Making a Holgate Miller’s Smock

Would you like to make a smock like the one Holgate millers wear? Here it is. The design is basically an 18th century man’s shirt (think Poldark). A 5/8” seam allowance is included in these dimensions. It’s assumed you have experience of sewing. Everything is cut from rectangles. Fabric pieces Cut from white cotton or cotton/polyester such as a sheet: One rectangle for front, 26” wide by 30” long (or your preferred length plus 2” for hem). One rectangle for back, same size. Two rectangles for sleeves, 23” wide and as long as the distance from your shoulder to knuckles. Two Read More …

‘Slow’ Cottage Loaf

This loaf is made in two stages beginning with a ‘pre-ferment’ which is made the evening before. The longer rising period helps the loaf to develop more flavour and reduces the amount of yeast that needs to be added. Ingredients 300g Holgate Windmill wholemeal flour 200g strong white bread flour ½ teaspoon fast action dried yeast 1 teaspoon salt 325ml lukewarm water 25g butter Method Stage 1: To make the pre-ferment put 150g of the wholemeal flour and 100g of the strong white flour into a baking bowl together with all of the yeast and 250ml of the water. Mix Read More …

Spiced Holgate Apple Cake Recipe

4 oz butter 6 oz soft dark brown sugar 2 eggs, beaten 8 oz Holgate wholemeal flour plus 2 tsps baking powder 1 tsp ground mixed spice 1 tsp ground cinnamon 1 lb apples (any kind) peeled, cored and chopped 3-4 tbsps milk clear honey and demerara sugar for topping Line a 7″ round cake tin, or a loaf tin with baking parchment. Cream butter and sugar. Add the eggs gradually, beating well. Add flour, baking powder and spices and mix well. Fold in apples and milk to make a soft dropping consistency. Fill tin and bake in a pre-heated Read More …

Bob’s Favourite Loaf Recipe

300g Holgate Windmill wholemeal flour 200g strong white bread flour 10g fresh yeast (or one teaspoon dried yeast) 10g salt 325g warm water 25g sunflower or olive oil Mix the flours together in a large mixing bowl. Add the yeast (if fresh crumble it in) and the salt. Combine the warm water and the oil and pour into the flour. Work into a soft smooth dough. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes until it is stretchy and pliable. Allow the dough to rise in a covered bowl in a warm place. Leave for about two hours (the longer the Read More …

Santa in the Mill

Come and visit Santa at Holgate Mill this December. See the mill decorated for Christmas, enjoy a craft activity and climb to the top to meet Santa in his grotto. £5 per child including a gift and free for adults. We are open from 2 to 4 pm on Saturday 2, Sunday 3, Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 December, plus a morning session, from 10 am to 12pm on Sunday 10 December. No booking is necessary. Mince pies, mulled apple juice, and orange juice available for a donation.

Fresh Paint

The mill has just been repainted and looks like new: sparkling white cap and sails, crisp black wall, shiny black railings. The work was done by York company Novus Solutions and the total cost was approximately £18,000. It was paid for partly from the mill’s general maintenance fund and with generous assistance from the Co-Op Community Fund and the Feoffees of St Michael’s Spurriergate. We are very grateful for their contributions.

Visit by That’s York TV

On 30 June Anna Riley came to the mill to interview Steve Potts and Jenny Hartland about winning the QAVS and how much our volunteers mean to us. That’s York TV is a new venture based at St John’s College concentrating on local York events and news. It can be found on Freeview Channel 8. See the video clip about the mill at Or go to, select ‘local stations’, click York on the map, click on ‘York news’ and scroll down to the item ‘Holgate Windmill Preservation Society given Queen’s Award’.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

Holgate Windmill Preservation Society is deeply honoured to receive The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service which is the MBE for volunteer groups. It is a reflection of the passion and commitment of our past and present committee and volunteers in preserving, restoring and making a community resource of our wonderful windmill. In recognition of the award HWPS received a certificate signed by Her Majesty and a QAV crystal, presented by the Lord-Lieutenant of North Yorkshire at a ceremony held on 12 September 2017.  

New rules at the mill

No not those rules! These rules are the long thin timbers along the edges of the sails. Their job is to open and close the shutters as they are pulled up or down, rather like the rods on a louvre window. They are made of laminated larch but were starting to rot from water penetration, and this spring all ten rules were replaced by our millwright and several volunteers.