Chasing Mills part four

INSPIRING POETRY: The Whitney windmill in Alexandria, which has since been demolished

Serendipity with Bev Young

WHITNEY Mill in Alexandria is another one of our local mills, sadly latent now.

It was assumed built in 1823. It was a “rotor-blade” type mill that was dependant on the wind. The mechanisms were not dissimilar to the water-wheel mills, other than the fragility of the construction. They are known to have been extremely susceptible to fires.

The Western Cape and Grahamstown provide prime examples of these kinds of mills.

The owners of the farm Whitney demolished this mill a few years ago, their being concern over the structure and its costly maintenance. I have not been there yet, but it is on my list.

Interestingly enough, this farm Whitney has the gravestone of Nongqawuse, who lived circa 1841 – 1898. She was the Xhosa prophetess whose prophecies led to a millennialist movement that culminated in the Xhosa cattle-killing movement and famine of 1856-7, in what is now the Eastern Cape.

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