Shropshire

Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings: Crowdfunder for mill's crown

The crown Image copyright Historic England
Image caption The cast iron crown was added to mark Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee in 1897

A crowdfunding campaign has been launched to save a regal addition to an historic mill.

Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings, built in 1797, is thought to be the first iron-framed building and is considered a forerunner to the skyscraper.

Historic England said £26,000 was needed to save the cast iron crown on top, added to mark Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee in 1897.

The campaign has been launched on the 200th anniversary of her birth.

The crown's "intricate" ironwork has fractured over the years and the paint is peeling away, Historic England said.

It has been removed and taken to a metal conservation workshop for analysis before restoration begins.

Image copyright Friends of the Flaxmill Maltings
Image caption The building stopped manufacturing flax in 1886
Image copyright Historic England
Image caption The building fell into disrepair before being bought in 2005

Once missing elements have been "faithfully" recreated, the crown will be repainted in its original colours, reassembled and reinstalled on the highest point of the building.

The work is part of the major restoration already under way on the Grade I-listed mill and Grade II kiln to create a new learning and enterprise quarter.

Image copyright Historic England
Image caption Supporters of the restoration project said the crown was a "much-admired landmark"

Alan Mosley, chair of the Friends of the Flaxmill Maltings, said: "The crown has become an iconic feature of this internationally important site - seen, discussed and remembered by all who visit or pass by.

"This urgent work will preserve it as a much-admired landmark for many generations to come."

The crowd funding campaign runs from 20 May until 22 June, on the anniversary of the coronet's installation on the building.

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