Warwick Bridge Corn Mill progress April 2018

 

The furniture and casings from two sets of French Burr stones have been removed by the millwrights for inspection and restoration. The three sets of French Burr stones at the mill, of superior quality to locally derived millstones, would have been used to produce flour, the remaining two pairs of millstones being used for animal feed production. The French Burr stones were composites with pieces of the imported stone set in Plaster of Paris and bound together with iron hoops. The western set appears to be in good condition, the eastern less so. Bob Willis, the last miller to operate at Warwick Bridge in the 1980's, has scratched his name on the previous repairs to the eastern runner stone, and conveniently dated the repairs to 1962.

 

Furniture and casings removed from two sets of French Burr stones for inspection and refurbishment. The banding around the stones and the lids of the balance boxes around the western runner stone can be seen (right).

 

The lids of the four balance boxes in the runner stone of the western set bear the name Davies and Sneade, Liverpool. The firm, based in Cheapside, Liverpool, were well known nineteenth century millstone importers and millstone manufacturers. They were represented among the English firms exhibiting at the Paris exhibition of 1878 and at the Manchester Royal Jubilee Exhibition of 1887.

 

Lid of balance box, one of four set in around the edge of the runner stone, which held lead weights used to balance the stone

 

The escape gate from the mill head race was removed by a previous owner for restoration prior to 2004, but fortunately one or two photos survive of the gate in situ. Closer inspection of the concrete repairs at the gate location revealed another scratch name and date, this time N. Myers and the date 1966. John Harrison's 2004 report on the mill recorded the components of the gate mechanism in store in the barn so the next step is to have a rummage through the bits and pieces in dark corners to see if they survive!

 

Clearing vegetation from the escape gate location revealed a scratched name and date on the repairs of fifty two years ago, which incorporated several re-used perforated iron kiln plates from the mill!