Monday, 12 October 2020

Repairing Old Buckenham Mill

Work due to start

Mill back in 2007

Our historic grade II* listed mill is set to be reopened to the public thanks to support from Historic England and the Association for Industrial Archaeology. It is hoped that the major repair works starting this week are a first step towards rescuing the mill from Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register. 
Repairs to the unique 202-year-old Old Buckenham Mill can now get underway after the Norfolk Windmills Trust successfully secured funding of £95,325 from Historic England, and £20,000 from the Association for Industrial Archaeology.
Old Buckenham Mill has been closed to the public since 2018 when a pre-existing bulge in the brickwork at the base of the mill started to worsen by showing signs of further cracking and movement
Previously owned by the Colman family, well known for the famous Colman’s mustard, and then by Prince Frederick Duleep Singh, the mill in later years fell into disrepair before finally being taken into the care of the Norfolk Windmills Trust.
Old Buckenham Mill is not only the largest diameter tower mill still surviving in the country but also features a unique mechanism to turn the large heavy cap and sails into the wind.
Work is about to start on erecting full-height scaffolding that will allow extensive repairs to the tower’s aging brickwork to start. The mill’s ground floor will also be removed and replaced with further repairs being made to floor beams, the cap and internal walls. The two grants will cover the majority of the £119,156 cost of the work with the remainder of the funding coming from the Friends of Old Buckenham Mill, who have been fundraising locally, and the Norfolk Windmills Trust.
Once the first phase of work is complete the mill can be reopened to the public by the active volunteer group while further funding is sought for the phase 2 works to the cap and running gear. After this work is done it is hoped that the mill may finally be removed from Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register. The final phase will be to reinstate the stocks and sails.

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