March 2017 Picture of the Month


The Moulin à Vent du Cotentin, in Basse-Normandie, otherwise known as the Fierville-les-Mines windmill is the only surviving windmill in the region which is still doing what it was designed to do more than two and a half centuries ago. I am a sucker for mills – it doesn’t matter what drives them – water, steam or wind – they fascinate me. There are so many local variations on the mechanics of the corn mill that there is always something new to explore and marvel at. The mill uses the ‘système Berton’ which enable the area of sails or ‘wings’ which faced the wind to be adjusted and ‘tuned’ as wind conditions changed, and all without stopping the milling process. 

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All images and text © John Hannavy