Cobweb Ritual Closes Heage Windmill

Heage windmill’s regular openings draw to a close after the last weekend of October each year.

She will reopen on the first weekend of April 2020 and our 222 year ‘Old Lady’ can now enjoy some peace and quiet.

Over the years since she was restored, in 2002, the ceremonial practice of putting her ‘to bed’ has developed into quite an event. A large cobweb is slowly spun in the apron in front of the mill, its size being determined entirely by the number of people, both grown-ups and youngsters, who take part in the spinning operation. Under the guidance and tuition of our ‘head spider’, Lynn Allen, the cobweb, made from stretchy elastic, slowly emerges and then is gently laid close to the mill to ‘put her to sleep’ for the winter.

After appalling weather on the previous day ‘Cobweb day’ dawned fine and sunny and just over 50 people, of all ages, took part in weaving the web this year and a web, some 30 feet in diameter (one of our largest) slowly emerged, watched over by numerous onlookers on the mill apron. When completed the web was carried and gently laid on the nearby grass, where it gleamed in the sunshine.

Some people had been at previous web making events and we were pleased to welcome members from the ‘Coffee N Cars’ group of American car owners who visited the mill earlier in the season. Hot drinks were popular and there were a large number who then enjoyed guided tours of the windmill.

The mill will open throughout the winter months on the second Saturday of each month for the sale of flour only (no tours) from 10am to 1pm and of course, for your diary, Santa is coming on Sunday December 1st and will be with us from

(more information on this nearer the time).

Alan Gifford

Alan Gifford is a Founder Trustee of Heage Windmill Society. Opening Times: 11-00am to 4-00pm, every weekend from April 6th until the end of October. Large, free, car park! Prices £2-£4. See web site for more information www.heagewindmill.org.uk

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