Millstone at Slaughter Farm (8)
This converted farm has eight old mill stones built into the wall that runs along the road outside.
This is the eighth millstone from the gate and shows a monolithic stone i.e. the millstone is made from one piece of stone. Stones like this were made to the correct shape at the source quarry and were transported to the mill where the millstone dresser would cut the furrows in the stone that would give the stone its grinding action. This particular stone appears to be made of millstone grit from the peak district area of Derbyshire and Yorkshire.
Upper stones or runner stones are the ones that rotate while the lower stone or bed stone is static. The runner stone’s grinding surface is slightly concave and the bed stone’s grinding surface is slightly convex to help the feed of grain from the centre to the rim of the stones. The upper stone has a larger hole at the centre , through which the grain is fed and it also has a metal cross bar , or mill rynd, which holds the whole weight of the upper stone while it rotates. The rynd fits into lug holes on the upper stone and it is often left in place when the stone is removed at the end of its life. This stone can be seen to be an upper or runner stone as the metal lugs on the end of the rynd (sometimes also spelt rind and also only in the OED as rind) can be clearly seen. It may well have been a pair with the stone adjacent to the gate, the only other gritstone millstone in this set of eight all the others being French burr stones.
The furrows that were cut into the stone when it was dressed can be clearly seen. These assisted with the grinding action of the wheel and they are not so clearly seen on the French Burr stones.
The closest mills to the farm are on the River Windrush, one is at Aston farm at SP 1497 2134 about 1km away and the other at Bourton on the Water at SP 1631 2082 about 0.5 km away. Whether these stones came from either of these mills or elsewhere is unknown. It is unlikely that a single mill would have six burr stone wheels so they probably came from different sources