There was a big visual change at Shelsley Watermill this week as we have filled in the excavation of the tailrace now that we have completed the roof over the water channel. The weather on Thursday was awful as you can probably tell from the picture.
We have been working in and around this pit for most of the summer and autumn so this is a big step forward. The fill for the hole came from the bank beside the waterwheel because this is the next project. The retaining wall for the bank and steps has been undermined by tree roots (I seem to have written that phrase a few times) and needs to be rebuilt.
With some of the soil removed we have been able to extract the largest root and dismantle the damaged brickwork and masonry. The next task will be to rebuild the base of the wall which was built with tufa blocks. I don’t think any of the team has experience with this kind of masonry so there might be a steep learning curve to climb.
Another job we have made a start on this week is the clearance of the shaft that takes power from the waterwheel to the farm buildings. We disconnected the mill end of this shaft a couple of months ago but we can now get at the outer end without risking falling down the tailrace pit.
The shaft runs under the roadway between the mill and the stable block, ending in a pulley wheel about 4 feet in diameter. Belting ran from this wheel up to the end of the line-shaft that took power the length of the building. The large wheel turns in a pit underneath the steps to the stable-loft and this pit has collected a quantity of rubbish and soil over the years. On Thursday afternoon Headley spent some considerable time digging this rubbish out and also discovered that the cast iron wheel is harder than his knee.
Go to the next entry by clicking here.
Finish reading about the visual change and go to the previous article.
Leave the Shelsey Mill Blog and return Home