposes in the farmyard of Mr Wilkinson near the church".
There are two sets of (artificial) stones in the mill today; copies of the originals. Two sets equals four stones. Neilson only reports on two stones.

There is a millstone of unknown origin halfway down Rake Lane, Upton outside some newly built houses. It was unearthed when the houses were built about five years ago. Today it has a plant (a yucca, I think) growing through its centre. Could this stone be connected with the Bidston windmill? - it's a longshot (and I certainly don't want to create another piece of false History, there's plenty of that already) but the stone has come from somewhere.

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#284672 - 18th Jan 2009 12:35am Re: Bidston Hill - Windmill [Re: greasby_lad]
Dava2479 Offline

Forum Addict

Registered: 10th Feb 2008
Posts: 1924
Loc: Wirral
Yes I agree it has arrived from somewhere,but then again with most of wirral being farm land and fields,this would suggest there maybe plenty of mills of all types and doing different jobs.

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