Photo Credit: Karl Jansen

This is Farris Windmill; it was built in the mid-1600s. Windmills like this one were common and were used to complete tasks such as grinding corn. A windmill is a machine that converts energy from the wind into usable mechanical power. The sails on the windmill catch the wind force as the wind blows, causing a rotation. That rotation is transferred down a shaft where it is used. Windmills are similar to Wind Turbines, which generate electricity rather than mechanical power.