Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Bursledon Windmill reopens after £94,000 revamp

Bursledon Windmill
Image caption Bursledon Windmill, near Southampton, closed to the public in August while the restoration work was carried out

A 200-year-old windmill in Hampshire has reopened following a two-year restoration project.

The five-storey Bursledon Windmill had its wind shaft and sails replaced following a £94,000 Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant.

Built in 1814, it is believed to be the only working windmill in England that retains a wooden shaft.

Miller Jonathan Cook said it was "long-lived technology that works as well as when it was invented".

It is hoped the windmill will produce its own flour again by summer 2015.

Mr Cook said: "These are important buildings, any opportunity to see a windmill restored to a working condition is great news"

'Food revolution'

The Grade II-listed structure was rescued by Hampshire Buildings Preservation Trust in the 1970s.

Annabel Cook of Hampshire Cultural Trust, which runs the windmill, said such mills were "a revolution in the way food production was carried out".

"We're hoping to bring to life what the idea of windmilling was and its importance in people's lives," she added.

The HLF funding for the latest restoration project was secured by Hampshire county, Eastleigh borough and Bursledon parish councils, as well as Hampshire Buildings Preservation Trust.

A further £47,000 came from local councils to recruit and train more volunteers in traditional milling skills and help to run guided tours, workshops and special events.

The original timber wind shaft, which drives all the mill machinery and turns the sails, is expected to become an exhibit in an on-site museum.

The building is believed to be one of 27 such windmills regularly working in Britain.

Image caption The mill machinery is driven by the windmill's wind shaft

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