The tallest windmill


Note: figures on this page have been compiled from various sources, and may not be truly accurate - they represent my best attempt at answering a question I am frequently asked.

For many years, the tallest windmill in the UK has been Sutton windmill, Norfolk (at 80ft to the top of the cap, plus the reach of the sails beyond that).

The windmill at Moulton, Lincolnshire is 80ft to the top of its tower, and with ongoing restoration work to replace the machinery above this point, will soon be able to claim to be taller.

Other fine tall windmills in the UK include

I am indebted to Michael Roots who provided me with some research he has done into this matter:

A contender for the tallest windmill in England is Bixley windmill, Norfolk. I have a drawing of the mill from an old letterhead and as the mill is still standing have used the drawing to estimate height, which is 127 feet to curb and 137 feet to top of cap. Sails using drawing 36 x 9 against a known measurement of 39 x 8 feet. The mill had 11 floors of which a 7 storey stump remains today. There was a mill at Pickering, Yorks which had 13 floors and may have been taller. This was advertised for sale in the Norfolk Chronicle of 17-11-1841.

Two of the windmills, De Norde and De Vrijheid at Schiedam, The Netherlands are noted as 33 metres tall, which converts to 108ft. The newly built wind turbine attached to the town's distillery is designed to look like a traditioal windmill, and is even taller.

Golden Gate Park, California is home to two large windmills - the 75ft high Dutch Mill, and the even larger Murphy Windmill at 95ft high. Furthermore, the Murphy Windmill had a sail span of 114ft long - which may be the largest ever constructed.

The replica windmill at Pella, Iowa also lays claim to be the tallest in the USA, variously reported as 90ft or 135ft! (I guess the larger figure is to the top of the sails).

The tallest American wind-pump was claimed by the 132ft high one on the XIT ranch at Littlefield, Texas (where its height was necessary due to being built within a canyon). It blew down in 1926, and the current "replica" in the town is a mere 114ft tall.

Wind turbines can dwarf these heights - for example a turbine at the Pickering nuclear power plant, Toronto, Canada is 384ft tall, with blades of 128ft. [photo]


You may also like to see what answers BrainBoost gives to the questions Where is the tallest windmill? and Where is the largest windmill?. (Of course, you can also get similar results from Google).

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Last updated 27/01/2014 Text and images © Mark Berry, 1997-2014 -