Battle of the bulge - ‘Unique’ 200-year-old mill set for full restoration
PUBLISHED: 09:00 11 October 2020 | UPDATED: 12:29 12 October 2020
An historic flour mill is set to be shrouded in scaffolding as a major restoration project gets underway.
Grade II* listed Old Buckenham Mill is the largest of its kind in the country and a rare survivor of a bygone industrial age, according to Norfolk Windmills Trust (NWT).
The important relic was closed to the public two years ago after a bulge in the brickwork got worse.
The repairs are being funded by grants of £95,325 from Historic England, and £20,000 from the Association for Industrial Archaeology, with the remainder coming from the Friends of Old Buckenham Mill, and NWT.
Trust chairman Martin Wilby said: “I am very pleased to see this much needed work start on Old Buckenham Mill, which will enable it to be opened up to the public next spring.
“I wish to thank the friends and volunteers at the mill who have been fundraising and campaigning to restore the mill back to working condition.”
Built in 1818 and previously owned by the Colman family, of Colman’s mustard fame, and then by Prince Frederick Duleep Singh, the mill fell into disrepair before finally being taken into the trust’s care.
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Tony Calladine, regional director for Historic England in the East of England, said: “We’re delighted to support the urgently needed repair of Old Buckenham Mill with this grant.
“As the largest diameter mill in the country, it is a rare survivor of our agricultural heritage and an important local landmark.”
Old Buckenham Mill also features a unique mechanism to turn the large, heavy cap and sails into the wind.
Work begins this week on erecting full height scaffolding.
The mill’s ground floor will also be removed and replaced, and repairs will be made to floor beams, the cap, and internal walls.
Once the first phase of work is complete the mill can be reopened to the public by the volunteer group while further funding is sought for the phase two works to the cap and running gear.
After this work is done it is hoped the mill may finally be removed from Historic England’s at risk register.
The final phase will be to reinstate the stocks and sails.
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