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MILLING HERITAGE CONSULTANCY  
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Our recent projects
 

Millstone furniture

Completed millstone case - 2005

Building cap frame

Constructing the cap frame - 2000

 

PRACTICAL RESTORATION WORK at Whissendine Windmill, Rutland (2005)



Bonwick MHC has been involved with conservation work at this fine, stone-built village mill for several years following its purchase by a commercial windmiller, Nigel Moon, in 1995.

This seven-storey tower mill is though to have been built in 1809, and was owned by the nearby Stapleford Estate for many years. It was extensively modified in or around 1863 when much of the original wooden gearing was replaced in cast iron. The mill contains a rare and unusual milling machine made by a German manufacturer, Wegmann, in 1878. This machine uses two porcelain rollers instead of millstones to mill wheat grain into flour.

At an early stage of the restoration project, the internal machinery was returned to working order and milling recommenced, using electricity as a temporary power source. The second stage of restoration has involved the manufacture of a new cap, fantail and sails and extensive repairs to the external stonework.

Bonwick MHC has worked in partnership with Norwell Millwrights of Newark, Nottinghamshire, on the manufacture of a new oak cap frame and the modification of the existing cap roof to fit it. The rebuilt cap was lifted back onto the tower in November, 2001.

Recently Bonwick MHC undertook to rebuild a set of the original wooden 'millstone furniture' which survived from the mill's former working days. A set of stone furniture consists of a circular wooden vat or 'tun' enclosing the millstones, a timber 'shoe' which feeds grain into the stones and a set of 'hopper legs' which support a 'hopper' in which the grain is stored. As much as possible of the historic timber was salvaged for re-use and the assembly is fastened together with the original iron bands.

Restoration of the sails and brake wheel continues and it will soon be possible to drive all the machinery in the mill by wind power alone.