Wind in its sails once again

The iconic Marsh Mill will have its sails replaced as part of a revamp.
The iconic Marsh Mill will have its sails replaced as part of a revamp.
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A windmill will be revamped to give it a new lease of life after planners backed proposals to restore the historic site.

The Grade II* Listed Marsh Mill, in Thornton, will undergo a facelift to have its timber sails replaced, the removal of two windows – one on the ground floor and one on the top floor – and the replacement of the timber reefing stage around the second floor.

The 213-year-old building often opens to visitors and gives guided tours to the top of the mill as well as a unique introduction to the process of milling.

A report submitted to Wyre Council’s planning committee stated: “The surveys carried out to date show that the reefing stage (the outside walkway around the windmill) is beyond repair and therefore it is considered that full replacement is a reasonable and necessary option.

“The sails are also considered to be in poor condition and concern has informally been raised that they may cause a risk to health and safety.

“While the removal and replacement of the existing sails and reefing stage would result in some harm to the mill and should be considered a last resort, in this case, it is considered that the harm is less than substantial and the works are necessary to ensure the safeguarding of the long term future of the mill as a whole.”

Its extensive revamp, by owners Melrose Investments Ltd, is supported by English Heritage and the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings.

A spokesman for the English Heritage said: “We welcome the repair of the building and support the steps that are being taken to halt the decline of the mill.

“The works are the minimum necessary to safeguard the fabric of the building which is the correct approach.

“The replacement of all four sails is recommended.”

The mill is set in the centre of Marsh Mill Village, on Fleetwood Road North, and regularly runs exhibitions and workshops throughout the year.

Howard Phillips, vice- chairman of Thornton Action Group, said: “We see it as an icon and a symbol of Thornton and are very pleased work is going to be done in order to restore it and we welcome that.

“People in Thornton don’t want to see it crumble, they want to see it maintained and it is the one mill on the Fylde coast with all of the machinery still in it which makes it very special.”

The cost of the project has not yet been revealed.

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