Gozo’s oldest surviving windmill to be restored at Xewkija
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The unique Xewkija windmill, which is the oldest surviving windmill in Gozo will be given a much needed facelift after the Planning Commission approved restoration works on this historic building.
The windmill was commissioned by Grand Master Perellos in the beginning of the 18th century, it is the only windmill that has the tower based on an octagonal base.
The project will include the creation of a small piazza area around the Grade 1 scheduled building, therefore improving the viewing experience and accessibility of the Xewkija Windmill,. New public convenience facilities will also be constructed adjacent to the windmill, the PA said.
The windmill’s mechanism will be reconstructed and conservation works will include the removal of metallic inserts and cement renders, the replacement of the windmill’s concrete roof with traditional stone slabs and the cleaning of the stone.
The Planning Authority said that the works will be carried out in accordance with an approved restoration method statement and monitored by the Authority’s conservation officers. The restoration method statement has been endorsed by the Superintendent of Cultural Heritage, the PA said.
The windmill consists of a large entrance hall, two large parallel rooms, and a kitchen at the back and started operating in 1710 by miller Ganni Scicluna. In the middle there is the garigor leading up to the roof of the tower. Above the entrance hall is a birth room.
The windmill, in 1956, served as the first location of the Xewkija Band Club. It was used by the band club’s committee until 1965. Since then the windmill has remained empty and unused.