Lacey Green Windmill, Buckinghamshire

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RESTORATION

The restoration was started in 1971. The first 10 years were spent restoring the structure of the mill, that is the body or smock of the mill, and the cap.

 

Firstly, the only remaining sail had to be removed.

 

On a very misty day, a crane was used to lift off the 3 parts of the cap.

 

   

Firstly, the cap roof is removed.

  The wind shaft and its brake wheel are lowered onto a frame.   The cap frame is lifted off. It rests on top of the smock and turns according to the wind direction.

The next work was the complicated operation of pulling the mill back to its proper shape.  Christopher Wallis had devised a method of connecting a steel cable to a precise point, and then winching the twisted mill back to an upright position.

 

The cable is run from the winch to the mill.

 

The winching cable is fitted around the body of the mill.

Once the mill was straight, it was supported and work started on restoring all the framework of the mill and the four floors inside the mill.

Scaffolding assists the task of rebuilding the eight sides of the windmill.

Meanwhile, work was carried out on the different parts of the cap, so they would be ready to be lifted back into position.

 

Working on the cap roof.

 

Working on the brake wheel.

The 8 walls of the mill were surrounded with a layer of plywood to strengthen the structure. However either side of the plywood are supporting timbers and weatherboarding which appear to be the same from inside and outside.

 

The plywood can be seen on the right hand wall.

 

The plywood is visible as the cap frame returns to the mill.

Once the cap was back, then the exterior was given a layer of weatherboarding, with each joint on all 8 corners protected by a custom made flashing.

 

The weatherboarding is gradually fitted.

 

Detail showing the flashings between the ends of each board.

The next job was to fit new sails. It had been decided to fit 4 common sails (which need sail cloths) rather than any patent sails, which would have been more expensive, and need more maintenance in future years.  Each pair of sails is supported by a large piece of timber called a stock which is fitted into a metal canister on the end of the wind shaft.

 

The new sails wait to be fitted.

 

The first new stock is hauled into place.

 

 

Once the stocks are in place, the sails are fitted.

 

Once again, the windmill has 4 sails.

Next, the fantail was fitted, which drives the gearing that automatically turns the cap to ensure the main sails are always facing into the wind. This was essential to operate the main sails, but it is also the safest way for a windmill to face at any time during a high wind.  After this, work was concentrated on the internal machinery within the mill.

Since being restored back to working order, the windmill has milled some wheat into flour on a couple of occasions. However, the Restoration Committee has now decided that putting the load of a millstone working is really expecting too much of the wooden machinery (shafts and wheels) that are probably 350 years old. We will therefore not attempt to mill any more, to avoid jeopardising the windmill's machinery.

On one or two occasions each year we let the wind turn the sails, which makes quite a spectacular sight.  However to avoid visitors being able to touch moving machinery in the mill, we disconnect the wallower from the brake wheel.  Therefore inside the mill, only the windshaft and brake wheel (visible only on the top floor) are allowed to turn.

Further details of the restoration work are in the Booklet on the windmill.  Please click here for further details.


Thank you for looking at www.laceygreenwindmill.org.uk

This page was last updated on 19th October 2012.


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