The Windmill

The Vrouwgeest windmill was built in 1797 by the carpenter and windmill-engineer Hendrik Kooperdraat, for the amount of 19,800 Dutch Florins. Currently, the windmill is property of the Rijnlandse Molenstichting (The Rijnland Windmill Organisation), which is taking care of the maintenance of more than forty windmills in this region.

The Vrouwgeest windmill is a thatched octagonal 'ground-sailer'. This means it is a low windmill which is manageable from the ground. It is a watermill with a steel screw -Archimedes screw- that pumps up the water of the Vrouwgeestpolder into the canal Heimans Wetering.

Since 1966 an electric pumping station drains the polder, but the windmill still has a supporting function. In times of heavy rain and a high water levels in the Vrouwgeestpolder, the windmill is needed to return and stabilize the correct water level. This is why the windmill is often milling in the weekends and at night, when there's enough wind and water.

Since the beginning in 1797, the Vrouwgeest windmill has been milled and inhabited by the Vrolijk family, for six genenrations. This craft is always passed on from father to son. The windmill is now being milled by Hans Vrolijk on a voluntary basis. He is very passionate about this work and carries out his windmill duties alongside his daily job as a technician.

His father Karel Vrolijk was, alongside his function as a miller, also a farmer. This was necessary for him to be able to take care of his wife and four children.

Photos of the windmill