You may have seen this imposing building during your travels in the Great Haseley area of Oxfordshire. Sadly, it has fallen into neglect and the years have taken their toll. A major restoration project is now underway, aiming to return this historic building to its former glory. Follow the progress of the restoration in our blog....

The Restoration Team

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

To cap it all off

Tuesday 16th July; another hot day with, thankfully, light winds. So, in a very un-British way,  a planned outdoor activity goes ahead; the hoisting of the cap. Having previously experienced the delights of a crane becoming stuck in soft ground (building a plywood road is not fun), we were very lucky on this project to have had a prolonged period of hot weather, meaning the ground from the road to the mill was rock hard.

Thanks to all those who came and watched, hope you enjoyed it! For those that missed the day, here are some pictures......

So, the first job was to lift off the temporary roof. Quite a strange experience when viewed from inside the cap!

Hooking up the temporary roof

There goes the roof

There followed some hurried removal of the plywood and wire mesh which had been fitted around the outside of the curb to keep out birds. During this period the restored wallower was hoisted up and onto the main shaft. No photos of the hoisting as I was busy (see above), but here is the wallower on the ground.

Next, the bearing circle was lifted. We had bolted on some bracing scaffold planks to try and keep the shape circular, which more or less worked.

A brief pause on crane work, while we fitted the remaining trolley wheels to the bearing circle (some had been left out to reduce the weight, and hence potential for distortion). All seemed well, with the wheels positioned right over the metal track of the curb - never in doubt!

That left one final object to lift, the cap.

Take the strain. You never really know if all your lifting points are strong enough until....
Making light work of 7.5 tonnes

Finally, with some relief, the bearing at the centre of the cap frame slides perfectly onto the top of the main shaft, the skirt boards fit around the top of the tower and the cap circle sits on top of the trolley wheels. We have done it.

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