Windmills

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What does our list of the windmills look like?

  • The main criterion to enter the list of constructions, claiming the title of the windmill, is the upper turning part or the fact that it existed in the past. The constructions that are unable to turn their sails in the horizontal plane under the wind we consider dummies and do not take into account. Thus, we know about the existence of the following constructions: Zaterianiy Mir (Rostov-on-Don), Shuvalovka (St. Petersburg), Pushkin Mountains (Pskov), Izmailovo (Moscow), Aсron factory (Veliky Novgorod), Rusinovo (Kostroma), Shurovo hillfort (Suzdal), the Museum of Bread and Wine (Arkhipovka-Osipovka, Gelendzhik), new museum in Morshanka (Saratov). However, we do not consider them to be windmills. If you think we are wrong – please, let us know. Due to the limited resources, we do not have the possibility to check each and every one of them.
  • To add a windmill in any status (historical, new or destroyed) to the database we ask for at least one non-historical picture of the windmill. Windmills that are mentioned but have no pictures are added to a separate list, but are not yet uploaded to the site. For example, we know about the windmill in the village of Moskovsky near Voronezh, or we know about two mills in Chuvashia, recently destroyed, we also know about possibly preserved mills in some forests, etc. But as long as we do not have photos, we do not hurry to add them to this database.
  • The list of the windmills will never be complete. Any of the windmills marked as «in no one’s possesion» can collapse at any time. For such windmills, we write the date of the last visit or mention. Things are not that bad, however. For instance, they can build a new windmill in some museums. The biggest success, of course, would be finding an unknown historical mill. For example, we are sure such mills exist in the forests in the east of Kostroma and Vologda regions. We are waiting for some information from you. If you have any confirmed information about a historical, unknown post-based windmill located on its historical site, be sure to be rewarded! It is never possible to accurately indicate the number of existing historical windmills, but we assume that it is somewhere near 80.
  • Please do not draw any conclusions from the years a windmill was constructed. For example, it is known that in Russia the post-based mills appeared much earlier than the smocks (15-17 centuries), but wooden buildings do not normally last that long. The oldest of the surviving mills can be referred to the 18th century maximum. For this reason, it is impossible to draw any conclusions from the year different types of windmills were built.
  • We use the term “historical windmills” for those built before 1950, since starting from the 60s, museums of wooden architecture began to appear and everything changed. “Active windmills” are those that regularly grind grain. We know from experience that a windmill (even the one with the whole mechanism) that hasn’t been active for a long time will not work without a long fine-tuning and the replacement of the bent parts.
  • Many of the conserved windmills need the same rescue measures as those going to ruin, though these measures can be postponed. However, it is important to remember that the status of the windmill can change any time.