Previous restorations of Horsey Windpump

Horsey Windpump with sails on a sunny day with cows standing in a field in front

The current restoration project at Horsey certainly isn't the first with many restoration and repair projects happening during its lifetime.

  • The cap of the old Horsey ‘Black Mill’ was blown off into the road, following a gale in 1895. Repairs to the top of the mill were carried out in 1897 when a new cap was fitted.
  • By 1912 the tower structure was in a dangerous condition, so the mill was dismantled by hand, brick by brick, almost to ground level. The cap of the mill, still in excellent condition, was reputedly smashed during the process of supporting it – leaving the sails in place - while the tower was taken down. An expensive accident!
  • Then in a storm surge in February 1938, a breach of the sea defences at Horsey flooded 15 square miles of the surrounding land.
  • In July 1943 a lightning strike put the four sails out of action and the diesel pump, which had been installed four years earlier to the windmill, took over.
  • The mill’s damaged sails were removed in 1956. Although repairs to the cap and fan stage were completed three years later, the mill remained without sails or fantail until 1962. This was when the mill was given new sails without shutters or a spider – changing the sails from their historic pattern.
  • During the great gales of 1987 the building succumbed to the extreme weather conditions and the cap was severely damaged, the sails rendered inoperable and the fantail was blown off. Repair works followed and the building was reopened to visitors in 1990.
  • And now… 2014, the sails and fan stage have been removed once more and the start of a new period of repair ensues