Tower Windmill from Bokel near Cappeln
Tower Windmill from Bokel near Cappeln (Cloppenburg County), built in 1764. Re-constructed at the open-air museum between 1939 and 1941
Leading-edge technology from the neighboring country
This type of mill with its noteworthy revolving gallery is not called a “Hollander” in German by chance. In the 17th century, the Netherlands had become one of the major sea and economic powers of the world. One of the revolutionary technological developments that originated there was a windmill, which did not rotate the entire building, but only the cap with the sails, to face the wind when grinding grain. This required a significantly more complicated gear system as the old post windmill, but it also provided for greater performance and a larger number of functions. Thus, three floors can be found in the gallery of this “Hollander”: the grain, stone and cap floors, as well as the grinding, grist and the meal paths.
Farmers as owners
When the residents of Bokel Bauerschaft got permission to build a mill from their sovereign, the Bishop of Münster, in 1764, they decided quite naturally to build the modern style “Hollander” mill. At first, they continued to operate the mill as an association, however they quickly turned it over to a private miller. Various lessees assumed the operation of the mill in the subsequent decades, before it was transferred from its last owner to the open-air museum in 1938.