This Shelsley Mill post first appeared on a personal blog on 5th September 2006
We had some good news today from the watermill experts. They say the mill is worth restoring! I'd hate to think we had dug all that mud out for nothing.
They also told us that the wheel was cast by Turtons of Kidderminster, probably after 1878, but that the interior workings of the mill were much earlier, probably 1700-1720 and were very high quality.
Work continued today to clear the tail-race and the culvert. Those of us who are not claustrophobic took turns to dig silt and rubble from the floor of the culvert. Not a job any of could do for too long as it was a bit cramped as you can see.
We are still hearing snippets of history about the mill from former farm workers and others. The more we learn the more we realize how cleverly laid out the mill and farm buildings were. The mill stream is hidden in a culvert for most of it's length, but is open were it crosses the end of the yard by the old stables for the heavy horses. A self filling horse trough!
There was a power take-off from the waterwheel that ran a line-shaft through the stable loft to power the chaff cutter and other machinery for preparing fodder for the horses, all part of the same self sufficiency. If we wanted to be all ecological and green today we could do no better than this set-up from 150 years ago.
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