Gallery: Delicate operation as cap is removed from Burwell Mill

Burwell Mill decapitation day.The 6-ton cap was finally lifted off Burwell Mill. Picture: Steve Will

Burwell Mill decapitation day.The 6-ton cap was finally lifted off Burwell Mill. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

The cap on Burwell’s historic mill was hoisted off by crane yesterday as part of an £420,000 restoration project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

An enormous 65-ton crane carried out the delicate lifting operation, as dozens of nervous supporters from Burwell Museum gathered to watch.

The procedure had been due to take place earlier this year but had to be postponed at the last minute because of a flurry of snow and ice.

The cap, which weighs in at six tons, was lifted off and placed on the grass beside the mill before a temporary flat roof was placed on top to protect it from rain while repairs are being carried out. The Grade II*-listed mill’s cap roof is being removed as it is seized in position and cannot be turned by the six-bladed fantail. The safest method of repairing the cap is to lift it off the tower and work on it at ground level.

Over the summer months, the mill will be encased in scaffolding to allow conservation builders to work on the external lime render, to re-tar the tower and to repair and re-paint the windows.


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Restoration on the mill, built in about 1820, is expected to be ongoing until spring next year, when it will be returned to full working condition.

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