Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Visit to Lode Mill, Anglesey Abbey

Today we visited Lode Mill, part of the National Trust's Anglesey Abbey estate. This is another big, multi-storey mill, again mainly built of wood but with a large, iron 4 o'clock breastshot wheel.

The mill wheel

The stone floor

Once again we found the person in charge, in this case Chris Stimson, was generous with his time and knowledge and showed us round the mill and millwheel, including parts not normally open to the public.

He agreed with the thought that it was illogical to mill flour NOT for consumption. We would, however, have to sort out the lifting of delivered grain to the upper floor.

There was a suggestion that if you mill on four days or fewer in any five week period, there may be exemptions from some of the food hygiene regulations - but this may conflict with tea room use, of course.

Lode Mill also offers a hand quern and the opportunity to handle grain and flour - in general both mills had excellent educational facilities and interpretation.

Un-greased wooden cogs
Chris stated that you should NOT grease wooden cogs, as they pick up dust and debris to form an abrasive mixture that wears the wood too rapidly. maybe a better option for us would be to smooth the surface of the stone nuts.

Lining of grain boxes can be achieved with sheet aluminium as a Houghton, or metal gauze as at Lode. Other containers are mainly plastic Really Useful Boxes, one with a hole cut for the flour chute - on a table, not at floor level.

There are some issues around cleaning up after every milling, stone speed and tentering all of which we need to resolve - the input of a miller was stated to be essential, so Nic Jones' input needs to be obtained.

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