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.
Ta Kola Windmill is located in Xaghra Gozo, and its origins go back to 1725, during the times when Malta was ruled by The Knights of St. John, exactly by Grand Master Manoel de Vilhena. Throughout the centuries, the windmill was used by different families but in the 1980s it came into the ownership of the Grech family, who continued to run the windmill up until the 1980s. The construction of this windmill follows a plan which makes it similar to most windmills of that period found in Malta, consisting of a number of rooms on two floors surrounding the central cylindrical tower. Upon entering in Kola Windmill, you’ll find a workshop on the first room on the right. Keeping the windmill in a good working condition required several skills like carpentry, smithing and stone dressing. The milling mechanism was subjected to a lot of wear and tear, while the windmill’s antennas were often by bad weather. During the times when the will wasn’t working due to unfavourable weather conditions, workmen used to spend time sharpening their tools, repairing carts and wine barrels and horseshoeing. The next two rooms served as stores for different types of grains, scales and other processes in bread making, so here you can see a lot of hand operated mills that were used to grind small quantities of wheat and sieves that were used to separate the chaff from the flour. The rooms upstairs were used as the living quarters for the miller’s family. The first room has the dining room accompanied by typical vernacular loose furniture. Next you can find the kitchen and the bedrooms that include a display of a cotton gin that was used to separate the seed from the cotton and a weaving loom. The spiral staircase leads up to the upper part of the tower housing the milling device. When in operation, the sails must be facing the direction of the wind, and the main shaft and lightweight conical roof had to be turned around accordingly. The external milling mechanism consisting of the six antennae radiating from a central shaft are currently under reconstruction. Ta Kola Windmill was restored and was inaugurated as a folklore museum open to the public in 1992.
Contacts and Prices:
Bambina Street, Xagħra XRA 2112, Gozo
Tel: +356 21 561 071
Adults (18 - 59 years): €9.00
Youths (12 - 17 years), Senior Citizens (60 years & over), and Students: €7.00
Children (6 - 11 years): €5.00
Infants (1 - 5 years): Free
Above fee includes admission to Ta' Kola Windmill and Ġgantija Temples.
Monday to Sunday: 9.00 - 17.00
Last admission: 16.30
Closed: 24, 25 & 31 December, 1 January, Good Friday