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

Monday, 16 May 2016

National Mills Weekend

Thanks to all those who visited the mill on Saturday 14th May 2016, we hope you found it interesting. Luckily, there was just enough wind to power the sails for a short while.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Mill Open for National Mills Weekend

Saturday 14th May 2016

Open 2:00pm to 4:30pm

Weather permitting, sails turning from approximately 3pm

No parking by the mill unfortunately, but parking is possible in Great Haseley - just a short walk to the mill.

Friday, 27 June 2014

Before..........and after

Sails and fantail fitted at last, Wednesday 25th June 2014

After a bit of a wait for the ground to dry out again after a wet spell, we were ready to fit the fantail and sails.

The wind was initially a bit fresh, which made fitting the fantail slightly interesting (a large surface area to volume ratio=not very stable dangling off a cable). With another guide rope attached, however, the shaft was soon guided into its waiting bearings, and the bearing caps were swiftly fitted thereafter! At this stage the fan was left tied off, as we wanted to turn the cap manually. (The next day we tested it properly and it turned the cap from 90 degrees out of the wind, into wind with no problems.)

So, next came the sails. The first sail was lifted onto its stock and bolted/clamped into place. The 'empty' bit of stock was then lowered through the canister (the metal box at the end of the windshaft); thankfully it fitted. The second sail was then lifted and bolted/clamped to the stock. This was probably the most time consuming part of the day, as the two bolt holes could not be brought into alignment. It became evident that the sail needed trimming slightly to fit alongside the canister. This sorted the problem, and a bit of persuasion soon had the sail fixed in place.

After a bit of struggle getting the sails turned 90 degrees using the crane and a bit of leg power inside the cap (think hamster wheel), the process was repeated for the second pair of sails. These went on much more quickly (maybe we were getting the hang of it by now).

8 hours condensed into a few paragraphs!

We were back the next day to tidy up the wedging which locks the sails into place and to test the fantail. Longer term, the sails will be fitted with canvas, then we'll really see how she fares. All being well, the mill is capable of producing flour, but it is a very old machine, so we'll have to build up to that gradually. No doubt there'll be plenty of adjustments to be made along the way.

Just about to lift the fantail
A perfect fit

Fantail installed, now for the sails. (The paragliding enthusiast in me was trying to ignore the epic-looking sky at this point!)

Lifting the first sail onto the stock

Swinging the first sail over to the stock

Lining up the sail and stock

Almost there

Bolting the sail to the stock and getting ready to fit the clamps

First sail and stock dropped into the canister, now lifting the second sail for fixing to the stock

Repeat for the second pair of sails, and there you have it

Not a bad way to end the day

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Even closer to sails going on...

Another step forward today; moving the stocks and sails from storage over to the mill. Actual fitting should be soon...

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

National Mills Day  Sunday 11th May

The mill will be open on Sunday from 11am until 5pm. We would be delighted to show you around. Come and have a look in the new cap, and for those with a head for heights, there's a great view from the fan stage!

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Sailing along, part 2

So, more progress with the sails. All four were finished a while ago - we then moved onto making the stocks. These are the large timbers which fit into the end of the windshaft, and onto which the sails are fixed. Here's one being cut to size with our new saw - nothing subtle about working with sail timbers....

After all the sail timbers were finished, they were sent away for pressure treating with preservative. We then waited for a while (whilst working on another project) for the timbers to dry, to help with paint adhesion.

In the meantime, we laid the whips onto the stocks temporarily, to drill through both for the bolt fixings. We figured this would be a lot easier on the ground than half way up a mill in a hoist. It was still a hassle though, much thanks to our helpful farmers for the moving machinery.

Positioning one of the whips for drilling

More recently, we have moved onto painting the sails. Very smart they look too. Shouldn't be too long now before putting them up. Watch this space.