Wealden landmark included on Heritage at Risk Register 2023
Publish Date: 9 November 2023
A familiar landmark in Wealden has been placed on a register in a bid to help save it and restore it to its former glory.
Polegate Windmill in Park Croft has been included in this year’s Heritage at Risk Register, which identifies historic sites most at risk and most in need of safeguarding for the future.
Historic England works with owners, friends groups, developers and other stakeholders to find solutions for those historic places and sites across England which are ‘at risk’ of being lost as a result of neglect, decay or inappropriate development.
Last year the Mint House in Westham and Cross-in Hand Windmill were included in the Heritage at Risk Register.
Polegate Windmill is a four-storey, brick tower windmill dating to 1817. It was built for milling oats and was operated by wind power until 1942.
Historic England says that rainwater leaking in from the cap and tower walls is causing damage to the large timber beams on all floors and eroding the mill’s brickwork. The beams which support the heavy mill stones and internal mechanism are currently propped.
As a result, there is no public access to the tower but the mini museum on the ground floor is open to visitors.
An active volunteer group is passionate about saving the building and fundraising for its repair. A comprehensive condition survey and work to improve the mill’s condition and make it weather tight is urgently required.
Councillor Ian Tysh, Alliance for Wealden (Green Party), and lead councillor for Planning and Environment, said, “Polegate Windmill is a grade II listed building which was built in 1817 and is rich in history that deserves to be saved. It is an important landmark within the district, and we welcome the protection of the site being added to Heritage at Risk Register.”
Across the south east, 15 sites have been added to the Heritage at Risk
Register 2023 – including and 25 sites saved.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the publication of the first national
Heritage at Risk Register. Since it began in 1998, around 6,800 entries have been removed, which is around three-quarters of the entries on the original Register.
Historic England awarded just over £1million in grants for repairs to 19 sites in the south east during 2022/2023.
Image: Heritage at Risk site: Polegate Windmill © Historic England