Sark Windmill 1571
Until the 20th century, Sark’s economy was based on grain; reliable mill was essential. Domestic handmills (like the pot quern at La Seigneurie) were small and inefficient, and the monks’ water mill above Port du Moulin could not serve forty settler families. Within six years of obtaining Queen Elizabeth’s grant of Sark (1565), Helier De Carteret built a windmill. The DE Carteret arms carved on the north lintel display the Seigneur’s monopoly of milling and ‘L’AN 1571. This may be the earliest date on a vernacular building in the Channel Islands. It was one of the Seigneural rights, to have a monopoly over the milling of grain
The windmill sits on Sark’s highest ground, 300m west of Helier’s manor. A 110m above sea level, the wind blows freely from all quarters. A wooden post-mill of the kind dotted around Elizabethan England, though easily assembled, would not have stood Sark’s weather. Helier’s cylindrical stone tower-mill resembles the medieval mill at Rosel in Jersey; it has survived well – despite a major fire in 1797 by locals protesting over the Seigneur’s monopoly. and decapitation by German Occupation forces in 1940 to make a lookout platform, as it is the highest point on the Island, near the top of the mill the German forces cut horizontal gun slits into the walls and mined the surrounding area.
Restoration after the war began in 1951 and was led by the Artist Arthur Bradbury, further restoration to save the mill was carried out between 2001 and 2002