TG2233 : The Wheel Shuts

taken 8 years ago, near to Suffield, Norfolk, Great Britain

The Wheel Shuts
The Wheel Shuts
These two gates allow water under them and onto the breast shot water wheels. They can be operated from inside the mill by a long handle.
Gunton Saw Mill
Gunton Saw Mill is a water powered wood processor on the Gunton Hall estate. It is owned by the Norfolk windmill trust (MWT) and the machinery is run by the Norfolk industrial archaeology society (NIAS). It is a medium sized building, housing a frame saw, two water wheels, a corn grinder and a circular saw. It was opened in 1825 for the third Lord Suffield, built by William Haze. The Norfolk reed thatched building has had an interesting history, its first threat was machine smashers who threatened to destroy the mill. However Lord Suffield's 177 man private army put the threats to bed. There was also a fire that damaged some timbers and the roof however as it had been raining the roof smouldered rather than burning. The mill came to the attention of NIAS in 1976 when the building was to be demolished however the lease was purchased and restoration began.

How it Works

Water power comes from the saw mill lake next to the mill, this is fed by the great lake further north west. The lakes were constructed between 1742 and 1770. The great lake being the dammed Hagon beck and saw mill lake dug out for a nice feature viewable from Gunton Hall.
The distance in height between the mill and the dam is 4 metres giving plenty of power. A sluice gate is opened to allow water into the mill race, a brick culvert which leads to two more gates above the water wheels. These are operated from within the mill to give control of the water flow.
The water (once both gates are open) is run onto the water wheel which is an iron and steel 1888 example, although restoration has replaced most parts. Supplied by Holmes of Norwich for 164. One water wheel (the working one) drives pulleys and a 2 ton flywheel to power the frame saw. The other drove a circular saw on rails, also a small corn grinder. There was also some steam equipment on site which was outside, associated with the derrick (or crane).

The site was used until the 1950s but the frame saw fell out of use after the Great War (1914-1918).
It is now open on the fourth Sunday of each month 2.00 - 5.00 pm from April to September.
Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright Ashley Dace and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
TIP: Click the map for Large scale mapping
Change to interactive Map >
Grid Square
TG2233, 49 images   (more nearby )
  (find more nearby)
Date Taken
Sunday, 27 June, 2010   (more nearby)
Monday, 28 June, 2010
Water Features > Mill stream or race   (more nearby)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TG 223 334 [100m precision]
WGS84: 52:51.1663N 1:18.0826E
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TG 223 335
View Direction
South-southwest (about 202 degrees)
Looking for a postcode? Try this pageExternal link
Clickable map

Image classification(about): Geograph
This page has been viewed about 64 times.
View this location: KML (Google Earth) · Google MapsExternal link · Bing MapsExternal link · OS Map Checksheet · Geograph Map · geotagged! More Links for this image
W Go E
You are not logged in login | register