You may have seen this imposing building during your travels in the Great Haseley area of Oxfordshire. Sadly, it has fallen into neglect and the years have taken their toll. A major restoration project is now underway, aiming to return this historic building to its former glory. Follow the progress of the restoration in our blog....

The Restoration Team

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Stairway to heaven

The staircase from the ground floor to the stone floor was first thought to be beyond help. However, when removed from the mill, it was found to be in slightly better condition than suspected. Work has been going on to make a new staircase, incorporating as much of the original as possible. The curved sides were created using layers of elm glued together whilst clamped around a 'former'.

Fixing the staircase back to the mill could be interesting; the originall wooden blocks set into the stone seem to have been put in the wrong place. We shall see!.....

Friday, 13 November 2009

Restoration of the bolter

The bolter is badly decayed. Part of the original cabinet has been preserved and the remainder is being remade around it - using the original as a pattern. A new spindle is also being turned and shaped, with the original ironwork to be set in at each end.
The bolter cabinet, the back panel will be reused

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Threading the eye of the needle

The eastern Hurst frame beam, to support the stone floor, has been morticed and was ready to go into the mill. The 'easiest' way in was via the southern window. This had been filled in with block and brickwork some years ago. So, this was demolished and replaced with wooden shuttering. After a bit of modification to the internal scaffolding, we were ready for hoisting...

The beam almost in position (rebate should be uppermost)

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Hurst frame splices going in...

This is the south-western splice being lowered into place - the recess in the wall has already been cleaned up and a bed of brick/slate set in place.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Hurst frame reconstruction

The Hurst frame which supports the stone floor is being partially reconstructed. The original eastern beam is laying on top of the replacment, which will be morticed to match.  In the foreground are other new members which will be shaped to form the Hurst frame.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Rotten beam ends

Started work on the Hurst frame beams. The ends of the main transverse beams are set directly into the stone tower. The southern ends of both beams have virtually disappeared under the combined action of damp and boring insects. These are to be replaced; the rotten beam ends will be cut off and new pieces 'spliced' into place. This also involves a lot of stone work - raking out of the old cavity in the wall, creating a firm 'bed' for the new splice then making good.

The beam end, a lot of death watch beetle damage...

Preparing the beam for the splice joint

Friday, 17 July 2009

South stones lowered

The south pair of stones

The south pair of stones were in fairly good condition, with plenty of thickness left on the bedstone and runner. The plan was to lower the stones to the ground floor level, taking weight off the poor old beams and freeing up space for renewal of the stone floor.

Years of rust and pigeon deposits had resulted in the runner stone and its drive mechanism seizing together. After the application of chain blocks, scaffold tubes, rope, sweat and some cursing, the stone was finally freed and lowered, quickly (cough!) followed by the bed stone.

"ground floor - haberdashery, mens fashion and stones...."

Thursday, 16 July 2009

And so it begins.......

The 'before' shot! Hopefully in a few years there will be an 'after' shot with quite dramatic improvements.

Work has started on the restoration of Great Haseley windmill. The first job is not very pleasant - clearing out the masses of accumulated pigeon poo and the timber which is too far gone for preservation. Some of the more intact parts of the gearing will be recovered back to our workshop for attention.