Ta’ Kola Windmill in Xagħra, Gozo, is one of the few surviving windmills on the Maltese Islands dating back to the Knights’ Period. Its origins go back to 1725 during the magistracy of Grand Master Manoel de Vilhena (1722-36). As its construction seems to have incorporated bad quality stones and mortar, it had to be dismantled and reconstructed during the 1780s.
The windmill’s name Ta’ Kola is connected with the last miller, Ġuzeppi Grech who was popularly known as Żeppu ta’ Kola (Joseph the son of Nikola).
Apart from operating the windmill, the miller would likely have performed several secondary jobs to keep himself employed when weather conditions made it impossible to operate the mill. When the wind was favourable for the mill to be operated, the miller would let the locals know by blowing through a triton-shell (Maltese bronja) and villagers would then bring their cereals to be ground into flour.
Its construction follows a plan which is echoed in most Maltese windmills of the period and consists of a number of rooms on two floors surrounding the centrally-placed cylindrical stone tower. The latter houses the milling mechanism which consists of two circular hard-wearing stones placed on top of each other to crush the grain forced between the two rotating surfaces.
On the ground floor of the windmill one can observe the workshop premises containing a vast array of tools, some of which were originally manufactured by the owners of the mill. On the first floor, the living quarters of the miller including the kitchen, dining room and bedrooms, have been recreated using traditional furniture and items related to Gozitan crafts. In the kitchen one may find traditional utensils and cooking ware which are today hard to come across.
Closed: 24, 25 & 31 December, 1 January, Good Friday
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