Ta'Kola

Ta' Kola Windmill, Maltese: Il-Mitħna ta' Kola, is a windmill in the village of Xagħra, (pronounced Shargra) on the island of Gozo in the Maltese archipelago. It was first built in 1725 but rebuilt in the 1780s. It became a museum in 1992.  In 2010 Heritage Malta decided to restore the mechanical parts of the mill but aimed at retaining as much of the original equipment as possible. The windmill’s name Ta’ Kola comes from the last miller, who was popularly known as Żeppu ta’ Kola (Joseph, son of Nikola).

I am indebted to Heritage Malta for allowing me to measure the mill. Their Principal Curator of Gozo Museum and Xagħra Sites, the staff at the mill and Mr Toni Cardona for their continual help and with the Maltese terms

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It is obvious to most mill enthusiasts there is no brake to stop the mill. Apparently the method the millers adopted was to adjust the RUMANA lever to increase the gap between the millstones, which flooded the top millstone with grain and acted as a soft brake pad. The miller then descended the stairs and accessed the roof. Around the base of the tower 60cm above the roof surface are eight apertures. It was into one of these a piece of timber TEKTUKA (a 90cm long, 10cm x 10 cm wooden arm) was inserted. He would then throw a rope over the end of the arm as it passed and ease out the rope out until the sails stop. The sails once stopped were secured to the Tektuka,or to iron rings set into the tower wall

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The cap is turned by using a MANWELLA, an Ash pole about 2metres long by inserting it between two of the IMGHAZEL bars and using it as a lever by pivoting it against a steel pin to move the cap a hole at a time. Once in position the STRINGILL ring was re-secured using iron links located diagonally and secured with more steel pins. The cap ring fits into a rebate in the STRINGILL (curb) to locate it laterally and it slides on two sets of well greased hardwood blocks called PREJJES. There are four sandstone counterweights attached by VITTI which are tied to the FEKRUNA which projects at the rear of the cap.

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