Crowdfunding campaign launched to save Shrewsbury Flaxmill's crown
A month-long crowdfunding campaign has been launched to save the cast iron crown on top of Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings.
Historic England is asking the public to help save the cast iron crown, which was added in 1897 to mark Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.
The crown has topped the roofline of the Flaxmill for more than 120 years and the work is an important phase of the renovation of the historic building.
But it is decaying fast and Historic England hopes to raise £26,000 with a crowdfunding campaign for its urgent restoration.
It forms just part of the massive programme of works to renovate the former mill. So far the roof has been repaired, brickwork and windows reinstated and floors replaced. Once complete the Flaxmill will house office space, a visitor interpretation centre and cafes.
Anyone looking at the building will notice that the cast iron crown has disappeared as it has been carefully removed and taken to a specialist metal conservation workshop in Shrewsbury for restoration.
The paint and decoration will be analysed and surveyed, fractured iron will be stitched and missing elements faithfully recreated.
The crown will be repainted in its original colours before being carefully reassembled and reinstalled on the highest point of the Flaxmill.
Duncan Wilson, chief executive of Historic England, said: “The Flaxmill is one of the most extraordinary sites in the world. Its architectural importance is rivalled only by the central role it has played in Shrewsbury for hundreds of years.
"It has lived many lives and is a timeless witness to creativity, change and working life.
"The Flaxmill’s crown is a symbol of the public celebration and pride that defined Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.
"Now, 200 years since her birth, we are asking the public to help us save the iron crown and restore it above the rooftops of Shrewsbury.”
Alan Mosley, chair of the Friends of the Flaxmill Maltings added: “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.”
For details of the crowdfunding campaign see crowdfunder.co.uk/crowningshrewsbury
The crowdfunding campaign will close on June 22, on the anniversary of the coronet’s installation on the Flaxmill.
During the Industrial Revolution, the spinning mill became Shrewsbury’s largest employer with more than 800 men, women and children working there manufacturing linen thread from flax.
After it closed in 1886 it reopened to produce malt for the brewing industry.
Part of the building served as a barracks for soldiers during the Second World War and finally closed as a maltings in 1987.