Windmills of Faial - The Azores


Algar (#pt2405)

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(38.52891,-28.671)

pedestal - very derelict

Another mill where the weather side of the body is unfortunately entirely open to the elements. The wooden windshaft still stands proud with the full length of the bowsprit still present, and the lack of a roof makes it easy to see the stone bearing on which it rotated.


Algar, 21/11/12


Note the stone bearing under the windshaft, and the metal skids on which the body rested and rotated., 21/11/12

Azores Inventory:faial-005

Angústias (#pt2401)

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(38.52930,-28.630)

Monte das Moças: pedestal

The remains of this mill are quite hard to fathom out, and despite its location very close to the heart of the island's main town, I found few photos of it at all.

Clearly, some time between the inventory of 1999 (when it was shown with weathered red paint, but a substantially complete body) and Luis Bettencourt's visit in 2006 when he photographed just the bare base, the body was set on fire, and tumbled off the base. In fact bits of it still remain in the undergrowth, comprising burnt main framework timbers, together with the propeller and some ironwork.

I was unable to discover how the mill was arranged, but one clear feature is that the base is not entirely solid, there is an opening to one side. The opening does not appear large enough to have represented a location for machinery per-se, but I wonder whether it allowed a power take off to pass from the body, through the base, and then perhaps off to the side through the opening. The opening has evidence of more building work having been attached on that side, and there are remains of another building hidden in the undergrowth which could possibly have housed additional machinery.

The propeller was a single carved piece of wood, bolted betweeen two metal plates that attached to the front of the round metal windshaft. The windshaft turned a small metal hub in which were mounted about 20 cogs. There is also what I took to be the main stone shaft, a square section drive with the remains of a rhynd and of where a wooden gear wheel was mounted.


base surrounded by undergrowth, 19/11/12


broken remains of square shaft, 19/11/12


rear of windshaft, 19/11/12

Azores Inventory:faial-001

Angústias (#pt2402)

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(38.53419,-28.636)

pedestal

This mill is derelict, but the body is still currently substantially complete. The access steps have fallen away, and the rear platform with them, and the propeller is no more. All of these features were shown in place in the 1999 survey, but had gone by 2006. Through the gaping hole in the body and the missing read door you can see that the interion is in a bit of disarray, the millstone tun seems to have been turned vertically for example.


Angústias, 18/11/12


Angústias, 18/11/12

Azores Inventory:faial-002

Angústias (#pt2403)

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(38.52638,-28.635)

tower

This bare tower is devoid of any machinery, though there are still substantial wooden beams in place. The tower was rendered inside and out, and the lines of the render allow the location of the interior stairs which went up the walls to be seen. Externally it's clear that at times other buildings have been constructed attached to the tower - perhaps after it ceased to work by wind, since these would have clearly got in the way of the sails. There is a shaped stone above the doorway which looks like a date stone, but there is nothing to be seen remaining on the weathered stone. There are a number of iron rings set in the wall, which provided tying off points for ropes.


Angústias, 18/11/12

Azores Inventory:faial-003

Areias (#pt2416)

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(38.63644,-28.707)

pedestal

Azores Inventory:faial-016

Canada do Capitão (#pt2414)

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(38.63187,-28.720)

pedestal - derelict, missing propeller, but internally mostly complete.

Millstones surrounded by galvanized tun.


Canada do Capitão, 20/11/12


interior, showing braced side framing, 20/11/12

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Azores Inventory:faial-014

Capelo (#pt2410)

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pedestal

Azores Inventory:faial-010

Cascalho de Baixo (#pt2415)

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(38.63536,-28.718)

pedestal - restored 2007, with propeller

A total rebuild restoration in 2007. In the grounds of the island dairy, who use the mill as a symbol on one of their range of cheeses. The external cladding of the body is entirely new material, inside you can see a number of different ages of wood (using different styles of carpenters marks) which make up the frame - clearly this mill has been rebuilt a number of times in its lifetime. The stone furniture is entirely new, but the gearing is older, and there's an original stone crane. The mill is driven by a 2 bladed propeller.


Cascalho de Baixo, 20/11/12


Cascalho de Baixo, 20/11/12


Cascalho de Baixo, 20/11/12

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Azores Inventory:faial-015

Castelo Branco (#pt2406)

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pedestal

Azores Inventory:faial-006

Castelo Branco (#pt2407)

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(38.52390,-28.727)

pedestal - Obviously a small mill, just the pedestal remains.


Castelo Branco, 21/11/12

Azores Inventory:faial-007

Castelo Branco (#pt2408)

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pedestal

Azores Inventory:faial-008

Cedros (#pt2417)

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(38.63593,-28.685)

pedestal

Azores Inventory:faial-017

Cedros (#pt2418)

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pedestal

Azores Inventory:faial-018

Cedros (#pt2419)

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(38.63411,-28.689)

pedestal

Azores Inventory:faial-019

Cedros (#pt2420)

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(38.63159,-28.691)

pedestal

Azores Inventory:faial-020

Cedros (#pt2421)

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(38.63007,-28.691)

pedestal

Azores Inventory:faial-021

Cedros (#pt2422)

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(38.62910,-28.695)

pedestal

Azores Inventory:faial-022

Cedros (#pt2423)

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pedestal

Azores Inventory:faial-023

Cedros (#pt2424)

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pedestal

Azores Inventory:faial-024

Cedros (#pt2425)

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pedestal

Azores Inventory:faial-025

Cedros (#pt2426)

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(38.62785,-28.677)

pedestal

Azores Inventory:faial-026

Cedros (#pt2427)

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(38.62780,-28.677)

pedestal

Azores Inventory:faial-027

Conceição (#pt2440)

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(38.55204,-28.625)

pedestal - restored - 4 sails, fish weathervane

Along with its neighbouring mill, looking newly restored and freshly painted in late 2012, and in the process of being closely fenced in which will make viewing difficult. All visible work seems to be new materials - unclear whether much historic fabric has been retained in the restoration.


Conceição, 19/11/12


Conceição, 19/11/12

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Azores Inventory:faial-040

Conceição (#pt2441)

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(38.55190,-28.625)

pedestal - restored - 8 sailbars

Along with its neighbouring mill, looking newly restored and freshly painted in late 2012, and in the process of being closely fenced in which will make viewing difficult. All visible work seems to be new materials - unclear whether much historic fabric has been retained in the restoration.


Conceição, 19/11/12


Conceição, 19/11/12

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Azores Inventory:faial-041

Conceição (#pt2442)

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(38.55115,-28.623)

pedestal - complete - 4 sails, cockerel weathervane

Whilst currently looking a bit bedraggled, this mill has clearly in the past been well cared for - but it goes to show what a few years of lack of attention can cause in the harsh conditions along this ridge. The sails are currently broken, but comprised 4 lattice arrangements, with a bowsprit. Whilst the two similar mills a few hundred metres away are now looking fine in their newly restored state and fresh coat of paint, I've a feeling that this mill retains more original material - for example the door hinges are far more ornate than modern replacements would bother with.


Conceição, 19/11/12


Conceição, 19/11/12

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Azores Inventory:faial-042

Conceição (#pt2443)

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(38.54833,-28.617)

tower - converted

The converted tower of this mill is now used as a radiocommunication station - so the tower now hosts a range of aerial and antenna attachments. There's sort of a cap topping off the tower, with a braced tailpole which runs from the cap down to ground level.


converted mill with radio aerials, 19/11/12

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Azores Inventory:faial-043

Feteira (#pt2404)

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(38.53594,-28.663)

pedestal - very derelict

The body of this mill unfortunately appears close to collapse, with the internal machinery rather jumbled up inside, and one entire face of the wall disappeared. The missing wall does however make it easy to view the magnificent braced gear wheel that is mounted on the wooden windshaft, together with the lantern stone nut it drove.


Feteira, 21/11/12


magnificent braced gear wheel on wooden windshaft, 21/11/12

Azores Inventory:faial-004

Flamengos (#pt2437)

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(38.56021,-28.641)

tower

Azores Inventory:faial-037

Flamengos (#pt2438)

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pedestal

Azores Inventory:faial-038

Flamengos (#pt2439)

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pedestal

Azores Inventory:faial-039

Pedro Miguel (#pt2430)

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(38.61490,-28.659)

pedestal - derelict, metal clad small mill, with propeller

This interesting little mill shows clearly that some of the pedestal design are very much post mills at heart. The pedestal here is mostly unmortared stone, and where this has fallen away you can clearly see the main post, with its supporting quarterbars which were encased within the pedestal. The peedestal here was topped off with a concrete curb, on which the now metal clad mill body sits. The sails were of the two bladed propeller variety.


Pedro Miguel, 20/11/12


Pedro Miguel, 20/11/12

Azores Inventory:faial-030

Pedro Miguel (#pt2431)

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(38.58320,-28.610)

pedestal

Azores Inventory:faial-031

Pedro Miguel (#pt2432)

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(38.57958,-28.615)

pedestal

Azores Inventory:faial-032

Pedro Miguel (#pt2433)

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(38.57858,-28.614)

pedestal

Azores Inventory:faial-033

Pedro Miguel (#pt2434)

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(38.57233,-28.617)

tower

A bare tower, open to the elements. There is some bowing and cracking in the tower, and at some point the stones have been numbered - whether this is as precursor to some reconstruction work is unclear.


Pedro Miguel, 19/11/12


Pedro Miguel, 19/11/12

Azores Inventory:faial-034

Praia do Almoxarife (#pt2435)

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(38.56903,-28.631)

pedestal

Azores Inventory:faial-035

Praia do Almoxarife (#pt2436)

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(38.56292,-28.617)

tower

Azores Inventory:faial-036

Praia do Norte (#pt2411)

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pedestal

Azores Inventory:faial-011

Praia do Norte (#pt2412)

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pedestal

Azores Inventory:faial-012

Ribeira Funda (#pt2413)

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pedestal

Azores Inventory:faial-013

Salão (#pt2428)

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(38.62708,-28.673)

mini tower

A short 2 storey tower where the millstones were in the tower, not in whatever revolved above it. In fact at least 1 stone is (precariously) still housed in the tower. The remains of the propeller is as present currently on the top of the tower.


Salão, 20/11/12


Salão, 20/11/12

Azores Inventory:faial-028

Salão (#pt2429)

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(38.62210,-28.667)

pedestal

Azores Inventory:faial-029

Trupes (#pt2409)

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(38.58290,-28.786)

hybrid type - house converted


Trupes, 20/11/12

Azores Inventory:faial-009


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