Beeuwsaert Windmill


The Beeuwsaert Windmill dates back to 1635, i.e. according to the map of Kasselrij-Ypres (1641 on which the "Bixcote Windmill" is clearly drawn).  In 1830 the windmill was destroyed by fire caused by a bolt of lightning.  It was immediately re-built and subsequently sold to the Beeuwsaert family, from whom it derives its name.  At that time the building consisted of three floors, known by the experts as a "driezolder" (having three attics).  Its high position on top of a base made the windmill an ideal watchtower during the First World War.  The French called it "le moulin bleu" (blue windmill); why they gave it this name is a mystery, even to this day (but then, that's the French for you!).  The "Moulin Bleu" was completely destroyed during the first gas attack in 1915.  It was re-built with parts of two other windmills, which immediately made it one of the largest in the region. The Beeuwsaert windmill continued its work until 1959.  In 1976 it was destroyed by a heavy storm.  The sail axle weighing 4 tonnes tore through the roof and dangled dangerously from the edge.  Only ruins remained.  The windmill was fully restored in 2010.

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