Tower mill 75m west of Windmill Farm


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Location Description:
Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Location Description:
Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.
Cornwall (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:

Reasons for Designation

A tower mill is a type of windmill in use during the late medieval and post-medieval periods, which owes its name to the housing of the milling gear in a tapering tower of brick, stone or wood. The sails are fixed to a rotating timber-framed cap. On early tower mills the cap was rotated manually to move the sails in and out of the wind, while on later examples, which were generally taller and carried a greater number of sails, it was moved automatically by means of a fantail. Towers built of stone or brick were usually circular in plan and their sides were protected from the weather by paint, tar or tiles; timber-framed towers, known as smock mills, were built onto a brick base and were normally octagonal in plan and protected by weather-boarding. Used primarily for grinding grain, tower mills had a wide distribution but were most common in the grain growing areas of south and east England where there was insufficient water power to run an adequate number of watermills. In some areas tower mills were also used to pump water or to saw wood. There were about 10,000 tower mills in England at the peak of their construction in the mid-18th century; they declined in use in the late 19th century due to increased use of steam power, although some continued to function into the 20th century. Formerly a common feature of the English landscape, less than 400 tower mills are known to survive, principally of the mid-18th to mid-19th century. Tower mills preserve valuable evidence for the development of milling technology and the economy from the late medieval period to the 20th century, and many have acquired an important amenity and educational value. Despite losing its roof, sails and internal milling equipment, the tower mill 75m west of Windmill Farm survives comparatively well and is a well known landmark. It has seen active re-use during the Second World War and is documented as being relatively early.


The monument includes a tower mill, situated on a plateau called Lizard Downs, towards the southern end of the Lizard peninsula. The tower mill survives as a three storied circular roofless stone-built tower with timber lintels and surviving first floor joists. Since the removal of a later protective roof in 1965, the upper walls have been capped with concrete to prevent deterioration. The building originally had two opposing doorways but the northern one was partly blocked to produce a window. There are also apertures to the first and second floors.

The windmill is shown on the Lanhydrock Atlas of 1695 as 'Old Windmill', but despite this there are traditional tales of its working since then. It was possibly used in times of water shortage to protect the lord of the manor's milling rights and is described as being in working order in 1828. The tower mill was re-used as a Home Guard observation post during the Second World War as part of the defences of Predannack Airfield.

The remains of a house and outbuildings to the south , which were mentioned in a sale notice of 11th September 1828 in the Royal Cornwall Gazette, are not included in the scheduling. The windmill was also known as 'Mount Herman'.

The windmill is Listed Grade II (64654).

Sources: HER:- PastScape Monument No:-425205


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
CO 532
Legacy System:


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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