Plans to restore one of the most photographed mills on the Norfolk Broads and get it turning for the first time in almost two decades have been unveiled. 

Norfolk County Council wants to repair Turf Fen Mill, a grade II* listed structure on the How Hill Estate, to ‘winding condition’. 

It was built in the 1860s to help drain Horning marshes and stayed in use until the 1920s. 

Since then, the landmarked structure has become popular with tourists and photographers.

The windmill sits beside the River Ant in Barton Turf and is one of three drainage mills on the estate. 

Eastern Daily Press: A broads cruisier on the River Ant with Turf Fen Mill in the background at How HillA broads cruisier on the River Ant with Turf Fen Mill in the background at How Hill (Image: James Bass/Newsquest)

Plans submitted to the Broads Authority are proposing new sails be installed, repairs carried out to brickwork and the cap raised for an inspection. 

The mill was previously restored between 1984 and 1987 when steel stocks were added and the mill was returned to turning condition. 

A report said: “The proposed scheme of repair works aims to return the mill to a sound structural condition as a landscape feature.  

“This will allow the mill cap to turn to wind for the first time since 2005 with new sail frames and substantial repairs. 

“The sail frames were removed in 2016 and 2018 on health and safety grounds as one sail whip broke and the sails frames were rotten and beyond repair.” 

Historic England declared the mill “at risk” and added it to the Historic England Heritage at Risk Register in July 2022. 

County Hall is expected to work with the Norfolk Windmills Trust and other stakeholders to raise the funds necessary to repair the structure. 

The report describes the mill as a “significant landmark” and “one of the most photographed mills on the Broads”. 

“Restoring and repairing the mill will allow visitors using the river or visiting the How Hill estate to view the mill complete with sails from the east bank.  

“The mill is used as an educational resource to explain drainage to visitors and education groups staying at How Hill.”