It's a symbol of a bygone - some might say gentler - age, a time when the sound of clopping hooves echoed across the land and man's pollution that now threatens to clog up the world had barely begun.
For nearly 200 years, Berkswell Windmill has stood as a local landmark in the Solihull village of Balsall Common. Since it finally stopped working just after the Second World War, its history has been somewhat chequered.
Had it not been for Jeanette McGarry, one of the region's last remaining icons of England's agricultural heritage risked disappearing from the landscape altogether.
The mother-of-three bought the windmill and the neighbouring miller's cottage - where she lives with her husband and daughters - four years ago. Last week marked an important moment in securing the building's long term future when its five-tonne sails which are rotting away were taken down.
Thanks to a £90,000 grant from English Heritage, they are to be replaced and vital repair work carried out on the structure.
Ms McGarry, a corporate director at Solihull Council, said: "We have had a 70 ft crane on site to remove the windmill's cap - which is the whole roof section - for the first time in 200 years.
"It allows us to get at the sails which are completely rotten. We will have to make new sails from scratch."
Once the new sails are in place, expected to be around October, the building will be one of the few fully-functioning windmills in the country.
However, it will hardly ever be put into operation, said Ms McGarry.
"We might turn the sails once a year on English Heritage day. Once you turn the sails the whole internal mechanism moves. Because it is such an old building, that puts tension on the whole building."
Berkswell Windmill - which actually stands in the parish of Berkswell - is one of 179 vulnerable listed buildings in the region included in the 2007 Buildings at Risk Register.
The Grade II listed 19th century windmill was built in 1826 and was a working facility until its last miller John Hammond died in 1948.
After that it fell into ruin until it was acquired in the 1970s by a couple who restored it. After they died, it again was left to rot until Ms McGarry and her husband Paul bought it four years ago.
Ms McGarry saw the building for sale and decided she had to have it after visiting.
"I saw it was for sale in the property pages. I was intrigued and and I fell in love with it and I wanted to restore it. It is just absolutely magical. On a moonlit night when the stars are out it looks beautiful.
"It is a monument to a bygone age and it is living history as well."
Before the Industrial Revolution, windmills were dotted across the land and millers made a tidy living grinding flour.
"If you look at Ordnance Survey maps you would find there are lots of remains in the area," said Ms McGarry. "Very few have survived intact."
Despite their romantic connotations, Ms McGarry claimed there was nothing glamorous about working on a windmill.
"It was actually really hard work for the miller. They would have to get up in the middle of the night. Whenever there was wind, they would rise up and get it moving.
"The sails would have to be moved to face the wind. The miller lived in the cottage."
* Berkswell Windmill opens on the first Saturday of every month from May to October, between noon and 6pm. Admission is adults £1.50, seniors £1, children 50p.