Members of a windmill restoration society were thrilled when their mill was chosen as the ‘star’ of a television programme about historic buildings.
The Argos Hill mill featured in the BBC programme Restoring England’s Heritage.
Chair of the Friends of Argos Hill Windmill, Jenny Beaupain said: “We were delighted when we heard producers were going to feature it. Getting involved in the programme was a bit more glamorous than some of the work we do!”
Currently the Friends are painstakingly restoring the mill, first built for the Weston family round about 1835.
After parts of the mill were badly damaged, it was partially restored, then struck by lightning in 1963 and even more seriously wrecked by the great hurricane in 1987.
Argos Hill mill was taken over by Uckfield Rural District Council in 1955 and costs shared with ESCC. It was placed on English Heritage’s ‘at risk’ register in 2002 and in 2008 Wealden District Council threatened to dismantle and put it into storage.
In 2010 the Trust was formed and took over the mill from the council. A major fundraising campaign began the following year.
The Trust now aims to restore the mill to full working order and ensure it is preserved for future generations. To do this it needs to raise the initial sum of £100,000.
Work has begun to make it waterproof and structurally sound. Then sails will be installed that are capable of free wheeling before the job is finally completed to everyone’s satisfaction. Jenny said: “The method by which we carry out this restoration work is absolutely nailed between our windmill experts, Wealden’s listed buildings team and English Heritage. All agree some timbers have to be repaired. A supporting steel structure has been put in.
“The next stage is to lift it up and attach timbers – that will happen in spring. At present teams are busy painting weatherboarding.”