By Tristan Harris 04/01 Updated: 04/01 21:18
THE HISTORIC windmill at Avoncroft Museum, which dates back almost 200 years, fell victim to the high winds and stormy weather, which lashed the area on Monday (January 2).
One of the iconic building's sails snapped completely off, with the broken part of it piercing the roof of the windmill's lower section, causing damage which will cost around £5,000 to repair.
The windmill, which was rescued from Danzey Green near Tanworth-in-Arden in the late 1960s and rebuilt at the museum, dates back to between 1790 and 1810.
Avoncroft's director Simon Carter said he was horrified when he returned to work to find the broken windmill.
"This unexpected damage will have a major impact on the museum’s resources.
"As an independent charitable museum which collects buildings, there is always a long ongoing maintenance plan, but unexpected damage such as this sometimes has to take priority."
The last restoration work, to the windmill's tailpole and wheel, cost more than £3,000 and was only carried out at the end of last year.
Funded partly by an anonymous donation, it was aimed at restoring the mill to an operational condition and there were plans to start up a training programme for museum volunteers to learn how to 'sail the mill' and produce flour, ready for this year's season.
That will now have to be postponed until the sail has been fully repaired and installed and that is likely to delay any planned restoration work to some of the venue's other historic buildings.
"The repair and restoration costs of looking after historic buildings at Avoncroft can be much higher than for museums where their collections are safely stored in galleries and display cases,” added Mr Carter.
Anyone wanting more information should call Avoncroft Museum, call 01527 831363 or 01527 831886 or visit: www.avoncroft.org.uk.
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