Stevington Windmill – A Day in the Country

Bedfordshire's last remaining working windmill.

Image of Stevington Windmill.

If you fancy a day out away from the hustle and bustle of the town, you may like to consider a visit to Stevington Windmill.

Stevington is a village just shy of five miles north of Bedford, laying equal distance from the A6 and A428, along the course of the River Great Ouse. It’s accessible via the number 25 bus service (currently run by Grant Palmer), taking about 14 minutes to reach from Bedford town centre. Do check bus times before travelling however, as busses only run every 2 -3 hours Mondays to Saturdays, with no Sunday service currently operating. Once in Stevington, the mill can be accessed by public footpath leading up from Mill Farm, with keys obtainable from The Royal George public house (returnable £5 deposit payable).

Upon approaching Stevington from the East, you get a first glimpse of the windmill – one of the few surviving examples of a ‘post mill’ – towering up from the ground. The mill is thought to have been built around 1770, and was commercially operated right up until 1939 (where it was used mostly to grind animal feed). It is thought to be one of the last windmills in Britain to operate with cloth covered (common) sails, and is in fact the last remaining example of a working windmill in Bedfordshire.

It has a well-documented history, with records of ownership dating right back to the 19th century. Since 1951 however, it has been owned and maintained by Bedfordshire County Council (Bedford Borough Council as of 2009), and is currently Grade II listed.

It’s a real spectacle to see the innards of a windmill still intact, giving you a real insight into days gone by. On rare occasions, the equipment is checked for mechanical soundness, so you may even be lucky enough to see it in operation!

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Stevington Windmill Map

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