The content below appears on the Norman Way interpretive panel at Tacumshane Windmill.
The text makes for interesting reading but there is nothing quite like visiting these authentic and under-explored heritage locations in person. Visit the beautiful Norman Way in Wexford to feel the history and age-old atmosphere coursing all around you.
This type of mill was an alternative to the watermill, which required access to a fast flowing river in order to grind grain into flour. The use of windmills was the Norman way of producing more food locally. In medieval times, the flat and windy landscape of South Wexford was dotted with these unusual structures.
The landscape around this windmill contains evidence of an early field system. This field system may have used crop rotation, a Norman farming method, to increase the yield of grain which supplied the windmill.
Norman Inspired Food Production and Shipwrecked Timber
Tacumshane Windmill is not from Norman times, it was built in 1846. However its very existence here is the direct result of the efficient food production methods introduced to this area by the Normans.
Virtually all the wood used in Tacumshane Windmill’s internal machinery was recovered from shipwrecks found along the dangerous, southern coast of Wexford, an area of sea known by locals as ‘the graveyard of a thousand ships’.
Discover the Norman Way for Yourself
The life of Norman knights inspired a famous book, published in Spain in 1605. It contains a scene about a character obsessed with tales of knights and chivalry foolishly attacking some windmills in an imaginary battle.
Can you name this work of fiction? The answer is at the bottom of this panel.
[Answer = ‘Don Quixote’ written by Miguel de Cervantes]
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