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Famous Norfolk landmark goes up for sale

PUBLISHED: 13:19 12 July 2019 | UPDATED: 16:03 12 July 2019

Cley windmill. Pic: Archant library

Cley windmill. Pic: Archant library

One of the county's most photographed landmarks, Cley windmill, formerly owned by the parents of famous singer/songwriter James Blunt, is for sale.

Cley windmill and Blakeney church bask in a glorious winter sunset on the North Norfolk coast. Pic: Archant libraryCley windmill and Blakeney church bask in a glorious winter sunset on the North Norfolk coast. Pic: Archant library

With its sails intact and set against swaying reeds and Blakeney church in the distance, Cley windmill epitomises the beauty of Norfolk.

But now the often photographed icon which graces many a website and tourism brochure is up for sale after the owners, Julian and Carolyn Godlee, are embarking on a new beginning in their lives. Mr Godlee, a professional singer and a GP retires today and he and his wife, also a singer and a retired headmistress, want to travel the world.

And it remains to be seen whether the new buyer will have any musical connections - seeing as the mill was once owned by the parents and also uncle of the the singer James Blunt, best known for his hit 'You're Beautiful'.

Cley windmill. Pic: Archant libraryCley windmill. Pic: Archant library

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The windmill, which was built in the early 19th century, and currently offers 10 bedrooms for holiday guests and is a popular wedding venue, is being sold for a price on application with agents Strutt & Parker although believed to be for sale in the region of £3m.

It was bought by the Godlees in 2006 from Blunt's uncle, John Woodhouse and they have painstakingly made improvements including replacing the balcony in oak, the sails, the fan stage and wheel as well as converting five outbuildings into extra accommodation.

Mr Godlee said: "It has been a real privilege, a joy and excitement to look after this windmill. it is with mixed feelings that we will let it go because it is such an iconic building, when you see the reeds swaying behind it, it is instantly calming."

Mr Godlee bought the windmill because he had spent holidays in Norfolk as a child and his parents bought Weybourne windmill. "We had it as a holiday home and when they finally sold it, I felt bereft, so when Cley windmill came up for sale, I thought, I know how to do this.

Cley windmill, now for sale. Pic: www.gettyimages.co.ukCley windmill, now for sale. Pic: www.gettyimages.co.uk

"We will miss most the feeling as you come over the drive and see this windmill in front of you with the view behind."

He said the windmill's setting had been made even more picturesque with the widening of the harbour at Cley with boats sailing down and weddings had also really taken off as part of the business, with about 50 a year and brides and grooms wanting to return for anniversaries.

"It's a really successful business and has won so many accolades," he added.

The mill has not had many owners. It was owned by a nun, sister Rachel Wilson who was the first person to convert it to a holiday home in 1921 and it was later inherited by Lt Col Hubert Blount in 1934, James Blunt's grandfather (the singer changed his name when he became famous.) After he died in 1979, the mill passed to Colonel Charles Blount, James Blunt's father. It was put up for sale in 1983 when planning was granted to turn it into a guesthouse.

Singer James Blunt. Pic: Ian West/PA WireSinger James Blunt. Pic: Ian West/PA Wire

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