Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings' coronet is back in place - with video
With its bursts of gold and sweeping curves, Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings’ cast iron coronet looks just the part as it is back in place following vital repairs.
The coronet, which is the highest point of Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings, was added in 1897 to mark Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.
After 123 years in place it was in urgent need of repair and was removed by site owners, Historic England, who launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise the funds needed to restore it.
After its removal in May last year, the coronet was taken to Shrewsbury-based specialist metal conservation workshop, Heritage Project Contracts, where it underwent months of painstaking work to repair it; fractured ironwork was re-stitched, missing and decayed decorative elements were recreated, and it was re-painted.
Alastair Godfrey, Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings project lead for Historic England, said: “The Flaxmill is one of the most extraordinary sites in the world and the coronet which sits at the top of the Jubilee Tower is a symbol of the public celebration and pride that defined Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. We are absolutely delighted to have it back in place, fully restored and looking as good as new.”
The cast iron crown was carefully reassembled and reinstalled on the highest point of the Flaxmill this week, but before it was put back in place school children from St Peter’s Primary School in Wem had a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Pupils from the north Shropshire school were the first to see the coronet when it came back from the conservation workshop, and got to take turns ‘wearing’ the gilded crown which is now sitting at the very top of the coronet – something that very few can claim to have done.
Alan Mosley, chair of the Friends of the Flaxmill Maltings commented: “The coronet is an iconic feature of this internationally important site and it is a much admired landmark. Its return marks an historic stage in this extraordinary restoration project. The children from Wem were at the site enjoying a learning workshop based on the Mill when it arrived back and were thrilled to be part of the process. It is wonderful to see it back in place again.”
Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings is one of the most important buildings of England’s industrial past; as the world’s first iron-framed building it is the forerunner to the modern skyscraper.
The restoration of the Main Mill and Kiln at Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings will be complete in summer 2021.