Letheringsett Watermill :: Shared Description
Letheringsett watermill Link
is a tourist attraction and commercial flour producer in the small village of Letheringsett, Holt. When the domesday book was produced in 1086 a watermill was present at Leringaseta, probably not on this site though. The next mention was of John de Keyly and Willian de Gatele purchasing land and a watermill from Thomas de Saxlingham in 1384. By 1550 John Brytwiss was registered as the miller, staying in the family until 1714 when Thomas Bately was the owner. Six years past and in 1720 the owner of the now Letheringsett Hall and ex Brewery John Brereton had the mill. The watermill was rebuilt in 1754 by John Priest after a disastrous fire which gutted the building. However John Priest had to sell up due to financial difficulty. He sold it to Willian Colls in 1757 who improved the mill pond. It remained with him until 1791 when Richard Rouse bought it, after another fire the mill was again rebuilt in 1802. This is the mill we see today, a tall brick building with four floors.
Power comes from a single waterwheel Link
a breast shot which can be converted to undershot. The power is transferred via the pit wheel (larger one) Link
to the wallower, turning the main shaft. The large spur wheel turns three smaller cogs Link
. Two 'stone nuts' which connect to the runner stones upstairs. The other turns the ancillary drives Link
(visible behind the stones). Also in place is the governor, this manages the distance between the stones automatically. The higher the speed of the wheel the greater the centrifugal effect of the 'balls', this via the steel yard moves the tenter beam. The distances involved are fractional but it helps the miller maintain the flour qualities. Also downstairs is a Ruston and Hornsby diesel engine, not connected to the stones as it power machinery upstairs, it was installed in 1945Link
. There are two pairs of stones (originally 4) Link
grain is fed into the centre by the damsel. As this is a watermill the stones are underdriven. Next up is the third floor, there are several machines up here driven by the ancillary belts. The forth floor is the grain store. Up here is a grain cleaner and the main hoist. Grain is lifted to the top via the lucum (wooden shelter) Link
and stored at the top. Going through the grain cleaner before reaching the stones. The end result, after all that is of course flour!
The mill produces flour for its own shop as well as outlets throughout East Anglia, it is the last commercial stone grinding mill in Norfolk.
for their website, Link
for the Norfolk mills entry and this Link
for a diagram of the mill machinery.
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Created: Thu, 26 Aug 2010, Updated: Thu, 26 Aug 2010
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