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Page 6

Newsletter 116, Spring 2017   © Hampshire Mills Group

 

 

Visit to Headley Mill

 

Nigel Harris

 

This report of mine was published recently in SPAB "Mill News" #149 in October 2016.  Headley Mill is not currently open to the public so my thanks go to Richard Ellis for giving me a guided tour and to Andy Fish, Chairman of HMG, for his help in setting up the visit.

 

 

Built astride the River Wey, Headley Mill near Bordon was a family-run watermill on the site of a manorial mill site dating back over 700 years.  The mill and mill house, both of stone, face SE and form an attractive continuous range.  The west end of the mill is considered to be 16th century and the centre is much older.  About 1800 part of the house was rebuilt and the open water wheel covered in, major reconstructions took place to the fabric of the mill, and much of the milling machinery was installed.

 

The stone floor, notice the stone crane on the right

The water from the mill pond powers a 12½ft (3.8m) diameter by 7½ft (2.3m) wide breastshot waterwheel, dating to 1926.  The wheel drove four pairs of millstones, three French burr and one Peak (two pairs at a time).  The spur gear train consists of an iron pit wheel which is 9ft (2.74m) in diameter with oak teeth. This drives an iron wallower which in turn drives the upright shaft on which the iron 8½ft (2.6m) diameter great spur wheel is mounted (photo below left).  The great spur engages the stone nuts which have teeth of beech wood.  Two gears driven by the crown wheel drove auxiliary machines such as crushers, rollers, and sack hoist. 

 

The Armfield grain cleaner (below centre) and 3 centrifugal dressers (one, below right) were electrically powered and added more recently.

 

The bin floor

 

 

Members of HMG have been involved with and have carried out work at Headley Mill over a number of years.  In 1996 they replaced a main beam of the mill (photo below, by Ruth Andrews) and in 2006 they replaced the buckets in the waterwheel.

 

 

 

John Brandrick visited Headley Mill in 2012 and has produced a number of 3D drawings to record the structure and machinery of the mill (an example is on the right).  These can be viewed at his website www.milldrawings.com.

 

 

Headley Mill was working commercially until fairly recently, and all the machinery and belt drives are still in position.

 

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