Historic Fenland landmark Denver Mill up for sale for £550,000
PUBLISHED: 08:46 07 October 2015 | UPDATED: 08:46 07 October 2015
After a difficult few years, Denver Mill, in Denver, near Downham Market, has been placed on the market for £550,000.
Denver Mill has stood prominently on the edge of the Fens for almost 200 years. Once a thriving working mill, it ground wheat and barley from as far afield as Outwell, Tottenhill and Stoke Ferry.
But since it opened as a tourist attraction in 2000, the mill has faced its fair share of challenges. Tenants have struggled to stay, in 2011 a sail broke shattering debris across the complex and the site has been closed for almost a year.
Now its owners, the Norfolk Historic Buildings Trust, has decided to sell the Grade II-listed mill, which has been valued at more than half a million pounds. The 1.6-acre site includes the mill itself, the coffee shop, a shop and four residential units. It will be the first time in 100 years that the windmill has been on the market.
Any future use remains in the hands of the new owners –- but whoever purchases the property will be barred from converting the mill into a home.
James Parry, from the Norfolk Historic Buildings Trust, said: “We are proud to have rescued Denver Mill from an uncertain fate 20 years ago and now is the time for it to begin a new chapter in its history.
“Once the tower is repaired, it can be opened to visitors again and it is certainly possible to reopen the shop and tea room, if that’s what the new owner wants.”
The Trust says that it will commit “a substantial sum” towards the repair of the fabric of the tower, and will complete that work as a condition of the sale. A covenant will also be issued to ensure the mill tower and engine room are not converted into a home, and remain accessible to the public.
The Trust has owned Denver Mill since 1995 and invested more than £1m on its refurbishment before opening its doors to visitors in 2000.
It fast became a popular west Norfolk tourist attraction, offering educational packages for local schools and a pleasant day trip to the area.
“However, in recent years the demands of running the mill have placed an excessive financial and administrative burden on the Trust,” says the Trust’s website.
“... It is the Trust’s view, after long and careful consideration by its board of directors, that the future of Denver Mill is best served under new ownership.”
It added that funds from the sale will go into the promised repair work on the mill; the remainder will be reinvested in other projects around the county. Mr Parry said: “Our job is to breathe new life into old buildings by restoring them, passing them into sympathetic new ownership, and using the money to rescue other buildings in the county. This is exactly what we are doing with Denver Windmill.
“We know how much the mill is valued by local residents and visitors alike, which is why we are making it part of the deed of sale that there is continued public access to the tower and engine room, so that future generations will be able to enjoy this wonderful building for themselves.”
Ben Marchbank, from selling agents Bedfords, added: “This is a unique opportunity to acquire a truly remarkable building.”
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