Tag Archives: builders

Repairs to Bourn Windmill

Summary = Timber repairs to Bourn Windmill - the oldest windmill in the UK

Location = Caxton, Cambridge

Repairs to Bourn Windmill = This open trestle post mill is the oldest surviving windmill in the UK, and is Grade II Listed and designated an Ancient Monument. The entire weight of this windmill is supported on a central post, which is supported by a trestle. We have raised the buck by approx. 100mm clear of the main post to carry out urgent repairs to the timber trestle.

Repairs to Bourn Windmill include installing replacement trestles constructed from air dried oak (minimum 4 yeas fallen). A traditional joint will be formed by hand and held in place with iron brackets & rods. Bakers will construct four replacement brick piers) which will need to cure for 28 days before any loading is placed on them.

How Trestle Post Mills Work

The post mill is the earliest type of European windmill. It's defining feature is that the whole body of the mill that houses the machinery is mounted on a single vertical post, around which it can be turned to bring the sails into the wind. It takes around two or three people to turn the mill around to bring the sails into the wind, and although it is a dramatic job it is fairly easy to do so. All post mills have an arm projecting from them on the side opposite the sails and reaching down to near ground level.

Bourn Mill Project Tours

The mill is currently closed whilst repair works are being carried out to the rotted timber trestle - however the general public enjoyed seeing the work in action during two project tours which took place in July and August 2022.

History of Bourn Windmill

The earliest written record of Bourn Mill was made in 1636. This style of mill has barely been changed since the 13th century. In 2021, scientists attempted to age the timbers in the mill and concluded that the tree that provided the huge timber for the main post in the mill was cut down during 1513-49, making it the oldest wood in any mill in the UK. Various structures and parts on the mill were replaced over the centuries as they wore out or rotted. The machinery dates from the 19th century and the trestle was renewed using oak in 1874.

Save Bourn Mill

Works to the save the mill are being supported by significant grants from the Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic England. To find out more about the Save Bourn Windmill Appeal click here.

Church Redecoration

Summary = Church redecoration and repair to St Bartholomew Church in Wickham Bishops

Location = Wickham Bishops, Essex

Solution = Bakers recently carried out the ornate decoration of the church to St Bartholomew in Wickham Bishops.

St Bartholomew’s is Grade II listed and is a fine example of Victorian Gothic church architecture.  The church was built in 1850 by Sarah Leigh in memory of her father, the Reverend. Thomas Leigh who was Rector from 1803 to 1843.  The church was designed by Ewin Christian and is built of Kentish Ragstone and Caen stone. It replaces the redundant St Peter’s church to the west, over the disused railway line. The 120 foot high spire is a local landmark visible from the A12.

Find out more about the Diocesan Advisory Committee Design Awards Scheme  click here.

Bourn Windmill Project Tour

The public were given the opportunity to see and learn about the major conservation and restoration work being carried out by Bakers of Danbury, to save Bourn Windmill. The open trestle post mill is oldest surviving windmill in the UK, Grade II Listed and designated an Ancient Monument. The entire weight of the body is supported on a central post, which is then supported by a trestle. The sails of the mill have to face squarely into the wind and to achieve this the entire mill is rotated around the central post. The mill is currently closed because the supporting beams have rotted - however work to save the mill is underway and the general public enjoyed seeing the work in action during to project tours which took place in July and August.

Works to the save the mill are being supported by significant grants from the Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic England.

To find out more about the Save Bourn Windmill Appeal click here.

Newsletter (Summer 2022)

We have had the privilege to work on some beautiful historical buildings and homes again this year. In addition to those detailed within this newsletter, other interesting projects currently underway include underpinning to a redundant church in Mundon, repairs to Ancient Monuments Cressing Temple Barns (medieval barns which were the earliest and largest possessions of the Knights Templar) and Bourn Windmill (an open trestle post mill, one of the oldest surviving windmills in the UK). We are also back at Campion School in Hornchurch, to build a large extension and refurbish the extension we built over 12 years ago.

Since our last newsletter, our projects recently won the following prestige awards:

  • Gold Award at The City of London's Considerate Contractor Scheme Awards 2022. The City of London said the decision was based on the overall performance of all personnel working on St Lawrence Jewry.
  • Commended for Best Conservation, Alteration, or Extension of an Existing Building (under £2m) at the Greater Cambridge Design and Construction Awards. Former Mill Road Library in Cambridge.

Click on the image below to open the newsletter as a PDF document. To read about other projects we are working on, please visit our service pages or follow us on LinkedIn and Facebook.

bakers of danbury newsletter 2022