1915 - 1976: A Period of Decline
After 1914 the mill was no longer used and it slowly started to fall into disrepair. By the nineteen twenties the upper floor windows had fallen out, and pieces of the skirt that formed the base of the cap had fallen away.
In 1939 lightning destroyed the vanes and damaged the skin of the cap. The weather then started to get into the mill damaging the interior, and the condition of the tail started to deteriorate.
By the fifties much of the skin of the cap was missing, and large holes had appeared. The windows were now boarded up. The condition of the cap then worsened pretty quickly. With much of the covering removed, the action of the weather caused the cap ribs to separate from the curb and the cap started to collapse.
By 1976 the building was in pretty poor condition with the cap collapsed to the extent that the finial was lying inverted. The interior was now rotted and unsafe, and much of the machinery like the brakewheel and wallower damaged. More worrying was that stonework had started to become unsafe.
However it was in this year that Wilf Foreman visited the mill researching it for his book on Oxfordshire mills. This in turn led to the formation of the Wheatley Windmill Restoration Society. The aim of the organisation was to restore the Windmill to its previous working condition. The story of the Windmill's Restoration is told in the Restoration pages.