Wednesday 7 October 2015

Greater Yarmouth Windmills

I've holidayed several times in Greater Yarmouth, including in Autumn, and had an amazing time. It may not have the heat to lounge on the beach in your swimwear, but it has loads to offer to couples or families, indoor or out.

Greater Yarmouth Windmills and Attractions

Here is a guest post from the Greater Yarmouth Official Tourism Website telling you about some of the places you could choose to visit, and where you can find their amazing giveaway to win a fabulous week long holiday for your entire family..

If you come to Great Yarmouth by car and travel down the Acle Straight, the flat landscape is dotted with more than a dozen traditional windmills under the huge open sky as you head towards the sea.

This marshy wetland relies on drainage mills to pump water from marshes into dykes so that animals can still graze on the land in winter. Today these pumps are electric, but in the 1800's more than 240 drainage mills could be found all over the Broads. 74 mills survive today, although many are now in ruins. There were three very different types of drainage mill, a trestle mill, a hollow post mill and the more common tower mill.

Windmills in Greater Yarmouth

Drainage mills had a fantail or tail pole with a mechanism to turn the sails into the wind and a mechanism to pump water, either a scoop wheel, plunger pump, or turbine. The mills transferred power from the turning sails through two sets of gears to an internal shaft. These shafts usually powered scoop wheels which scoop up collected water from low lying dykes and deposit it into higher level rivers which transported the water out to sea at Great Yarmouth.

Later mills were often fitted with centrifugal pumps, known as turbines, which lifted water in a similar way to the effect of stirring a cup of tea very quickly.

In the area surrounding Great Yarmouth you can visit two tower drainage mills, one at Thurne and the other at Berney Marshes and a trestle mill at St. Olaves, to the south of Great Yarmouth. There's also a restored post mill at Thrigby which can be visited by appointment only.

To find out more about the history of wind power in the area, a visit to the Wind Energy Museum at Repps-with-Bastwick on one of their open days is a fascinating insight into the history of these amazing machines.

It may be that our long tradition of harnessing of the wind to power machines is what inspired local residents to take the Scroby Sands and later Blood Hills wind farms to their hearts. Great Yarmouth was and still is proud to be the home of the very first off-shore wind farm in Britain.

Attractions in Greater Yarmouth

If you would like to see these amazing windmills for yourself, and visit some of the other attractions in the Greater Yarmouth area, Greater Yarmouth Official Tourist Website have launched a fabulous competition to win a seven night holiday staying at Haven Seashore for up to eight people in 2016.

The prize also includes a huge bundle of attraction passes including SEALIFE Centre, Merrivale Model Village, Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach, Thrigby Hall and the Hippodrome Circus plus loads more. The 2016 holiday and passes bundle giveaway can be found here.....

Attractions and ruins in Greater Yarmouth

Best of luck!


  1. Wow! Didn't know there is so many windmill there. Love to visit there.

    1. I know you have a penchant for windmills Eileen, it made me laugh when I first saw this post - seems like the place for you :D


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