Barbados term British Term millwall windmill tower points sails roundhouse cap
The descriptions of indididual mills given on this page date largely from a survey of mills done in October 1999.Note on locations The names given to the location of millwalls in this list are largely of my own making, and may not be accurate. Sugar mills, by their very nature, were associated with plantations, and unless the mill and plantation house have survived together as an identifiable unit, it's not always obvious which plantation the mill went with. Coupling this with the vagueness of exact location that the Barbados maps tend to provide may mean that I have misidentified mills. Locations I am especially unsure or suspicious of I have identified with ??
This impressive millwall is roofed and well maintained. It has been painted pink, to match the nearby buildings, though on the exposed easterly side this has largely worn off. There is a bell in the top of the millwall. From the driveway leading up to this plantation there are a number of other millwalls visible, and I supect that if you climbed up inside the millwall itself, it would be possible to see a number more.
There are the remains of a pair of millwalls here.
Pumping mill - this is the more complete of the two, being a small millwall built of solid coral blocks. The pumping machinery remains, together with the main upright shaft, and some brief remnants of the roundhouse atop the millwall. The well this mill pumped from was apparently unique on the island, since instead of being a roughly circular well, the sides of the well are cut square.
Sugar mill - this structure, though still identifiable as a millwall, was converted long ago into a lime kiln. It was used as such until the 1960's, running on natural gas for about 6 months of the year. However the government then introduced a charging structure that would have meant paying for gas all year, even when the kiln was not in use, so the kiln switched experimentally (and unsuccesfully) to running on oil, then fell into disuse.
This millwall is roofed and well maintained in the grounds of the Barbados Horticultural Society, where it features as a focal point of the planting. The roofed millwall is used as a store, and bears the date 1866.[homepage]
This millwall is now in a rear garden in a modern housing development and cannot be closely inspected. Nearby is the remaining tower of a metal windpump.
This millwall has an external ladder, suggesting that there is a tank contained in the top of the tower (either water or oil?)
Another large and impressive millwall, showing signs of fairly recent repointing on the lower parts. However in general the structure is empty, and overgrown. In the yard of the adjacent stables lie a number of iron gears from a sugar mill, with attached concrete as if they have been built into a wall at some time. These carry the makers name "Fletcher and Co, London".
This unroofed millwall is in a reasonable state of repair, but does have a tree growing out of it.
The shell of this millwall is well maintained, and although unroofed the sheer bulk of the millwall provided excellent rain protection during a prolonged torrential downpour. (Given that the rain was driven sideways by the wind, the lack of a roof was not a problem!) Recent maintainance work has led to all the beam holes in the tower being filled in with cement - a slight shame since this looks out of place in the coral blocked walls, but presumably this stops animals and birds nesting within these convienient holes. What remains of the roundhouse has been lifted off the tower itself, and is now placed alongside the millwall.[photo]
This mill is now bordered by Millwall Avenue, part of the Ealing Park stage 3 development. The millwall itself is constructed of coral blocks, and is in the process of being incorporated into a house conversion. As is the case with much of the new building in Barbados, this conversion is taking its time, and there appears to have been little work for many months.
Within the grounds of the Barbados National Trust George Washington House property. Often referred to as a water mill, I think it probably pumped water to the adjacent bath house.[homepage]
This 8 sided structure was considered by Prof Dash to have been an animal rather than a wind-mill. However Rex Wailes did not fully agree with the Professor's findings, and from inspection I can see no reason why this was not considered to be a windmill - excepting the unusual non-round base, it has all the features of other definite windmills, including the tall narrow archway. In addition, its position on open ground near the top of the ridge would seem an ideal place to catch the winds. An unusual perspective on this structure can be gained from the right hand window seats of aircraft landing at Grantley Adams airport.
Residential conversion, as a separate building in the grounds of a house. The conversion has been done with taste and presumably at much expense. The tower bears the date 1892. In the field of waste ground to the side of the house, there is a large wooden beam, which would appear to have come from the mill (at least I could see no other reason for dumping such a beam there!)
In the grounds of a site owned by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. The tower, now roofed and turretted, bears the date 1929 on the masonry of the turrets above a bell. The tower is of regular coral blocks, and shows signs of conversion from 1 large arch to 2 smaller ones. There is also a further tall, thin arch. Above the main doorway is another date, which reads B.R. 1703 (though the last digit is indistinct).
This millwall, of random size coral and mortar, is well maintained and used for storage. The wall bears the date March 25, 1757, and a note saying Built by Robert Taylor (though the first letter of the surname is not certain).
This creeper covered millwall was not viewed except from afar.
This millwall looks very solidly constructed, of large coral blocks. There is evidence that the tower, which is roofless, has been heightened.
At Lamberts, on the St Lucy/St Peter boundary, a wind turbine remains, in an essentially abandoned state. The tower is showing signs of rust, and the door to the tower has been forced open, and the insides trashed. The turbine blades remain, in a "parked" position. I surmise that the turbine was installed in 1985/86 (based on the manufacturing date of the equipment), but did not operate for many years since the 1987/88 telephone directory was apparently current when it stopped working!
Funding: InterAmerican Development Bank; Government of Barbados
Supplier: James Howden and Co Ltd, Glasgow, Scotland
Erected: April 1986; synchronized to electricity grid - 6th May 1986
Rated: 250kW in a windspeed of 13.5 m/s
Originally fitted with 26m blades, these were removed in Oct 1986, and replaced with 28m blades in Oct 1987 - recommissioning date 23rd October.
Problems encountered (many linked to inadequate local maintenance) included:
Between Nov 1987 and Jan 1989 there were 3 months when no ouput was produced due to the yaw break problem, but when working, month outputs of 20 - 60 mWh were produced.
This is a delightful and refreshingly complete mill, containing as it does all the working parts below the roundhouse (ie cap). It's a small mill, where the sugar mill (still present) is housed wthin the wall itself, rather than being outside in an ancilliary building. Above the sugar mill, the main shaft is still present, though far from upright. The structure is in the grounds of the Slumberest Mattress works, adjacent to where the staff eat their lunch. A swarm of bees currently treat the millwall as an oversized hive, which makes close access problematic!
This rubble and mortar millwall currently has no roof, though 2 internal beams remain.
Now a residential conversion, with the uninspired house name of "The Mill".
This creeper covered millwall, in the grounds of the luxury house "Molyneux House", appears to be well maintained.
Morgan Lewis mill, commonly given the date c1727, continued to work through until 1945. In 1962 E L Banister donated it to the Barbados National Trust, who commenced a restoration project 2 years later. It was further restored in 1974, but deteriorated again, so much so that it was listed as one of the most endangered heritage sites in the world. However a 2 year restoration by the UK millwrights The Chiltern Partnership, started in 1996, then brought the mill back to its former glory.[homepage] [info] [info] [info]
Mullins Mill forms the core of a luxury holiday villa, available for rent to those with sufficient money. The millwall is barely visible from outside the grounds. At the end of the drive, the roller from a sugar crushing mill has been painted and placed as the property's nameplate.[info] [info]
The map shows Alleynedale as covering quite an area - it was obviously a large and powerful plantation. As well as the Alleynedale Hall millwall, not far away I found a pair of millwalls almost concealed by the undergrowth.
Pumping mill - tree growing out of millwall
Sugar mill - appears to be roofed and door locked, so was probably a store, though now appears abandoned to the encroaching undergrowth
At ground level, this mill wall is constructed of large blocks, though higher up the wall is of more rubble like blocks, with mortar. The wall retains some brief roundhouse remains, and has an internal tin roof about half way up the tower - given the use of the surrounding buildings its possible that this roof was to allow the mill to be used as a chicken shed in the past. The undergrowth is increasingly encroaching on the mill now.
Another example of twin millwalls
Pumping mill - truncated tower only remains
Sugar mill - carries the name Betsy Belle, and the date 1952. The millwall is roofed and is currently the location for a large aerial.
This millwall carries 2 sets of dates - G H M 1743 (the letters are arranged in a triangle, with H at the top), and P C J 1999 (a similar triangle, with the C at the top). The recent building work, close to completion, has obviously cleared trees away from the millwall, installed new stairs, rendered and painted the outer walls, and added a balcony to the top of the tower (together with any structural work that may have been done, but cannot be deduced without knowing what state the tower was originally in!). Attached to the millwall are the foundations of another building - presumably the external location of the cane crushing mill itself. A few feet away stands an extensive ruined plantation sugar factory, including a steam engine.
Another example of a pair of millwalls
Pumping mill - this millwall currently has a tree growing up its inside. Part of the roundhouse remains, and the pump is present and apparently complete, though the wooden well cover looks decidedly rotten. Given the story related by Rex Wailes of someone who fell down this particular well, I did not test the strength any further
Sugar mill - converted to a house many years ago (pre 1970). The conversion was performed with little architectural merit - the bare breeze blocks which block in the millwall archways to this day are still unrendered, and not even painted. The main shaft is behind the house, though increasingly overgrown by garden plants.
This millwall is now part of an extensive "Spanish Style" house conversion. It is the eyecatching anchor building on Millwall Drive for a residential development, with other roads also taking their names from the millwall.
This small millwall, assumed to be a pumping mill, is located inside the airport perimeter fence, and is hence inaccesible to the public. It's close to buildings that could house a flying school, and the millwall itself carries what looks to be a carved stone memorial, containing 3 or 4 long paragraphs of text. Alongside is the remains of a metal windpump.
Update: Jan 2005 - I have been informed that this millwall was destroyed in March 2004, when building work was taking place on the new hanger to house the aircraft of the Regional Security System.
The main sugar crushing mill[homepage]
A small secondary millwall[homepage]
This solid tower has been extensively modified (perhaps more than once), now retaining just a single opening to the tower. It is currently used as a store. The main shaft can be found hidden in the undergrowth at the side of the road alongside.
After experincing financial troubles in the mid 2000's, the mansion house at Sam Lords Castle burnt down in somewhat mysterious circumstances on 20 Oct 2010. Previous to that in April 2006 all of the former hotel's fixtures had been sold off. The former mock mill was looking pretty sorry for itself in the photo from 2009 on flickr.
"In 1979 the utilized energy resources consisted of petroleum, bagasse, natural gas, wood/charcoal and solar. When all the utilized resources are measured in terms of tons of oil equivalent (TOE), it becomes evident that petroleum and bagasse accounted for 81.7% and 16.6% respectively, while the share of natural gas, wood/charcoal, and solar of the total supply was only 1%, 0.6%, and 0.1% respectively. Of the supply resources, 72.8% were imported and consisted of petroleum products and crude, the remaining 27.2% being domestic resources.
The current enery policy encourages the further development and more effective utilized of existing renewable resources, mainly bagasse and solar, as well as the development of renewable resources such as wind and wave energy.
Electricity generation through wind machines will soon be in experimental stage, and the feasibility of electricity generation based on wave-energy is to be analyzed."
|Last updated 27/01/2016||Text and images © Mark Berry, 1997-2016 -|