|Major repairs are taking place to one of the best known landmarks in West Sussex, and one that World War Two pilots had reason to be grateful for.|
Halnaker Windmill, owned by West Sussex County Council, stands on the South Downs overlooking the Roman road Stane Street, about four miles north east of Chichester.
It is encased in scaffolding at the moment but by October the windmill, dating back to 1740, will be looking like its old self thanks to a £25,000 scheme to replace rotten timber in the cap and the support structure to the shaft and its skeleton sails.
The windmill has not been used for grinding corn since 1905 when it was badly damaged during a storm.
But it has remained as a landmark and in World War Two it was a welcoming site and navigational aid for pilots returning to airfields in West Sussex.
The mill was originally built by the Duke of Richmond and Gordon as the main flour mill on the Goodwood estate.
It had a succession of owners and restoration works over the years until the 1970s when it was purchased by West Sussex County Council.
It is managed by the Sussex Downs Conservation Board and is well used as a resting or meeting place in an area where there are many popular walks.
The interior of the mill is empty, and people can go inside and shelter from the weather.
The work also includes re-pointing the mill's brickwork which was chosen for its original construction so that it could be stronger and have bigger sails in an exposed position.
Steve Waight, West Sussex Cabinet Member for Strategic Environment and Planning, said: "We are carrying out this vital work because Halnaker Windmill is too popular and well known a landmark in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty just to leave neglected."
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