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Friday, 22 August 2014

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Cumbrian windmill for sale - complete with built-in furniture

“One man asked if this was a folly we’d built for the Millennium,” laughs Julia Crippen. “I told him it was a bit older than that.”

Windmill photo
Julia Crippin in the converted windmill

Just a little. This Grade II listed windmill at Monkhill, near Carlisle, was built in the mid-1700s and has just gone on the market.

At the moment, it’s home to Julia and Kevin and their two children Alastair, 13, and Annabel, 10 – but the family are returning to the US and, somewhat reluctantly, leaving their mill.

“It was love at first sight when we saw this house,” said Julia.

“We had looked at 50 houses starting in Preston and coming up here. We saw this on the internet and it was just wow – we had to see it.”

Kevin’s work as a management consultant takes him all over the UK and the family had most of the north west to look for their base seven years ago.

Once they saw the mill, it was a done deal.

“It felt like home as soon as we moved in,” Julia added.

“Annabel was only three when we came here and it’s been a real family home.”

The mill, built in the mid-1700s, stood derelict from the late 1800s until 1997 when a developer took it over.

“People who lived here [then] remember rockets being set off on Guy Fawkes night from inside the tower,” Julia said.

“Birds were flying around it – I still get house martins flying into the kitchen now.”

The old tower itself contains a circular kitchen, two bedrooms – one en-suite – and a third floor gallery. The addition to the building – built during the conversion – has a living room, two bedrooms, bathroom, sauna, shower room and sun room.

“All the walls in the tower slant slightly so we had to have bespoke furniture made which we’ll leave – it won’t be of any use to us,” Julia said.

“It does attract a bit of attention and people stop by to ask about it.”

The wheel from the mill is kept in the garden of a house opposite. It used to be the farmhouse which owned the mill, Julia explained.

The family are returning to the US permanently – probably New England – where members of the Crippen family, descendants of notorious Dr Crippen, still live.

Michigan-born Dr Hawley Crippen – hanged in 1910 for murdering his wife – came to the UK in 1900 but his family in the US knew nothing of his crime until a relative spotted him in Tussauds in the 1920s, Julia said.

“It’s not like now with the internet. There would only be a small piece about him in the newspapers so they didn’t know what had happened,” she explained.

“The first they knew was when [the relative] saw his waxwork and thought ‘that looks like uncle Hawley.’ And it was.”

The windmill has a guide price of £389,000. Anyone interested should contact Hayward Tod estate agents.

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