Sails to turn again at Moulton Mill(November 18, 2010)
Villagers in Moulton in the Lincolnshire Fens who have spent eleven years masterminding the restoration of their local windmill have finally topped the funds needed to start the final phase of their ‘Restoration dream’.
In 2003, the first phase of the project to return Moulton Windmill to a full working flour mill driven by wind sails got nationwide attention when it featured in the BBC’s search for historic buildings to save, championed by Griff Rhys Jones. Since then the local villagers who run the project on a volunteer basis have been hard at work fundraising for the second and third phase of restoration. “It’s been a frustrating few years with no further renovations possible till we’d built up new funds, said Project Manager Janet Prescott, “but it’s great to be at the final stage of replacing the sails and stocks.” The reefing gallery, phase 2 , was added in 2008 and completed last year.
It was a £50,000 contribution from environmental body WREN , the last piece of the funding jigsaw, that has allowed Phase 3 to go ahead: part of the cash from landfill tax paid by Waste Recycling Group (WRG) and allocated through WREN to local projects designed to enhance the environment and communities within ten miles of a landfill site.
Janet Prescott says that restoration of the windmill, which was listed in 1967, is hugely important to Moulton and the neighbouring villages. “The tower is a much-loved landmark, as well as playing a fundamental part in the heritage of this area. Many people feel very passionate about getting it back to being a proper working mill, it is already an important visitor attraction,” said Janet, who is Mill Manager as well as Project Manager. “Already we’re grinding our own flour again but until the sails are on we’re having to use electric power. ”
Moulton Windmill was built in 1822 and last used wind power in 1894 when the sails were destroyed in a great storm. When restored, the 100’ ten-storey tower mill will be the tallest working windmill in the country.
Work is due to start on the final phase in March 2011 with a completion date of September 2011. The mill will remain open during the restoration and visitors will have an opportunity to see the sail shutters being made by mill volunteers.‘ This is truly history in the making, no one alive has seen sails on this mill and it will be a special day indeed when they turn again.’ -Janet Prescott