Burgh le Marsh windmill loses sails in Storm Ciara

Burgh Le Marsh windmill Image copyright Windmill Restaurant
Image caption The sails and cap were left strewn across the site after spinning the wrong way in 70mph winds

Storm Ciara has torn the sails off a historic windmill in Lincolnshire.

The blades were ripped off Dobson's Mill in Burgh le Marsh on Sunday after they started spinning the wrong way in 70mph winds, volunteers said.

Malcolm Ringsell, treasurer of Burgh le Marsh Heritage Group, said: "The cap is in pieces, the sales are broken, everything is shattered."

Lincolnshire County Council, which owns the mill, said specialists were assessing the Grade I listed structure.

It was built in 1844 and was operated commercially until 1965.

It is considered unusual because it has five sails that turn clockwise - the opposite direction to most other mills.

Mr Ringsell said the wind had been so strong it snapped the wooden sleepers used to hold the mechanism in place to stop the 20 tonne sails spinning.

"The mill top then lifted and fell forwards," he said, damaging the roof of the adjacent heritage centre.

Image caption Part of the nearby heritage centre was also damaged

Nearby properties were also evacuated and police closed local roads.

Councillor Nick Worth, executive member for heritage at Lincolnshire County Council, said: "We've had teams at the mill yesterday and this morning, trying to see what had happened.

"For us, at this stage, its important to take time to make a careful assessment of the damage with specialists and consider the next steps."

Image copyright Anthony Volante/Geograph
Image caption The five-sail windmill, pictured here in the early 2000s, was built in 1844

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