Groups of windmills

A single windmill often makes an impressive sight on its own. There are however places where windmills can be seen in larger groups, which is an even more impressive sight.

The reasons should be obvious - if a site offers suitable wind conditions, then building more mills there can use make more use of that wind.

Where mills occur in pairs, the reason was often simply one of expansion (and to a certain extent redundancy). A successful miller could increase capacity by adding an additional mill more conveniently than they could rebuild an existing mill with the required larger capacity.


British examples of windmill groups are now mostly resticted to just pairs of corn mills, though there are examples of (quite widely spaced) groups of drainage mill, principally in Norfolk.

Jack and Jill, Clayton, Sussex

Jack and Jill are a familiar pairing of a tower mill and a post mill, occupying a prominent position on the South Downs in Sussex. In fact there is actually the remaining roundhouse of the earlier Duncton Gate post mill just alongside Jack, making this a triplet of mills.

Drinkstone, Suffolk

The Drinkstone mills consist of a smock mill and a post mill.

Cross in Hand, Sussex

The pair of post mills at Cross in Hand known as Little Mill, and New Mill, worked together until Little Mill was badly damaged in 1903. Soon after it was reduced to just the roundhouse seen today, but New Mill continued regular work up to 1969.

Outwood, Surrey

Outwood pair

The post mill at Outwood survives in working order, but the smock mill collaped 9th Nov 1960.


Skerries mills complex

Skerries Mills on the North Fingal coast, about 20 miles north of Dublin, is home to 3 mills - a five sailed tower mill, a four sailed thatched tower mill, and a watermill for good measure.



The "windmill hill" at Angla, on the island of Saaremaa, once had nine windmills in a row. Of these, 5 survive, including one smock mill, and 4 classic Estonian post mills.

The island of Saaremaa once had hundreds of windmills, and there are plenty more examples of groups of remains, though often in extreme states of dereliction.

Tallinn - Rocca Al Mar

The Estonian Open Air Museum at Rocca Al Mar near Tallinn has a total of 6 windmills which have been moved to the site. Of these, 3 of the post mills have been arranged together to show how a windmill hill would have appeared.



The hillside in Consuegra, La Mancha hosts perhaps the most familiar group of windmills, since they regularly feature in advertising and other photographs. The group consists of 11 windmills, and one castle!


Spain also has other large groups of mills in the La Mancha region, notably the 10 mills at Campo de Criptana and at Mota del Cuervo.


There are a number of groups of flour mills that remain in Mallorca - though in most cases the groups are now much depleted compared to the size they once were. Examples around the capital of Palma include the remaining groups at Es Jonquet (5), Industria (4), and Molinar (2).

The Netherlands

There are two particularly notable groups of windmills in The Netherlands.

The 19 mills at Kinderdijk were used to pump water, whilst the group of mills at Zaanse Schans were mostly used for industrial purposes.


Bodrum, Turkey
Bodrum, Turkey

The hill sides above Bodrum have a group of windmills ruins.


The Japanese are not a windmilling nation, but they are very keen on their theme parks. One of these, the Huis Ten Bosch Dutch themed resort near Nagasaki, has a group of windmills, based roughly on Kinderdijk.


Rock Hall
Rock Hall, St Peter

Most of the windmills in Barbados were used to crush sugar cane, and as such each plantation had its own. A number of smaller mills were also built that pumped water, and a few examples of such a pairing remain, though unfortunately not in very good conditions. Examples can be found at Apes Hill, St James, and at Rock Hall, St Peter.



There are a group of 24 preserved stone windmills at Lasithi. In addition, the Platea of Lasithi has many thousands of small irrigation mills.


Although not all the mills that once lined the harbour of Mykonos still survive, there's an impressive row of visually restored mills still to be seen.


Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

Golden Gate Dutch Mill Murphy Windmill, Golden Gate Park
Dutch windmill, and Murphy windmill

The pair of windmills at the Western end of Golden Gate Park, were built in the early 1900's to pump water to irrigate the rest of the park. The northern Dutch Windmill was cosmetically restored a good number of years ago, but the southern Murphy Windmill was restored much more recently.

Modern wind turbines

With the exception of a few experimental installations, (where just one turbine has been installed), most wind turbines are built in groups, commonly referred to as windfarms.

Particularly notable groupings can be found in the Altamont Hills in California, where favourable tax incentives have enabled this mountain pass area to be covered in thousands of turbines.

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Last updated 27/07/2020 Text and images © Mark Berry, 1997-2020 -