Work begins on restoring listed Great Yarmouth mill after £500,000 grant
PUBLISHED: 12:05 22 October 2018 | UPDATED: 13:39 22 October 2018
Work has begun to restore and preserve a mill first built in the 1880s as efforts to use the site as an educational resource take shape.
The Stracey Arms Mill, near Great Yarmouth, is to be safeguarded after Norfolk County Council successfully bid for £554,600 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to carry out the work.
Once completed, a programme of workshops, day schools and community events will begin at the Grade II* listed mill in 2019 for people to learn more about the landmark, the local landscape and the families who lived at the site and worked on the surrounding marshes.
Councillor Martin Wilby, chairman of the council’s environment, development and transport committee, and also chair of the Norfolk Windmills Trust, said: “This is a fantastic project that will allow people to better understand the history of Norfolk and its historic marshes and distinctive Broads.
“I am pleased it was made possible by our bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund.”
The work, which forms part of the £670,152 Mill and Marsh Folk project, started with the removal of the old cap and sail stocks, which have been taken to the millwright’s workshop to be assessed.
Any sound timbers salvaged will be reused in the new cap.
Robyn Llewellyn, head of East England Heritage Lottery Fund, said: “Thanks to National Lottery players, work is now well under way.
“This is an exciting moment in the restoration of such an important building from Norfolk’s agricultural past and the start of a great new future.”
The first phase of work includes brickwork repairs, removal of internal render and the reinstatement of one of the Second World War gun loops, as well as repairs to doors and windows.
The mill was built for Sir Henry Stracey of Rackheath Hall by millwright and engineer Richard Barnes of Southtown Ironworks in 1883 to replace an earlier mill on the site.
It was intended to drain water off the surrounding marshes and into the River Bure, but was last used in the 1940s, serving as a fortified pillbox during the Second World War with gun loops cut into the tower to defend the local area.
Major repairs were carried out in the 1960s before it became the second mill to be gifted to Norfolk County Council.
The work is being led by conservation builders R and J Hogg Ltd of Coney Weston, while local millwright Richard Seago will also carry out work on new stocks and sails, as well as repairs to the turbine pump.