Friday, August 10, 2012

Lode Mill at Anglesey Abbey

A watermill has been located at Lode Mill for at least a thousand years. It's listed in the Domesday Book. The current mill dates from around the 1700s, when it was advertised for sale with a house and some outbuildings around it. It ground corn into flour until about 1900, when it was converted to cement grinding. Bottisham Lode Cement and Brick Company did not stay in business too long, shutting down by 1920 and letting the mill go unused. When Huttleston Broughton (later Lord Fairhaven) bought Anglesey Abbey in 1926, he also acquired the mill in 1934 and restored it to its corn-grinding state. It eventually went into disuse again and was restored in 1982 by the Cambridgeshire Wind and Watermill Society. It still grinds corn today.

The outside of the mill is rather unimpressive.

One door and two windows...not much to see or even see through

Inside are the usual assortment of gears and grinding equipment.

Gears to transfer the energy from the water wheel to the rest of the mill

Gears and grind stones

Grain pouring into a pair of grinding stones

Belts from the motors installed in the cement grinding days

They do have a sack hoist to take the grain and any flour that needs extra grinding back up to the top of the mill. This contraption always impresses me. They thought of a way to make the wheel do the literal heavy lifting required for a gravity-fed mill.

Sack hoist

The upper floor also has an exhibit on how the mill runs as well as milling throughout time. One panel explains how grain was husked and the chaff cleared by different methods in different times.

Separating the grains and the husks in history

At the top of the mill was another small window that looks over the Quarry Pool (the name given in the cement days), which is fed by the Bottisham Lode, the small river next to the mill.

Quarry Pool with many lily pads

Warning found inside the mill--remember to get permission first!

The display for hand-grinding fascinated Lucy, who may have been thinking of making her own bread.

Grinding up the good stuff

Outside, we were able to see a bit of the wheel itself. The metal water wheel is nine feet wide and sixteen feet in diameter. It is fairly well protected, though I am not sure what natural elements would damage it if all that water doesn't hurt it.

The wheel is carefully fenced off and inside the walls

1 comment:

  1. Loved all you pictures and info on Anglesey Abbey. Thanks