Work to restore a West Sussex landmark is nearing completion after its four 15ft sails were hoisted into position this week.
The sails – known locally as sweeps, were put back in their rightful place on Halnaker Windmill to return the Grade II listed building to its former glory.
Deborah Urquhart, West Sussex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “This historic monument is much loved by residents across West Sussex and we know people have been patiently waiting for the windmill to be returned to its original state.
“A lot of hard work and effort has gone into the restoration of the windmill and this could not have been achieved without the dedicated work of council staff and local contractors.
“With the whole building being brought back from the brink over the past five years, I cannot wait for new generations to enjoy Halnaker Windmill as so many have done before.”
Work has been ongoing at the site since 2013, when the windmill was fenced off for safety reasons and a number of other issues with the building were discovered.
In 2017, phase one of the restoration came to a close when the tile hung façade (consisting of approximately 14,000 hand crafted tiles) was completed by Fowler Building Contractors from Cowfold and supported by a consultant from Brodie Plant Goddard based in Dorking.
The next stage of development, if planning approval is gained, is to install a door and metal fencing around the building.
The council has been working with local business RB Construction Group Ltd in Burgess Hill to restore and reinstate the sweeps.
Jeremy Hunt, West Sussex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources, said: “I am delighted that we have finally been able to re-fit the sails to the recently restored Halnaker Windmill. This iconic Sussex landmark can once again be seen for miles around in its full glory.
“This is a project I have championed for a number of years and I would like to thank our team at West Sussex County Council, as well as all the contractors involved in the restoration, who have worked so hard to bring this project to fruition.
“There are still some finishing touches, such as some railings to be completed, but the windmill can once again take pride of place, situated high on the South Downs.”
You can find out more about the building and the site by visiting www.westsussex.gov.uk and searching ‘Halnaker Windmill’.