2021: Year of the Mill

Published: 9th December, 2021

This past year has been incredibly busy for the WMM team. As 2021 comes to a close, I thought it would be important to take a step back and reflect on on all the fantastic work that we were able to achieve restoring the iconic drainage mills of the Broads.

Six Mile House Mill, Runham

We began to work on 6 Mile House Mill at the very end of 2019, but work slowed down greatly in the first quarter of 2020 due to the first lockdowns during the pandemic. We were finally able to complete our works in the spring of 2021, and what a change it is on both the inside an out. The vast majority of this work was completed by our two apprentices under the direction of our Heritage Skills Project Manager. Their hard work over the course of the project was recognised by the Norfolk Constructing Excellence Club with a First Place win in the category of Preservation and Rejuvenation and a Second Place finish in Norfolk over-all. They were then further recognised by winning the Conservation and Regeneration category in the East of England. Their work has now gone to the national awards, being held in London in January 2022.

Our two Heritage Skills apprentices with their awards from Norfolk Constructing Excellence Club.

 

6 Mile House in 2021 vs 2013

High’s Mill, Halvergate

We began our work to restore High’s Mill in the spring of 2021. High’s Mill is unique on Halvergate. It was one of the last remaining mills to still be winded using its tail-pole, and is much smaller than many of the other brick tower mills of later, improved designs. Before we started work, there was very little to speak of structurally inside the mill and the raceway was in danger of being destroyed by overgrown vegetation that had taken root around the bottom courses of bricks. Now the Mill has two brand new floors, ladders, doors, window, and much more. It has been repainted with a tar-substitute on the tower and white linseed paint on the timber works.

Before and after images of repair works to Highs Mill. On the left is a derelict structure covered in yellow and green lichen with missing windows. On the right is the repaired mill, painted black with a bright white door in the middle with a small hatch window above it.
Before and After, 2020 to 2021
Before and After, 2020 to 2021

The Norfolk Windmills Trust recently uploaded this fantastic interview with Bertie High about the mill

Mutton’s Mill, Halvergate

This Autumn we began our our works at Mutton’s Mill on Halvergate Marshes.
Scaffolding is up around the mill and the cap, the site has been prepped and repairs are now underway.¬†We’re anticipating that works will take around 12 months and they include restoring the brick tower, restoring the cap and fan stage as well as fabricating and installing an additional pair of sails to the mill.

Top: Scaffolding now around Mutton’s Mill. Bottom: Mutton’s with its two sails in early 2021.

We’ll keep on working at Mutton’s over the wet winter with our time split between our workshop and onsite.
Check back for more updates in 2022.