Old windmill near Appleton Roebuck in North Yorkshire. (Image: Richard Croft)

If you’ve ever travelled on the East Coast Mainline between York and Doncaster, you may have noticed an old windmill in a field to the east of the railway. The distinctive structure stands alongside Old Road just west of Appleton Roebuck, a North Yorkshire village that got a mention in the Domesday Book. Rightmove shows that in more recent times the Grade II listed ruin was put up for sale at a guide price of £175,000, with planning permission to convert it into holiday accommodation.

(Image: JThomas)

The windmill outside Appleton Roebuck was built between 1818 and 1828 and ground corn for more than 100 years before ceasing to operate during World War Two when its machinery was commandeered for the war effort. Once a hive of industry, the four storey structure would never reopen, and has quietly haunted the surrounding landscape ever since. Its empty form would later inspire artist Karl Wood, who was known for his sketches of windmills.

(Image: DS Pugh)

The Yorkshire Post wrote in 2014: “Wood cut a slightly eccentric figure travelling around the country on his bicycle, his paintbrushes strapped to the back along with his sketchpad, thermos flask, shaving brush and cycle repair kit. Consulting Ordnance Survey maps, his route was carefully plotted in his diaries and by 1933 he had clocked up 28,000 miles visiting 450 windmills. Sometimes he camped, but on the odd occasion he would offer to paint a person’s house or dog in return for a bed.”

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