A brief history of Waltham Windmill
Waltham, a medium-sized village near Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire, once had a smock mill with a bakery, and on an ideal site by the B1203 road there was a trestle-type postmill from 1666, which was blown down in 1744.
This was replaced by another postmill with a wooden round house which was blown down in 1873/4 while undergoing replacement of some of the tressle timbers work being undertaken by Saunderson's of Louth.
A clunch tower mill (chalk tower probably encased in brick) stood near the intersection between the High Street and Barnoldby Road and collapsed one wet day when the millwrights were working on it.
The present six-storied tower windmill was built in 1878-80 by John Saunderson of Louth using light-coloured local bricks and tarred. It had six double-sided patent sails and a traditional Lincolnshire ogee (onion shaped) cap, but no balcony. The mill has two pairs of French millstones (for grinding flour) and 2 pairs of Derbyshire Peak stones (for grinding coarser materials such as animal feed).
During the First World War one of the sails was lost, and the opposite one removed to balance it - timber was unavailable at the time to replace them. In the 1920’s the sails were reduced to single-sided sails. During the Second World War the mill was used as a Home Guard look-out post with a view over the River Humber, and had a narrow escape when the RAF wanted to demolish it as a hazard to aircraft.
It was worked by wind until 1962, then operated for a while by electric engine, producing animal feed. In December 1966 Waltham Windmill Preservation Society was formed, and began the task of restoring the mill. The Society continues to raise funds for mill maintenance to this day. The present miller maintains the workings of the mill, six-sailed once more, and occasionally grinds best-quality grain to produce flour.