Quainton Windmill Society - enthusiastically preserving our heritage for future generations to enjoy



Page 1 of 8


The cap and its contents are not attached to the brick tower. It floats on top of the building so it can rotate 360, it rotates on roller bearings (like rolling pins). The enormous sails, the machinery inside the cap and the red and white fantails are all supported by a wooden frame. In total they weigh about 12 tons, the weight of 8 family cars and are free to rotate.


The fantail is perhaps the least appreciated part of the windmill, it moves the 12 ton cap through 360 to keep the sails facing the wind. Its red and white fan blades rotate clockwise or anticlockwise whenever the wind changes direction, to ensure the sails are facing directly into the wind. It drives a shaft which links into a mechanism inside the cap to move the cap and its contents.

The headframe is a rectangular platform made from large dimension oak timbers. At one end it supports the weight of the sails and at the other the fantail and its frame. It has to be sturdy to carry the weight and to withstand the stresses created when the sails are turning.



Copyright 2020 Quainton Windmill Society