Sail of the century
Forget Holland, when it comes to windmills Charlotte Pearson finds one in Barnham that ticks all the right boxes.
Living in a windmill sounds like something from a children’s story, there is something whimsical and magical about it.
But imagine calling one home that has been refurbished with all the mod cons.
Andy Rush, of Bolrush Developments, bought Barnham Windmill in the spring of 2014.
“It had been under development for about four years when we bought it,” he explains. “We took over from the previous owners.”
Alongside his business partner Phil Boden, the pair specialise in buying grade II listed buildings and doing them up to a high standard.
“The grade II listed properties do come with problems and sometimes a lot of restrictions due to the nature of the building, but they are often very unique,” he reveals.
Which was something which appealed to the pair when they found the windmill.
“There are only about five in Sussex so it was a great opportunity to be able to work on one,” agrees Andy.
The Windmill at Barnham has been a local landmark since 1829.
Known to many as John Baker’s Mill it has been converted to form the centrepiece of a small development.
It was wind powered until the early 1920s when an engine was installed and it was powered that way until the 1960s when it was shut down.
“We wanted to ensure the historical integrity of the building was kept intact, but had to do a complete refurbishment of the property,” he enthuses.
This has seen restored sails added to the front of the building and many of the original workings retained.
Inside there is a refreshing mix of modern fittings alongside period features, such as the original piece of machinery which milled the wheat suspended in the space.
“In essence it features large cogs, the purpose of which was to grind the wheat into flour using power generated by the windmill sales,” explains Andy. “It is a really striking feature.”
Entering the property through a stable style door, which opens out into the hallway, it leads through into the base of the mill and a circular reception room.
Also housed on the ground floor is an open plan kitchen and dining room with a substantial amount of wall and base
units in a clean and modern design with granite worktops.
The appliances blend into the space with an integrated dishwasher, fridge and freezer hidden out of view.
For fans of cooking there is a full sized range cooker in stainless steel with triple ovens and a splash back and hood in matching material.
It would also be a perfect space for entertaining thanks to a wine chiller and space for a large table and chairs to get everyone around.
“We decided to go for a contemporary kitchen to provide light and openness to the room,” he says.
“I surmised the main windmill building had enough character to be able to get away with this juxtaposition.”
What is truly mesmerising is the circular reception room which has concealed lighting within the ceiling beams, and features include a central shaft and original high level window.
Up the open staircase and you will be treated to more wonders with the circular master bedroom.
West facing, it is bathed in natural light and with its tall ceilings, wooden beams and detailed iron work it will provide a calming haven.
On the second floor is the bathroom with roll top bath and a separate walk in shower with a period styled wash basin.
The top floor enjoys a study which could be used as a bedroom, with a double height ceiling with many of the original steel wheel workings of the mill.
Back on the ground floor there is a separate staircase up to a further two bedrooms and a family bathroom.
“It would be an ideal lock and leave property with links to Goodwood, Chichester, and the coast,” Andy says. “Or perfect for a family.”
The perfect mix of old and new, this unique home is sure to be one that you will want to stay in day in, day out.
Windmills in on the market at OIRO £650,000 with Winkworth Worthing, 45 Warwick Street, Worthing, West Sussex, BN11 3DQ, 01903 216219 or visit www.winkworth.co.uk/estate-agents/worthing
August 26, 2015 Interiors and Property