All Saints, Brill

6 bells, 11-1-15 in G# (GF)

Brill Windmill

Over 600 feet above sea level, Brill is an ideal location for a windmill. The present day Mill was built around 1680. The body of the Mill is fixed to a vertical post so that it could be turned around to face the sails to the wind. The first round house was added in 1865, the present one built in 1948. The four sails, 27 foot long and 5 foot wide, had large canvas cloths which were unrolled according to the strength of the wind.

The Mill was last used for milling barley, but this ceased in 1919. An average 180lb of bread flour could be produced, compared to the 7000lb per hour of a modern electric roller mill.

The pits on the common around the Windmill are evidence of the extraction of the clay for brick and tile manufacture. The local pottery industry dates back to the 1200s and the remains of brick kilns from the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries have been found nearby on the common. As recently as the nineteenth century there were 8 brickmakers working in Brill. Many of the older houses in the village are built of Brill bricks, as are Thame Grammar School and Waddesdon Manor. In 1947 Sir Henry Aubrey Fletcher donated Brill Windmill to Buckinghamshire County Council.