Windmill is added to list of buildings at risk of decay by heritage trust

Thaxted windmill. Picture: Saffron Photo

Thaxted windmill. Picture: Saffron Photo - Credit: Archant

A Thaxted windmill has been added to this year’s Heritage at Risk Register, it has been announced.

The trustees of John Webb's Windmill, which was built in 1804 for the farmer and businessman John Webb, have welcomed the decision, made by Historic England to include the mill among buildings in Essex at risk of being lost through decay.

The mill was in operation for 100 years and is the only remaining windmill in the area, however there is extensive damp internally from eroded brickwork and widespread mould on internal walls.

The windmill is currently closed and was added to the register in April this year, however Historic England only publicly announced which landmarks had been added to the list last month.

A spokesman for the trustees said: "The decision to add John Webb's Windmill to the register has been welcomed by the trustees. The windmill is in urgent need of restoration and repairs and this endorsement will aid the fundraising campaign that lies ahead.

"Once sufficient funds have been acquired, the first stage of the work will involve repairs to the brick tower and internal timbers and, when this is completed, it is hoped that the windmill will reopen to the public. Repairs to the sails and fantail will then be considered in order to render the windmill fully operational once again.

"The trustees are dedicated to ensuring that future generations will be able to continue to benefit from visiting this iconic landmark and would like to acknowledge the support from the parish council."

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Thaxted Parish Council owns the windmill and more than £100,000, raised through open days and other events, has been spent on restoring the tower mill.

Tony Calladine, regional director for Historic England in the East of England, said: "Our heritage needs to be saved and investing in heritage pays. It helps to transform the places where we live, work and visit, creating successful and distinctive places for us and for future generations to enjoy.

"There are buildings still on the Heritage at Risk Register that are ideal for rescue and capable of being brought back into meaningful use and generating an income, contributing to the local community and economy."