One of our most exciting projects to date has involved the comprehensive repair to working order of Stevens' Mill at Burwell in East Cambridgeshire. Dating from c1820, this fine II*-listed tower mill is built from clunch, a local stone.
The mill had been heroically restored by volunteers between 1970 and 1988, using only two of the original four sails, but by 2010 it was suffering from the ravages of the weather and had been placed on English Heritage's Buildings At Risk Register.
Bonwick MHC planned the full restoration of the mill and helped to secure a £417,000 grant, covering the mill and the adjoining Museum, from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The grant was awarded in 2012 and repairs began immediately, Traditional Millwrights Ltd securing the contract for the repairs. The old sails were removed and the cap of the mill was lifted down to ground level. New vertical white-painted weatherboarding replaces the 1970s aluminium sheet cladding.
The cap and sails of the windmill are scheduled to be back in place by the end of 2013.
You can follow the project's progress online via the Museum's website at www.burwellmuseum.org.uk. This features a dedicated windmill project blog.
A programme of free craft skills training days has been devised - click here for details.
The SPAB Mills Section's One Day Course for mill owners will be held at the Museum in September 2013 - click here for details.