Restoring Horsey Windpump

the brown wind shaft and break wheel being lifted from Horsey Windpump by a large yellow crane

In March 2016 we kicked off an ambitious and exciting three phase restoration project at Horsey that will not only see the sails replaced, but aims to restore the Windpump to full working order. 

Three years ago the sails were removed from Horsey Windpump after they become rotten and started to fall apart. Now work is being carried out to bring this Windpump back to life, a stepping-stone towards getting her fully operational and working in the Norfolk landscape once more.

The sails were removed from Horsey Windpump in April 2014
a crane removing a sail from Horsey Windpump

The current cap from which the sails were removed is rotten and was removed, from the top of the tower by a sixty tonne crane on 30 March 2016 and placed on the ground beside it, ready to be loaded onto a lorry and transported to our millwright’s workshop.  

The cap being lifted from Horsey Windpump
the cap being lifted from the horsey windpump tower by a big yellow crane

Over the course of the last year, the cap and structure has been repaired and conserved and the sails are being re-made to a historic pattern.

The National Trust has committed to spending £244,000 to complete phase one which will see the cap and sails reinstated. The new cap will rotate to face the sails into the wind giving a different view of Horsey Windpump every single day.

In May 2017 on a lovely warm, sunny day the newly conserved and repaired cap was lifted back onto Horsey Windpump watched by 150 people. It was a rather nerve wracking day for Millwright Tim Whiting and his team as the whole weight of the cap and brake wheel were unknown but a 130 tonne crane - the largest available - expertly lifted the cap in one go and after a short period of it dangling above the tower it was successfully lowered onto the tower.

The newly restored cap is lifted up towards Horsey Windpump by a 130 tonne crane in May 2017
the large round wooden cap is hung from a large green crane arm as it is lifted up towards the red brick tower of Horsey Windpump against a blue sky

The cap requires some bedding in time to ensure it is able to wind (turn) correctly and then once the sails are completed they will be lifted back onto the windpump which will see them turning for the very first time in nearly 75 years.

Phase two will also commence in 2017 which will see the shutters and striking gear fitting to the sails meaning their speed can be better controlled and help to keep this iconic Norfolk Broads building in operation.

Latest posts

24 Nov 17

Cap is winded for the first time

Horsey's cap is now able to be winded (turned) by hand and is facing the other way for the first time in over six months. This is a momentous occasion as it is important that the cap can wind correctly when the sails are fitted and turning.

a sunset photo of horsey windpump reflected in the water of the staithe with reeds on the right of the photo

24 Oct 17

Millwrights just hanging around!

This week millwright Tim Whiting has been fitting the new petticoat onto the cap of Horsey Windpump. This requires a real head for heights as he has to hang off the building on a rope whilst working.

The millwright is hanging off the side of the red brick tower of Horsey Windpump underneatth the white wooden cap

15 Oct 17

New turbine shed for Horsey Windpump

Horsey Windpump now has a newly constructed turbine shed which encloses the metal work for the turbine (See 5 May 2017 update). There is still to be some work done to complete it but it is being made to match the original shed built in 1912.

a white wooden shed with a silver coregated tin roof attached to the side of the red brick tower of horsey windpump