Engineers used a giant crane to remove the lead cap so that access could be gained for repairs to the timber and cast iron machinery in the tower. This will allow the cap, which houses the sails, to turn into the wind for operation, safety, and easier maintenance. The sails had been removed last month.
This Grade II* listed tower mill, which is also a Scheduled Ancient Monument, was built in 1787 to grind grain, and remained working until 1910. In 1929 it was bought and repaired by Lord Blyth, who later donated it to the village, with the Parish Council and one local gentleman being appointed as joint Trustees. In 1964, the Parish Council, in conjunction with a new voluntary group, "The Stansted Millers", opened the Mill to the public for the first time.
Malcolm Starr, English Heritage Historic Building Architect, said:
"Windmills were once characteristic features of the rural landscape, but so many have become ruinous, or have disappeared completely. The Stansted Mill is a remarkable survival. Its machinery and equipment are virtually intact, and with its interesting collection of related artefacts, the Mill has become a popular visitor attraction, a valuable learning resource for local and rural history, and a treasured local landmark. The dedication of the Trustees and the Stansted Millers is truly impressive, and we are very pleased to give them our help with this important conservation project."
Ruth Clifford, Parish Clerk, said:
“We were thrilled to learn that English Heritage had agreed to provide grant funding for this project to renovate our Windmill. Local support for the project has been excellent and parishioners have also contributed financially through a local appeal. Whilst already a great visitor attraction, we hope that many more people will come to see the mill on completion of the works as it is so rare to find a mill left just as it was the day the Miller last walked out!”
To allow repairs to proceed regardless of the weather, the machinery and working area have been encased in scaffolding and protected by a temporary roof. While access is available, repairs will also be carried out to the brickwork.
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