Help Keep Bursledon Windmill’s Sails Turning

Bursledon Windmill after removal of its sails in 2020. Image Courtesy of Hampshire Cultural Trust.

For over 200 years, Bursledon Windmill’s sails have turned over the village of Bursledon. Unlike many windmills built in the Victorian era, which featured cast-iron machinery, Bursledon Windmill, which is operated by charity Hampshire Cultural Trust, is a rare surviving example of a traditional tower mill with timber machinery.

Today, Bursledon Windmill is as much a symbol of local pride as it has been throughout its history, providing for the local community, supporting farmers and allowing villagers to mill their own flour. Surrounded by woodland, the windmill is more than just a local landmark: its ethos of supporting local people continues, providing a tranquil, safe space for visitors and residents to come together.

In May 2021 it will be 30 years since the windmill opened its doors to visitors, following major refurbishment work undertaken by Hampshire Buildings Preservation Trust.

Now the listed windmill faces a new challenge. The wear and tear that comes with being a working windmill has led to the stocks and sails being removed. Hampshire Cultural Trust is launching a campaign to raise money to support the vital work of repairing or replacing the stocks and sails so that they can be reinstated and the windmill can get back into full working order.

David Plunkett of Hampshire Building Preservation Trust commented, ‘Age and the ravages of the weather have taken their toll and repairs are now needed to get the sails turning once again. The Hampshire Building Preservation Trust support the worthy efforts of Hampshire Cultural Trust in progressing the fundraising and repairs.’

With the public’s support, staff and volunteers at Bursledon Windmill will continue to keep local heritage accessible and open to everyone, sharing heritage skills and techniques.

More information about Hampshire Cultural Trust’s campaign to keep Bursledon Windmill’s sails turning, ensuring this community treasure will be protected and restored for generations to come,  is available at https://www.hampshireculture.org.uk/bursledon-windmill.

Re-Using Industrial Buildings – Two New Textile Mill Case Studies

Brierfield Mills, Pendle, Lancashire. Image courtesy of Historic England.

One of the most important building conservation principals is that to save a historic building you have to give it a use. Examples of such re-use can showcase the community and heritage value of historic structures. Thus, two new case studies on the successful reuse of historic industrial buildings added to Historic England’s ‘Mills of the North’ webpage do exactly that.

The first case study is the Grade II listed Conditioning House in Bradford. This building was built by Bradford Corporation in 1900-2. It was used to quality check and control the moisture content of textiles by means of laboratory examination and certify their true weight and length. As such it was the only property of its kind in England. This unique building is being converted into a mixed use development with apartments, a residents’ gym, and office space. Scheduled for completion later in 2021, it aims to create a thriving new neighbourhood in the heart of the city. More details here: https://historicengland.org.uk/get-involved/protect/mills-of-the-north/success-stories/#e2bc8444.

The second case study is Brierfield Mills, Pendle, Lancashire, a Grade II listed cotton spinning complex built in 1868. The mill was purchased by Pendle Council in 2012, soon after it closed, with funding from the Homes and Communities Agency. The local M.P., Andrew Stephenson, has been heavily involved in securing a £32m redevelopment programme. He gives his view on how this regeneration scheme is transforming the area, with new apartments, leisure facility, adult learning centre, creative arts studio and canal marina. More details here: Latest Success Stories | Historic England

The ‘Mills of the North’ webpage also includes details of the successful regeneration of the water-powered Queen’s Mill in Castleford Mill, an 18th to 20th century flour mill, and the Grade II and Grade II* 19th century Hunslet Flax Mill in Leeds.

Re-Form Heritage to Regenerate Former Pottery Workers’ Houses in Stoke-on-Trent

The Harper Street: Engagement in Heritage project will renovate eleven Victorian terraced houses adjacent to Middleport Pottery. The terrace, located in the Trent and Mersey Canal Conservation Area, will be transformed into a new heritage attraction, studio & workshop space, publicly accessible archive and community centre for Middleport’s residents. The project will contribute significantly to growing Middleport Pottery and Stoke-on-Trent’s reputation as a heritage visitor destination.

Funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Historic England, Stoke-on-Trent City Council and many other supporters, the Harper Street: Engagement in Heritage project has recently broken ground. In total, £2.5m will be invested into the transformation of the long-derelict terrace and a programme of activities delivered with the local community.

Former pottery workers’ housing on Harper Street, Stoke-on-Trent.

The project will see the eleven former pottery workers’ houses that make up Harper Street regenerated into a new heritage attraction focusing on the domestic life of the early 20th century pottery worker, alongside workshop and retail space for seven creative businesses. The terrace will also contain a dedicated store for the Middleport Pottery collection and archive, and a public research space to allow people to study archive items, many of which will be digitised for the first time. A modern community centre will also be created, offering community activities and support services via Middleport Matters Community Trust and a Changing Places toilet facility will support visitors with additional needs.

Further details can be found here: Information — Harper Street — Re-form (re-form.org)