Much as I loved my old job the one thing that always irked me was the shortage of time. Every weekend was a mad dash just to try and keep all the plates spinning [even worse if I was working on a Saturday morning]. When I was made redundant I went part time and promised myself that I would ensure that we would try to do something non work related at some point over every weekend even if it was something very small. During the past ten years I have pretty much achieved that.
This weekend was a short jaunt up the road to visit the mill at Ifield which opens for a few hours once a month over the summer months and is free to see, so we decided to nip in for its last one this year. This one is a water mill and that pond was completely dug by hand!
Shamelessly parroting from the info provided the records of a mill on this site go back to 1274, but between 1500-1700 the mill that stood here [an earlier incarnation] was actually a finery forge and part of the iron industry. I was getting a bit confused by this point, but apparently "mill" means a machine with gears and wheels and the miller is the one who operates it. The water power would have been used for the bellows and to move the hammers. By 1660 it had become a corn mill and was again rebuilt in 1683 by the then resident miller family Thomas and Mary Middleton [plaque below]. By the 1920s it had become financially unviable and closed until a group of dedicated volunteers took on its restoration some years ago.
Not being one who is all that interested in the physical workings of the machinery side of it, I was however, surprised to find that a millstone has named parts and there was me thinking that all those ruts on it would just be called grooves. Naturally I am delighted to have found that I was provided with an accompanying sign to photograph so that I can always check back. It's included in case there are any other fellow geeks like me reading who might enjoy this type of detail [or perhaps not😂]
You find so many lovely places to visit.ReplyDelete
It's amazing what you can find on your doorstep once you start researching. ArilxDelete
Lovely photos; I used to live close to Sturminster Newton mill. It is in very good condition, still working and I was able to buy flour from it when they held their open days and did the milling. The flour was labelled as budgie food (!) as it was not legally approved for human consumption due to modern food regulations etc. It made excellent bread!ReplyDelete
I bet it did. This mill doesn't mill flour...it could apparently, but for various reasons they've decided not to. The volunteer we spoke to felt that they were missing a trick and a potential source of income. ARilxDelete
Really brilliant idea to resolve on regular 'doings'. It is easy for time to simply drift into a series of (on the whole) quite pointless tasks that life would continue for without the completion of (did that even make sense?) Anyway we loved the mill. There are a few restored mills around the country - wind powered one in Kent, a tidal mill near Totten (Southampton Water). Interesting insight into our past.ReplyDelete
I've been to a few in different parts of the country over the years. It's incredible just how many there once were. Now often the memory of them only remains in road names. One near us burnt down, but the pub built on its former site carries its name. ArilxDelete
Fellow geek here ... I had no idea about the names for the different parts of a millstone so many thanks. Goes off to search google for more information .... 😁ReplyDelete
I'm glad to find that I'm not the only one! ArilxDelete