Warwick Bridge Corn Mill update September 2018

 

Clearing the barn floor allowed the flagged area at the southern end to be recorded. The section of the west wall which was to be opened up for a new doorway was also photographed.

 

The millwrights returned to complete the reconstruction of the failed timber elements of the control gate above the waterwheel.

 

Jon working on the pinions and pitch rollers above the gate

 

New racks in position – one happy millwright!

 

Newly installed racks on the gate seen from the head race culvert

 

New packing blocks were installed below the timber saddle of the centre bearing where the wheel axle passes through the wall of the mill.

 

New packing blocks being installed below the centre bearing. The small pipe above the bearing provided lubricating oil by gravity feed from the Stone Floor above

 

The depth of the concrete floor laid in the Head Race was investigated and the wall above the portal was photographed once the Ivy was cleared from the wall. Evidence for a barrier across the opening on the south side of the race alongside the portal was investigated.

 

The tail race culvert was investigated and the connection between a drain outlet in the south wall near the portal and the drain from the loading dock was established. The drain from the east side yard below the barn was cleaned out and tested and the outlet identified high up beside the wheel pit. Drains from the mill yard to the tail race were also investigated.

 

Drain opening in the tail race culvert. A construction break in the culvert can be seen on the upstream side (left)

 

The area at the north side of the culvert portal was investigated to inform repair. The dressing of the end of the wall top coping shows evidence for a (missing) coping, set below it at the same angle as the surviving wall courses below. A leaded cramp would have secured this stone at the top. The stonework at the base has been modified to accommodate the brick pier supporting the steelwork of the deck of the former warehouse which was built over the tail race.

 

The eastern end of the open section of the tail race showing the brick pier at the east end supporting steelwork for the base of the former warehouse. Oct 2017

 

The line of the portal wall is extended northwards by a buried wall foundation, overlain by a build up of material of recent deposition, presumably imported to build up the “garden” area. A small trench adjacent to the threshold of the door in the west wall of the kiln building showed that a surface extends from the doorway apparently corresponding in height with the level of the wall extension. The trench(es) could be extended at some point to confirm the level and nature of this yard or track surface, which presumably gave access around the mill to the yard and buildings behind the mill, shown on the First Edition of the Ordnance Survey plan. The trench required for the proposed drainage run through this area will also confirm the surface.

 

Retaining wall extending from north side of culvert portal.

 

Small trench showing a track or yard surface at a similar level adjacent to the door in the west wall of the kiln house

 

The installation of birdcage scaffolds within the barn and the kiln allowed access to the roof spaces. The kiln roof required extensive repairs in an earlier restoration phase but the original timbers appear to be earlier than those in the other mill buildings with some evidence of re-use, perhaps from the earlier buildings on the site. Tapered wooden pegs on the top of the principal rafters may have secured earlier through purlins. Vertical rebates on the upper part of the trusses would have supported the ridge ventilator. The kiln roof could be seen to intrude on a blocked opening in the west wall of the mill at Garner Floor level.

 

 

 

The kiln trusses are roughly dressed and bolted. Pegs on top of the principal rafters may have supported earlier through purlins

 

Kiln roof intruding on the blocked opening in the west wall of the mill

 

The barn roof in contrast was seen to be all uniform sawn timbers with the trusses numbered from one to five, south to north. At the north end the purlins on the west side could be seen to run into an earlier opening in the south wall of the mill which had been blocked to accommodate them. The lower purlin on the east side of the bay could be seen to intrude on the surviving window opening of the mill on that side.

 

The barn roof purlins on the west side of Bay Five running into a blocked opening in the south wall of the mill

 

The lower purlin on the east side of Bay Five intrudes on the dressing for the window in the mill wall

The nine foot diameter wooden casting pattern resting in the roof could be seen more easily.

 

The wooden casting pattern resting on the second truss. The first bay formed a loft for pigeons with flight holes in the apex of the south wall

 

Lifting the wooden mid section floor of the barn showed the difference in alignment between the basement walls and the walls of the barn. The basement appears to be a survivor of the earlier range shown on the earlier nineteenth century plans.

 

The offset below floor level on the east side of the barn where the basement is on a different alignment

 

The hardboard over the blocked window in the north wall of the mill was removed to reveal surviving joinery (and an impressing build up of birds nest). The sashes each had four lights; the frames are pegged and the sash pulleys are wooden.

 

The window with an old nest

 

 

 

 

 

 

The window cleaned to reveal surviving joinery

 

During the month visits by a succession of classes from the local school and by members of the Cumbria Industrial History Society were supported. The latter produced further photographic evidence for the mill interiors in the 1990’s which have proved useful in interpreting missing elements removed or altered during earlier restoration works.