A local hostelry steeped in history which dates back to 1740. The Hughes family has been linked to The Windmill since the 1920s when Janes Great Grandfather William and Grandparents Jesse and Annie Maud known as Cis moved there. William's other children had all emigrated to Canada in 1912, but Cis refused to leave Shropshire, thankfully for those who now frequent The Windmill.

The agent on the Rowton Estate, Alex Shand had encouraged and facilitated the move - and the link with the Lees family at Rowton has been a long and strong one. A replica of the salmon that was caught on the Spey in the early 1920's came to the walls of The Windmill when the contents of the Castle were sold - and it resides here today.

When Cis and Jesse moved to The Windmill, it was a traditional hostelry with its own brew house, bake house and 100 acre farm; a self sufficient unit. Cis had a great reputation as a cook; with her specialities being ham and eggs (still a feature on the menu today) and her famed pickled walnuts, which came from her large walnut tree at the pub. Bed and Breakfast was part of the offering then - and recently a customer produced a pre-Second World War receipt for a week's stay for 7/6. Moments that 'Granny Hughes' proudly recalled were those such as providing refreshments for the 1930's bandleader, Henry Hall. The everyday visitors tended to come on horseback or by bike - using the mounting block which still stands on the Shrewsbury side of the property. Early photographs show a small car parking area - but the main carpark did not arrive until the 1950's, plus a Regent petrol pump.

The war years were tough as they were for everyone. Jane's father could recall seeing the glow of the bombing in Liverpool from the pub. Many links were formed during this time with families from the West Midlands who came past on their way to their homes in Aberdovey - local produce was supplied to them. In the war Jesse died and Cis came to the fore as the first in a line of strong women that have run The Windmill. Jane's father increasingly became involved in the running of the pub as his brother, Fred, took over the farm. During these war years GI's were based at Loton Park and they enjoyed a stroll to sample a local beer or few...Aunt Ruby was a source of American attraction but was never tempted to become a GI bride! There is a photograph of Auntie Ruby standing outside The Windmill at 12 and again at 92 - a long affection for the family pub.

Charlie, Jane's father, married Megan Evans in 1950 and attracted her from Llanfair Caerinion to Shropshire and this began a 60 year connection with what became her life. She answered the telephone: Mrs Hughes, The Windmill. The pub entered a different era with local pub teams coming to compete at darts and dominoes; The Barley Mow, The Pavement Gates, The Cock, The Elephant and Castle - not all of these are now here. Sunday evenings were for the thirsty drinkers from across the border; queuing for admission from 7pm - avoiding the dry Sabbath Day in Wales! Welsh singing voices were fuelled by pints of beer lining the counters awaiting them...Slotted into the week was Tuesday night after market - the farmers night - lots of dominoes and even more Bells whisky (pre the breathalyser!).

For a time from the 1940's to the 1970's, Rowton Castle became the Royal Norman College for the Blind - and many visitors managed to navigate their way down the half mile footpath from the College to the pub and back, without mishap; one of these being David Blunkett.

The Windmill has kept changing with the times but also standing still. In the 1960's some of the first hamburgers were served to customers on their way back from the Welsh coast - straight from the converted bakehouse. Each generation has adapted to what their customers want; always with the loyal local following at its centre. Nearly a century in the same family and still with ham and eggs on the menu and still with many of the same families as customers; the Hordley's, Edwards', Jebbs, Davies'. In another century the customers will hopefully still be the same but with more on the list... perhaps still enjoying ham and eggs - but definitely enjoying the hospitality of the Hughes family.

Website Designed & Developed by: The Visual Works