Windmill Conservation Projects


Traditionally, a millwright was a craftsman with engineering skills who maintained windmills to ensure their efficiency to commercially mill. Repairs would be completed without necessarily considering the impact on original material such as the structural fabric or milling machinery. Work was completed without thinking about tradition, conservation or ethics. The repair works were necessary for the efficient running of the business.

This is one of the most significant differences between traditional and modern millwrights.

In contemporary work, millwrighting takes place in a heritage environment where works need to consider the complexities of listed buildings and mixed-materiel collections.

Materials used needs to be chosen dependent on the environment, conservation aspects and historic accuracy rather than what might be quickest or most cost effective.


As long as windmills continue to be preserved and operated then millwrighting in some capacity will survive. However this is not guaranteed. With so few learning and employment opportunities the future of millwrighting as a transferable heritage skill is at serious risk of disappearing.

Millwrighting is a niche craft and will remain on the fringes of heritage craft skills. It is somewhat isolated due to its nature –This is not a negative, it simply illustrates the unique skills and knowledge that is required. There is concern that if new training opportunities are not furthered then the craft could disappear.

Education and outreach must be the two pillars in preserving and teaching millwrighting as a craft. Ideally, an initiative to support this training would be backed by cultural heritage organisations. Other craft skills are also endangered and a resurgence in interest and training is more invaluable now than ever before. Training and employment incentives are also necessary to ensure that the skills taught are practiced and passed on further.

Windmill Conservation

Ian Clark Restoration can support your windmill conservation project on many levels, including:

  • Condition surveys & technical advice
  • Preparation of technical specifications & bill of quantities to support funding or procurement opportunities
  • Scheduled maintenance
  • Proactive & reactive repair & replacement solutions
  • Staff & volunteer training
  • Preparation of operational and through-life maintenance schedules & Manuals
  • Health & safety audits & consultancy
  • Report consultancy for fund raising & cultural development opportunities.

We supply our windmill conservation expertise to National Trust, Historic England, national and regional museum services and trusts, local authorities, public and private sector clients.

Read more about our conservation consultants for windmills:

View our windmill conservation projects

Here is a selection of windmill restoration and conservation projects carried out by Ian Clark Restoration. Click the projects below to view more details. Alternatively please get in touch if you would like to discuss a heritage conservation project.

flexible and blended conservation service

for a broad range of public and private sector clients

Find out more

River & Youth by Dhruva Mistry 1993 - Uplift and removal & conservation

Ian Clark Restoration carries out extensive conservation works to one of the largest water fountain sculptures in Europe

Southampton Old Cemetery Architectural conservation repairs

Ian Clark Restoration carries out architectural conservation project at Southampton Old Cemetery.

Fakenham Gas Works Condition survey and recommendations for repair

Ian Clark Restoration commissioned to undertake unique gas works condition survey

With an established profile within the museum and heritage sector

we offer pragmatic collection care solutions and informed industrial heritage consultancy.
Get in touch
Copyright © 2024 Ian Clark Restoration  |  All Rights Reserved
Ian Clark Restoration
1 Railway Cottages
Old Station Road
Itchen Abbas
SO21 1BA

t: +44(0)1962 779495
m: +44(0)7836 536932
e: ian@ianclarkrestoration.com