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Last remaining Grade II* listed windmill sail has been 'systematically vandalised'

PUBLISHED: 07:29 05 November 2019 | UPDATED: 10:08 05 November 2019

Owner of Denver Windmill John Nash has been involved in major renovations to restore the Grade II* listed building. Picture: Sarah Hussain

Owner of Denver Windmill John Nash has been involved in major renovations to restore the Grade II* listed building. Picture: Sarah Hussain

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The last remaining sail of a Grade II* listed windmill has been 'systematically vandalised.'

Picture of the last remaining timber sail before it was vandalised. Picture: John Nash.Picture of the last remaining timber sail before it was vandalised. Picture: John Nash.

The owner of Denver Windmill has expressed his disappointment over the act of vandalism to the windmill's last remaining timber sail.

John Nash took over ownership of Denver Windmill two years ago and has been involved in multiple projects to renovate the Grade II* listed building.

One of the major projects is to restore the four sails to get it running again as a fully functioning windmill.

But this task has been made even harder by the 'mindless' act of vandalism to the last remaining timber sail.

The 40ft long and 9ft wide wooden sail that was once attached to Denver Windmill can no longer be put back up again.Picture: Sarah Hussain.The 40ft long and 9ft wide wooden sail that was once attached to Denver Windmill can no longer be put back up again.Picture: Sarah Hussain.

Mr Nash said: "I'm disappointed someone would come and do that, it's completely mindless, It's set us back. It was a good pattern but now it's in such a state it will never go back up again.

"This is the only last real sail we had that we could have replicated the pattern from."

The 40ft by 9ft wooden sail has had its metal brackets broken off that was holding two control mechanisms in place.

Mr Nash, who has lived in the village of Denver for 11 years, said: "You can just see the mammoth task ahead, it's a serious expense.

The metal brackets holding a control mechanism in place have been broken.Picture: Sarah Hussain.The metal brackets holding a control mechanism in place have been broken.Picture: Sarah Hussain.

"It has been systematically vandalised, around 40 to 50 components have been individually smashed.

"We found a metal rod that they've obviously been using to hack away at it.

"The control mechanism, which controls the opening and closing of the sail, has been smashed off on both sides.

"It's been lying outside since I bought the mill and the other sails were taken away and destroyed to the best of my knowledge."

Costs to replace the four sails is estimated at around £250,000.

MORE: The mill tower could be restored by next spring.

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Mr Nash sees the replacement as a long term project that is likely to take around eight years to fix.

He said: "We may not get there easily but it depends on the generosity of the public and the possibility of lottery funding.

"The pinnacle of the whole thing is to get the windmill going again but there are so many projects going on."

The windmill owner has overseen extensive renovations that has recently seen the listed building removed from Historic England's risk register.

The site, which is home to Blackstone Engine Bar, The Hair Mill, Millstone Tearooms and The Grain Loft, is open to the public.

Renovation to the mill tower is still ongoing and Mr Nash is looking for volunteers to join himself and care taker Chris Garner to help restore the windmill and a blackstone engine.

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