Lacey Green Windmill, Buckinghamshire
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FURTHER INFORMATION WILL BE MADE AVAILABLE HERE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE
Foot and Mouth Disease closes windmill
During 2001 the windmill did not open to the public at all, due to the restrictions placed on people visiting farms with livestock.
Windmill on BBC's Country File - March 2006
On 12th March 2006, the BBC's Country File programme included a look at the Chilterns by John Craven, as part of a series on different ranges of hills around the country. Lacey Green windmill was included in the programme, as well as some other local places of interest.
This photograph shows John Craven with the late Christopher Wallis, the man who has led the restoration of the windmill since it was started in 1971.
Windmill in Daily Mail (Weekend Magazine) - May 2006
On Saturday 6th May 2006, the windmill had a short mention in an article about windmills and National Mills Weekend. However, please do not believe that I (Michael Hardy) am the miller (as stated in the article). I am just the Honorary Secretary of our committee. We do not have a miller as the mill is not working, but restored to working order. Also, Christopher Wallis (not Wallace) was not a SPAB expert (as stated in the article). He was a civil engineer who devised the methods of restoration, and then organised the restoration of Lacey Green windmill, teaching many volunteers along the way.
National Mills Weekend - May 2006
Lacey Green Windmill was open on Sunday 14th May. We were able to have the sails turning all afternoon, which we did as our small tribute to Christopher Wallis, who had died just 4 days earlier.
For some more details and pictures of Sunday 14th May 2006, please click here.
Buckinghamshire Windmills Open to the Public in 2007
For many years, 5 windmills have been open to the public in Buckinghamshire. These are the tower mills at Quainton and Old Bradwell (Milton Keynes), the smock mill at Lacey Green, and the post mills at Pitstone and Brill. Sadly, for 2007 the total was down to just 4, as Brill was not able to open at all. It is in need of some repair, but appears to have been closed on Health and Safety grounds (by its owners Buckinghamshire County Council) because of "tripping hazards and low ceilings". We have low ceilings at Lacey Green, as do many mills, and all our visitors are warned that they have to take great care in such historic buildings, which is something that they seem to quite accept.
National Mills Weekend - May 2007
In 2007 the weekend had the worst possible weather for windmills which use canvas sailcloths. Because of the amount of rain during the day (Sunday 13th May), we were not able to fit the sailcloths because once they get wet, it is very difficult to get them dry for storage. It would also be hazardous to climb wet and slippery sails. However, soon after 2 pm the rain virtually stopped until about 5 pm, and a good breeze from the east was enough to keep the sails (without cloths) turning for most of the afternoon. Due to the age of the wooden machinery, the brake wheel is disconnected from the wallower, so there is no load of machinery operating in the mill. However the wind still has to turn about five and a half tons of timber in the sails, windshaft and brake wheel. The advantage of being 750 feet above sea level is that if there is any wind at all, then we will usually benefit from it at Lacey Green.
SPAB Mills Section Visit - May 2007
On 19th May 2007, the SPAB Mills Section visited some windmills in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire. Their first windmill of the day was Lacey Green which was bathed in sunshine following a couple of very wet weeks. There was even enough breeze to turn the sails, without their canvas sailcloths. At one time virtually all the 62 visitors had scattered themselves across the four floors of the windmill, proving how many people you can actually get into a smock mill. As usual, with this type of visit, the members varied from those who had been to the windmill many times before, through to those who were visiting for the first time.
To see the web site of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings Mills Section, click here: Mills Section of SPAB (This link is set to open in a new window)
This photograph shows the group receiving an introduction on their arrival at Lacey Green.
Lacey Green School Visit - June 2007
During the morning of Monday 11th June 2007, 96 children (aged 8 and 9) visited the windmill. They had previously been studying some of the history of the village. They were told how the windmill would have related to village life, and how it would have played a vital role in helping to provide food for the local people. They were then given a tour of the upper three floors of the windmill, seeing some of the mill's machinery. All the children also drew the outside of the windmill, and it is hoped that some of their work will soon be made available on this web site.
Christopher Wallis - Inspiration, Conservation, Celebration - An Exhibition - July to Sept 2007
This exhibition was held at the The Environment Centre on Holywell Mead in High Wycombe between 14th July and 8th September 2007. It looked at many aspects of the life and work of this local engineer, who was promoting sustainability long before it became fashionable. For some pictures from the opening ceremony, and a list of some of the topics included in the exhibition, please click here: CW Exhibition
Admission Fees to Lacey Green Windmill for 2008
It has been decided that Admission Fees will have to be increased for 2008. It will be the first increase since 2001, but it is always our intention to ensure that the windmill will always be a reasonably affordable place to visit. As stated in the box above, the fees will be £1.50 for an adult, and 75p for a child under the age of 16.
Local Map now available on this website - Jan 2008
A local map showing routes to Lacey Green Windmill has now been added to the Information for Visitors page of this web site. The travel information for Road, Bus, Train, and Foot access has also been updated. The Map, Road Travel, Bus/Train/Foot Travel information are also all available as 3 pdf pages, suitable for printing. For all these, click on: Information for Visitors
'Your Chilterns' - Visitor Attractions in the Chilterns - Feb 2008
A new page was added to this website on 17th February which gives brief details of many places which open to visitors in the Chilterns. This is to coincide with a new leaflet published by The Chiltern Society entitled 'Your Chilterns', which details the three properties that the society opens. The leaflet also has details of the Society's 28 footpath maps of the Chilterns, with a map showing their coverage, the map also shows 45 places to visit. Details of a total of 65 places to visit are available here: Visitor Attractions in the Chilterns
Buckinghamshire Windmills Open to the Public in 2008
In 2008, Brill Windmill is now opening to the public again, after it was closed for 2007.
BBC Three Counties Radio "Treasure Quest" - 6th April 2008.
This programme was due to visit the windmill on Sunday 6th April 2008. The Treasure Quest started by going to Buckingham instead of Princes Risborough, so did not have time to visit Lacey Green Windmill, and spoke to us on the telephone instead. The team subsequently drove down to Aylesbury and circled around Lacey Green visiting Great Missenden, Bradenham and travelling through Princes Risborough on their way to Stoke Mandeville. The last clue would have brought them back to Askett, near Princes Risborough. Earlier that morning we had about 3 inches of snow as can be seen on this photo taken at 9.30.
Wednesday 7th May 2008
Unfortunately, one publication we asked to include our details for opening during National Mills Weekend, printed the wrong date, stating that we would be open on Wednesday 7th May. This was then copied into at least one other magazine and a couple of websites. We arranged for corrections to be made to the dates shown wherever we knew it was wrong. If you had a wasted journey to see the windmill open, please come back and see us another day.
Windmills in Buckinghamshire on National Mills Weekend - 10th and 11th May 2008
There may be some reports in the press which state that Lacey Green is the only windmill planning to have its sails turning on Sunday 11th May. This is not correct as Quainton windmill will hope to be milling and producing flour on that morning as they have now been doing for some time. Lacey Green is the only windmill planning to have its sails turning in the Chilterns, but as always, this strictly depends on the weather at the time.
National Mills Weekend - May 2008
During this annual weekend, which was on 10th and 11th May in 2008, as many mills as possible were open and working.
Lacey Green Windmill was open on the Sunday (11th May) only. Despite a lack of wind in the morning, the sails turned for most of a hot afternoon. Although the windmill has been restored to working order, due to the age of the wooden machinery in the windmill, we are not able to use the machinery to grind flour.
For a personal view of our day, when we welcomed 2 other organisations to the windmill, please click on NMW - 2008
For further information on National Mills Weekend for previous years at Lacey Green Windmill, click on Special Events
The weekend is coordinated by the Mills Section of SPAB (Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings). For their information on National Mills Weekend click on: SPAB - Mills Section
For further information on previous National Mills Weekends, click on: Windmill World - Previous NMW
(all the above external links are set to open in new windows)
Painting of Windmill - June 2008
Between Friday 6th June and Wednesday 11th June 2008 the body (or smock) and cap of Lacey Green windmill were painted black. This was done by a team of 4 of our committee members, together with 7 other volunteers, with 3 or 4 on site each day. We are very grateful to all of them for their help. In the photo below, Geoff and Michael are approaching the front of the sails, to reach in between them, to paint the front of the cap. For more details and pictures, click on Painting 2008 (This page contains many photos and may take some time to load on a slow internet connection)
Fantail Mechanism Repairs - June 2008
During the painting work in early June, we became aware that the fantail mechanism needed repairing after 25 years of service in turning the cap so that the main sails always face the wind in the very exposed position of Lacey Green windmill. The fantail was removed on Friday 13th June, shown in the photo below. For more details and pictures, click on Fantail 2008 (This page contains many photos and may take some time to load on a slow internet connection)
Fantail Repairs Complete - August 2008
By the beginning of August, the repairs to the mechanism were complete and the fantail had been given a new coat of paint. The crane returned and replaced the fantail on Thursday 7th August, since when the cap has been free to turn into the wind once again. The photo below shows the repaired fantail on its way back up to the top of the windmill.
National Mills Weekend - May 2009
During this annual weekend, which was on 9th and 10th May in 2009, as many mills as possible were open and working.
Lacey Green Windmill was open on the Sunday (10th May) only. We did not have enough wind to keep the sails turning, but it was a dry day and plenty of visitors came to see the mill and the other attractions that were there for the day. Although the windmill has been restored to working order, due to the age of the wooden machinery in the windmill, we are not able to use the machinery to grind flour.
An item of jewellery was found near the windmill on 10th May, if you have lost an item please send information about it using the contact details below.
For my personal view of our day, click on: NMW - 2009 The page includes access to a 5 minute video taken by a visitor on the day.
For further information on National Mills Weekend for previous years at Lacey Green Windmill, click on: Special Events
The weekend is coordinated by the Mills Section of SPAB (Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings). For their information on National Mills Weekend click on: SPAB - Mills Section (set to open in new window or tab)
For further information on previous National Mills Weekends, click on: Windmill World - Previous NMW (set to open in new window or tab)
Tourist Signposts - May 2009
I am pleased to report that our Brown Tourist Signposts have been installed to direct visitors from the A4010, and once they arrive in Lacey Green, a sign directs them down Pink Road for parking, and another sign shows the location of the footpath to the windmill. As we are only open on around 25 afternoons each year, the signs are folded away at times the windmill is closed. We are very grateful to the Chilterns Conservation Board for their assistance, enabling us to have these signs fitted. For further information on the Chilterns Conservation Board, click on: Chilterns AONB (set to open in new window or tab)
Painting of Sails - August 2009
Between Saturday 15th and Sunday 23rd August five of our volunteers painted the sails of the windmill. We were extremely lucky to find a virtually fine week during another wet summer. We were also very grateful to be loaned a cherry-picker for the week to enable us to access the sails.
For further details of this painting project for 2009, click on: Painting 2009
January 2010 - Extreme Winter Weather
The weather, before and after Christmas, brought disruption across the country, with the inevitable "snow photos" appearing everywhere, so below is a photo of how the windmill looks after nearly a foot of snow fell on Wednesday 6th January.
Taken on a rather duller day, the photo below shows the view looking SW, from the fan stage, the platform at the back of the cap.
However, neither of the above photos show how extreme the weather had been. Snow thawed very slowly in the occasional sunshine, but as soon as the melted snow drips into the shade it was re-frozen, causing ice and icicles to form. They soon built up in a spectacular way, such as the 8 foot examples in the photo below, on a property just 5 minutes walk from the windmill.
The windmill also suffered from a freezing problem, with ice forming around one of the fantail shaft bearings, stopping the fantail from turning. The ice was chipped away on Sunday 10th January at around 9 am.
National Mills Weekend - May 2010
During this annual weekend, on 8th and 9th May in 2010, as many mills as possible were open and working.
Lacey Green Windmill was, as always, open on the Sunday (9th May) only. We had extended opening hours from 11.00 am to 5.30 pm. Despite a misty and damp start, the weather allowed us to have the sails turning, and a good wind kept them moving all day. However the wind was from the NE and it was a very cold day. In time a fuller report on the day will be put on this website.
Chiltern Way 10th Anniversary - Lacey Green walk on BH Monday 31st May 2010.
The Chiltern Way footpath passes within a few yards of the windmill. 2010 was the 10th anniversary of the Chiltern Way, and the Chiltern Society organised many walks to mark the anniversary.
At 10 am on Bank Holiday Monday 31st May there was a walk at Lacey Green, led by a local naturalist, John Tyler. It was followed by an optional special opening of the windmill for those who had been on the walk.
The walk was described as follows: A
leisurely 3-mile nature walk from Lacey Green Village Hall at 10.00 am, down
Highwood Bottom, through Monkton Wood and back along the Chiltern Way to finish
at Lacey Green windmill. The walk involves a few moderate slopes and 8
stiles, and can be muddy. After the walk, there will be a special opening
of the 17th century windmill for the walkers. John Tyler is a local naturalist who
now leads walks and is a very popular lecturer. See his website at
Windmill Rewiring and New lighting - August 2010.
In June and July 2010 a new electricity supply was run to the windmill. The windmill has been completely rewired and new lighting has been installed. Enclosed bulkhead fittings have been used which are all fitted with energy saving light bulbs. Energy Saving Floodlights have also been installed to light the interior of the cap, which is now easier to see, particularly on dull days. Despite their now being 36 light fittings within the windmill, the total power consumption is less than 450 watts.
The work was part of a project that was assisted by the Leader programme of the EU and DEFRA.
Thank you for looking at www.laceygreenwindmill.org.uk
This page was last updated on 18th October 2013.
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