A succession of Windmill’s have stood on this site for more than 500 years. This windmill stood on land that belonged to Scarborough and operated privately on a long lease. The Corporation Records contain such leases dating back to 1601.
When Scarborough was besieged during the Civil War in 1645, the Windmill was used by Parliament’s General, Sir John Meldrum, as an artillery observation post.
The Present Structure dates originally from 1784 when Thomas Robinson was given the bailiff’s authority to build a new mill. Some or all of it’s sails were blown down in a gale in 1880 and fell onto a cowshed killing a cow. The last sail was removed in 1898. A rare gas turbine engine then worked the machinery until 1927.
Until around the turn of the 20th Century, the Windmill stood in open countryside on common land, as can be seen on the Borough Map of 1880 hanging on the wall in reception. Gradually as the population increased, the mill became surrounded by the urban landscape you see today.
During the 19th century several other corn mills were built and operated but the Common Mill (as the windmill was then known) became the sole survivor.
When the grinding of corn at the mill ceased (around 1927) the Windmill gradually fell into disrepair and was used for a variety of purposes, including seed storage, a bakery, newspaper distribution warehouse and a place where many local residents used to park their cars.
The year 1985 almost saw the end of The Windmill when a developer applied for planning permission to demolish it and turn the site into flats. Fortunately this was rejected and in 1988 Stephen Beecroft and Irene Mapplebeck bought the mill and turned it into a hotel. Tragically Stephen died shortly afterwards.
The Windmill is now a Grade II Listed Building circa 1784.
The next chapter in The Windmill’s history saw it being purchased by the Thompson’s in 1997. They built two self-catering apartments each set over two floors within the Windmill tower, replaced the sails and dome in 1999 and in 2012 they reconfigured all the ground floor rooms to make two self-catering cottages; one with three bedrooms and the other with two bedrooms.
We purchased the Windmill in 2016 and have spent the last year modernising and updating the accommodation. We have installed new gates and have spent time creating a beautiful, peaceful courtyard for all our guests to enjoy. We are very proud to own such a beautiful and iconic building and will take great pleasure over the coming years in maintaining and improving what you see today.
Come and visit us at The Windmill and learn and experience more of this wonderful historic building and view the photographs and maps on the recent and not so recent past of The Windmill which are on display in our reception.