Alford is an historic market town noted for its smuggling history and connection with Thomas Paine. The Windmill Hotel, originally known as The Windmill Inn, is an 18th century Coaching House. It was also the local Posting House and Excise Office.
In 1785 the first Lincolnshire Stuff Ball was held in this hotel. It was organised by the Friends of the Society for Industry of the fabric known as ‘Lincolnshire Stuff.’ However, due to the success and popularity of the event it was moved to The Assembly Rooms in Lincoln’s Bailgate from 1789.
The building was sold in 1860 and several structural changes were made, including the addition of a Portico, and the right hand wing was sold and demolished. The car park originally housed stables for the coaches and horses. The building itself is Grade 2 listed.
Thomas Paine 1737 - 1809
Thomas Paine is most famous for his published works ‘The Rights of Man’ in 1791 and ‘The Age of Reason’ in 1793. During the American War of Independence he was noted for scribing the phrase ‘United States of America’.
He served as Excise Officer in Alford from 1764 to 1765. His office was situated in the Windmill Inn where Room 105 is now located.