Surrey

New tail post for restored Reigate Heath windmill

Reigate Heath Windmill prior to restoration
Image caption Services are held at the windmill's chapel during the summer months

A new 30ft tail post is being craned into position on an historic windmill on Reigate Heath in Surrey in the final stage of its restoration.

The Grade-II listed windmill dates back to at least 1765, and is thought to be the only windmill in the country which is a consecrated church.

Reigate and Banstead Borough Council has undertaken a range of restoration works over the past three weeks.

It said the old tail post had been showing signs of decay.

Councillor Mike Miller said the new one had been carved from a specially selected Douglas Fir tree, and made in the same style as the old one.

"Once completed, Reigate Heath windmill will be a gleaming beacon on our sky line again," he said.

Open weekend

A 6ft length of the old tail post and the original peg workings will be going to the local Holmesdale Museum in Reigate.

The tail post was used by the miller to turn the windmill into the wind and then he would set the sails.

The post mill was purchased by the council in 1962 from Reigate Golf Club.

It was last worked by wind in April 1862.

In 1880, the roundhouse was converted into a Chapel of Ease to St Mary's Parish Church, where services are still held during the summer.

The mill will be open to the public on 11 and 12 September, as part of the Heritage Open Days Weekend.

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