If I told you that I had visited a windmill while I was on holiday, I’m absolutely sure that you would immediately picture a tall wooden, or wooden and brick tower with four sails, and you would usually be correct.  But if you visit Heckington in Lincolnshire, you would have to imagine a windmill with double that number of sails.  Towering over the village, Heckington Windmill is the last standing windmill in England (and probably in Western Europe), that has eight sails, and it looks quite magnificent.  Down the road a few miles in Boston is the Maud Foster Windmill, but that has only five sails.  Sibsey Trader Windmill, and Alford Windmill, again in Lincolnshire each have six sails.  So next time you hear someone say ‘windmill’ don’t just conjure up that old traditional image, and assume it has four sails, because it might have a few more than that!


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