What’s going on?
It’s an exciting time at Nether Alderley Mill! The mill has been closed for a while now because it’s needed some crucial restoration work to its unique grit-stone roof, but we’ve been able to find the funds to go ahead with this work. Read on to find out more…
Over the years the great weight of Nether Alderley Mill’s fabulous, locally-source roof has warped its timber frame, causing the roof to sink. The mill has been closed to the general public until the crucial conservation work could start to rectify this situation and ensure that the mill remains in one piece for the enjoyment of future generations.
Excitingly, the National Trust has managed to find enough money to allow us to do this work and to reopen the mill to the general public. To do so, we’ve enlisted the expertise of several contractors, including the architects at Wiles & Maguire and Adrian Walker and his conservation team at Lambert Walker to remove the entire roof, make repairs to the structure and put back as much of the original stone roof as possible.
If you’ve already been to Nether Alderley Mill, you’ll already know that the mill really comes to life when the waterwheels and the cogs are turning and the mill-stones are grinding. So to ensure we can continue to bring Nether Alderley Mill to life in this way, we’re seizing the opportunity, while the roof is off, to spruce up all the internal machinery including the waterwheels. We have a specialist team of millwrights on the job so that our future visitors can see the mill working at its best!
What will the mill look like when the work is finished?
Hopefully it will look very much as it does now! There may be a little replacement stone on the roof where original roof slabs have had to be replaced, and we’re also hoping to put a ramp alongside the building to allow improved access to the building. We have been working with our own curators and with the conservation office at Cheshire East Council to make sure this is done sympathetically.
Inside, we’ll be tidying up a great deal, making sure all the main machinery and the waterwheels are in working order so that we can offer guided tours for our visitors, and eventually, we’re hoping to be able to mill flour on the stones once more…
How long will it take?
As with any project on an historic building, we need to be careful and thorough in our approach and adapt our plans as we learn more at each stage of work. At the moment, we hope to have the major construction works completed by mid summer 2012 and re-open the site to visitors by September 2012.
Do you have any more questions about the work at Nether Alderley Mill, or are you interested in getting involved? Drop us a line and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible, or visit the Nether Alderley Mill website.