Windmills and Watermills on postage stamps

Mills, and particularly windmills, are an especially popular thematic choice for stamp collectors. Many countries have issued illustrations of their own country's mills, with other mills cropping up on artwork reproduced on stamps, and especially on stamps commemorating Don Quixote!

British Issues

Despite the ample possibilities for subject matter, there has never been a mainland British stamp issued featuring a British windmill. The 1973 Christmas issue, celebrating Good King Wenceslas (Duke of Bohemia) did however show a crude windmill sketch in the background.

Water power has done only marginally better, with the sole representative being the water powered cotton mills at New Lanark, Strathclyde, which feature on the July 1989 Industrial Archaeology series:

The same 4 subjects from that issue were also included on a combined sheet issued the same month, but for the benefit of Stamp World '90. The regular stamps are portrait format, but the stamps of the combined sheet are landscape format, so include slightly different views from Ronald Maddox's original artwork. This mini-sheet was the cover illustration for both the 41st edition of Stanley Gibbons "Collect British Stamps", and also for the July 1989 "British Philatelic Bulletin".

Industrial Archaeology combined sheet 1989
Industrial Archaeology combined sheet 1989.

British stamps featuring closely related subjects include:

Other British Philatelic Items

In 1970 a bursary of £200 was offered for a design for a set of stamps, also entitled Industrial Archaeology. The winner out of 76 entries was a design featuring Although never issued as postage stamps, this design was actually reproduced in stamp like form as an insert with the 1972 publication of the Penrose Annual for Printers.

Penrose Annual printing of 1970 design
1972 Penrose Annual printing of 1970 design

Stamp booklets

In 1990-91 the Royal Mail issued a series of £1 stamp books designed by J Sancha, which featured mills on the booklet covers. The series featured:
  1. Wicken Fen windpump, Cambridgeshire
  2. Click Mill, Dounby, Orkney
  3. Jack and Jill windmills, Clayton, Sussex
  4. Howell mill, Llanddeusant, Anglesea

Other stamps from the British Isles

Other postage authorities on the outlying islands of the British Isles have issued stamps featuring both windmills and water powered devices.

Guernsey1979Series of stamps showing Guernsey coins - where 2 stamps show the 1971 and 1977 2p coins, which in turn show a picture of Sark windmill [stamps] [stamps]
Guernsey1982Vale Mill c1900. Guernsey Scenes - 2p To Pay [scan]
Jersey1984Australian tower mill - painted by Jersey artist John Alexander Gilfilan (1793-1864) - 26p stamp [scan]
Jersey1989 French windmill on stamp to commemorate the French Revolution - 35p stamp [scan]
Isle of Man1983Waterwheel at Laxey, Isle of Man - 20.5p stamp
Isle of Man1992Panoramic Showing the Pilgrim Fathers of 1620 with a windmill on the skyline - 18p stamp [scan]
Isle of Pabay (unofficial)1999[Carriage label]Renewable energy - showing wind turbine on £2 stamp [scan]

Internet Resources

Individual issues

Aland20013 stamps of windmills[info] [info]
Brazil1977toy windmill[info]
Czech Republic2001Kuzelov windmill[info] [info] [info]
Czech Republic2001Strehom watermill[info]
Denmark1997post mill - Frielandsmuseet[scan]
France1936Le Moulin de Alphonse Daudet[scan]
Germany19814 windmills stamps[info]
Germany1997Welfare series - 2 of watermills, 3 of windmills[info]
Lithuania19992 windmill stamps - Melniai and Pumpenai[info] [glossy] [non-glossy] [info]
Luxembourg2001comic strip wind turbines[info]
Marshall islands2001windpump[info]
Mongolia2000train passing Netherlands windmills[info] [scan]
Netherlands1962Polder mill[scan]
Netherlands19635 stamps of windmills[info]
Netherlands1994mill with letters on sails[scan]
Slovenia1993Wind Pump, Salt Pans of Secovlje[info]
Slovenia1993Boat mill on the Mura[info]
Slovenia1997The wind-rattle of Prlekija[info]
Slovenia1999Windmill on Stara Gora[info]
Switzerland20014 stamps of watermills[info]
USA19805 windmill stamps - Virginia; Rhode Island; Illinois; Cape Cod; Texas[info] [Texas] [Texas] [booklet] [Cape Cod] [high res scan]
United Nations Postal Administration2001mountain-top wind turbines[info]



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Last updated 03/03/2017 Text and images © Mark Berry, 1997-2017 -