The Haxted Watermill

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The History of Haxted Mill

The western half of the double frontage Mill was built about 1580 on the early 14th century foundations, while the eastern half was added in 1794. One can notice the change from hand-axed oak to sawn pitch-pine, the woods available at the time. The first record appears in the will of Sir Reginald de Cobham dated 1361. Always a corn mill it ground flour up to 1919 and then, like most other wind & watermills, was reduced to grinding meal for local farmers.
The mill is an interesting place to visit as it shows the workings of a watermill complete with video display and history of Haxted Mill.
Next door in the old stables is an award winning restaurant where one might take a light lunch overlooking the millponds.

Inside the Mill

Inside the mill Inside Haxted Mill showing the vertical shaft and either side 2 hoppers sitting on top of the grinding stones.

When the sacks of corn arrive at the Mill, they are hoisted to the top floor by means of a sack hoist. This device is on the top floor, driven by a belt from a pulley cord, which runs through the mill. The sacks are brought directly into the mill from the cart via the lucam (the gable like projection on the front of the building). Using this hoist the grain is then stored in the bins on the 2nd & 3rd floors. A chute from each bin above each pair of stones leads in each case to a hopper above the stones. From there the corn is shaken into the eye of the millstones. The bottom millstone (bedstone) stays still and the upper (runner) stone revolves at about 100rpm. Both stones have a set of grooves and as the grain passes through the eye of the runner stone it is forced through the gap of the two stones where the action of the furrows crossing each other breaks the grain and scrapes out the flour. The resultant meal falls out of the periphery of the stones and down a chute to the sack on the floor.

Seen here is a picture of Mr. Woodrow who bought the mill in 1949 and spent 20 years restoring the mill demonstrating the tools used for making the furrows on the stones. Mr. Woodrow