Rare Cambridgeshire windmill saved by village trust

A group of Cambridgeshire villagers has set up a trust to restore a rare, open trestle post mill.

Great Chishill mill is one of only five surviving windmills of its type in the country.

The 18th Century building was last worked in the 1950s and was owned by Cambridgeshire County Council.

James Brearley, from the Great Chishill Windmill Trust, said the mill was an "icon" and "the villagers don't want it to go to private ownership".

'Offering services'

Image caption The mill requires extensive restoration work before it can go back into operation

He added: "We've already got carpenters willing to give their time free of charge.

"Other people offering their services include lawyers, accountants, and people who are just willing to labour and help with the project."

An open trestle post mill is the earliest type of windmill existing in the UK.

Cambridgeshire County Council bought the mill in the 1960s, and over the past two years its staff have worked with the parish council to find a way to transfer it to community ownership.

Parish councillor John Murgatroyd said a village survey has been conducted to gauge interest.

"The message was, so long as the council doesn't have to pay for everything, they definitely wanted us to find a way of preserving the mill."

The trust was set up and experts were consulted about the viability of the mill's future.

Mr Brearley said: "We're confident, having had lots of meetings with millwrights and millers, that we can put the mill back into working condition.. and maybe even making flour for bread again."

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