Tyne and Wear HER(3492): Gateshead, Windmill Hills, Windmill - Details
Gateshead, Windmill Hills, Windmill
Wind Power Site
This Windmill was marked as ‘Old’ on the 1st edition Ordnance Survey plan, so was out of use by 1856, though presumably still standing at that time. Windmill Hills was one of the areas of medieval common land of Gateshead. From the Middle Ages Gateshead was one of the main centres of wind powered milling in County Durham, the value of Windmill Hills for this purpose being recognized by the 17th century. Richardson's mid-19th century engraving shows ten mills in the area, seven on Windmill Hills. In style these were windmills of the post-mill variety, having timber bodies and sails set upon brick or stone roundhouses, some of which were later turned into dwellings. All of Gatesheads mills were closed by 1890 and a report in the Evening Chronicle in 1927 marks the demolition of the last of the old windmills on Windmill Hills. In the later 18th century and 19th century the Windmill Hills were used by the local militia as an exercise ground and by the populace of the town for recreational purposes. In 1861 it became Gateshead's first public park.
<< HER 3492 >> 1st edition Ordnance Survey Map, c.1855, 6 inch scale, Durham, 2 I. Ayris & S.M. Linsley, 1994, A Guide to the Industrial Archaeology of Tyne and Wear, p 58 Northern Counties Archaeological Services, 1999, Windmill Hills Town Park, Archaeological Assessment W. Muncaster, Tyne and Wear Museums, 2000, Windmill Hills Town Park, An Archaeological Evaluation