Major development at Horsey Windpump restoration works

Horsey Windpump (photo: 8929612@N04, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0, Flickr)

The sails at Horsey Windpump have turned for the second time in 79 years. - Credit: Archant

Restoration works have brought the return of a key feature to a historic landmark along the Norfolk Broads.

The sails at Horsey Windpump have recently turned again for the second time since July 1943. This was made possible after an integral part, the worm gear, was recreated and replaced using traditional skills and craftsmanship.

New sails are fitted on Horsey Windpump in Norfolk, as part of a National Trust restoration project

FLASHBACK: New sails are fitted on Horsey Windpump in Norfolk, as part of a National Trust restoration project after the four old sails were removed from the windpump in 2014 when they became rotten. - Credit: PA

With an independently winding cap and sails that can now turn properly again, the ambitious restoration project - which began in 2016 - is now nearing completion.

Norfolk Coast and Broads general manager Victoria Egan said: “We are thrilled that this iconic landmark of the Broads has a turning cap once again.

"When you are inside as the wind changes direction, you can hear the rumbling of the gears as the fantail turns, and the rollers start moving the cap round on the track to turn the sails into the wind.

New sails are fitted on Horsey Windpump in Norfolk, as part of a National Trust restoration project

£400,000 of restoration works have been carried out at Horsey Windpump over the past eight years. - Credit: PA

“The final phase of the project will now focus on a few adjustments to the guarding and the safety measures, which will allow us to train up volunteers to be able to man the Windpump without the on-site assistance of the Millwright.”

Horsey Windpump was built in 1912 to take water from dykes and pump it into the Broads and was once one of about 250 similar windpumps used in the Broads.

The familiar sight of Horsey Windpump, now turning again

The familiar sight of Horsey Windpump, now turning again - Credit: Bob Fossey

The Windpump has had a dramatic history - surviving floods, a lightning strike, a collapse, storms and most recently, gale force wind damage in January 2014.

After the damage eight years ago, the National Trust decided to begin restoration work to get this Norfolk Broads icon back into working order, at a cost of over £400,000.

In 2019, Horsey Windpump reopened to visitors and the sails turned on their own for the first time in 76 years. However, whilst this was cause for huge celebration, after just five months the cap stopped moving due a fault with the work gear.

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Horsey Windpump is open Saturday to Thursday between 10am and 4pm. 

Entry is free for National Trust members, with a charge of £6.50 per adult and £3.50 per child or £16.50 per family for non-members.

For more information, visit the National Trust website: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/horsey-windpump