New heritage centre for Sneath’s Mill at Lutton Gowts?

Pictured at the mill in 2012 are David Clownes, Graham Warrender, Jim Conlay, trust chairman Kay Jenkinson and trust secretary Bobbie Ashton. SG090912-134TW
Pictured at the mill in 2012 are David Clownes, Graham Warrender, Jim Conlay, trust chairman Kay Jenkinson and trust secretary Bobbie Ashton. SG090912-134TW
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A first step towards the estimated £1.5million restoration of an internationally important windmill complex could see an on-site former piggery converted to a heritage centre.

Sneath’s Mill Trust Ltd is seeking planning consent to convert the piggery, which will provide new office space and a comfortable place for experts restoring mill machinery as well as an area to exhibit artefacts from the mill.

But work on the mill in Roman Bank, Lutton Gowts, can only be completed if grants are made.

Trust company secretary Bobbie Ashton said: “It will happen one day because the mill is a Grade 1 listed building so it’s not just nationally important, it’s internationally important.

“Somebody, some day, has got to say ‘this mill needs renovating’ and come up with the money – either that or it’s just going to fall down.”

The octagonal, brick mill tower was built in 1779 and contains a lot of early wooden machinery, which at present can only be viewed from the entrance doors at certain times of the year.

Conversion of the piggery is expected to cost around £90,000.

Bobbie Ashton said work will include replacing an existing asbestos roof and lowering the roof line.

She said: “It’s a pretty ugly building. We want to make it beautiful.”

Trust members are now waiting to see if South Holland District Council grants planning permission for the work.

Trust chairman Kay Jenkinson said Sneath’s Mill is unique and it’s believed to be the only octagonal in the country. She said timbers in the mill may have come from an earlier windmill on the site.

Sneath’s Mill only opens at certain times of the year but the interior can only be viewed from the doorway.

This year saw the mill open in May for the National Mills Weekend as well as Saturdays and Sundays through August.

• Is South Holland’s windmill heritage important to you? Email spaldingeditor@jpress.co.uk