The windmill at Villefagnan

A few days ago we saw a sunflower field at Villefagnan – a place which I might loosely describe as being in the middle of France. Near that field there was a windmill.

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From the outside this is a very basic tower mill. For efficient working the sails must face directly into the wind. For this mill, keeping that so is up to the miller. He must push on the hefty pole out of the back of the mill to turn the cap so that the sails do catch the full force of the wind.

We can also see that the sails are what we call plain sails. They consist of a wooden framework on which canvas sheeting is fastened to catch the wind.  It seems only half of each sail needed covering for the other half of the sail has the canvas twisted so that it looks rather like a white rope.

But in fact the canvas was still being unfurled.

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The sail has to be used as a ladder for this.

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It should be mentioned that this mill, with sails reaching right down to the ground, is potentially very dangerous.

But it looks good and no doubt the fences and walls are adequate.

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