down the ladder from the stone floor and you come to
the meal floor. This is so called because the wholemeal from the
stones arrives here down chutes from the
millstones above, and falls into the bins where it can
cool, fill sacks ready to take away, or be hoisted up to
the bin floor to put through the dresser.
above your head - you can see the great spur
with its wooden teeth, which are made of hornbeam. It drives the
millstones through the small gears, known
as stone nuts, which can be raised to disengage them when the
stones are not in use.
you can also see the governor,
which has two iron
balls which swing out by centrifugal force as they turn,
operating a series of levers which alter the gap between
the stones. As the mill speeds up, the governor will reduce the
gap, counteracting the tendency of the runner stone to rise up as
it runs faster, and ensuring that the
quality of the flour remains constant. If
the mill is working, you will see the warm meal as it comes out
from the end of the
chute into the meal bin.
The miller feels this between his thumb
and fingers, in order to test
the quality of the flour he is producing,
will make adjustments if it is not entirely to his liking. To
one side of this floor is the smutter, for removing the
black spots of smut, a fungus disease which may grow
on wheat grains if they get damp. Above this is a
sieve for getting rid of foreign bodies like grass, straw
and poppy seeds from the grain. You can also see
the big pulley, which brings
the drive up to this floor of
the mill from the engine below.
the right of the
the oat crusher, which was used for producing
crushed oats for animal feed. There
is also a hand quern - a small pair of hand operated millstones
from India, which can be turned
by visitors so that they can see for themselves how they work, and
produce flour. Querns like
this are still made, and are still in use in many parts
of the world.
take a walk round the stage outside. Take care,
though, if the Mill is working,
as the sweeps come
right down close to the stage. You will see the
rope hanging down the back of the Mill, alongside the chain with
the weight on it, which works the shutters
of the sweeps. Look up at the back of the
where the fantail carriage sticks out. Under it, near
the Mill, you will be able to see the worm, which drives
the cap round. Even if the fantail is working, you
will not see the cap moving from here, as it travels far too
slowly - it takes at least three-quarters of an
hour to do a half turn, with the fan going flat out!
you have seen enough on the stage, you can go
back into the Mill, and down one more flight of steps.
You arrive on the first floor, with its loading door, which was
used to load and unload sacks
from the carts which came to the Mill. At the opposite side of
this floor are three
compartments, now used only for storage. These served to contain
the different grades of
animal feeds which were produced from the three-layer
sieve above. This floor is now used for showing a video of the
mill. If you did not see this
before you went up, you may care to stop here and see it after
your tour, as it should help
you to understand the workings of the Mill more fully.
the first floor by the stairway, you once more arrive at the
ground floor. Look at the two
big millstones which are leaning against the wall. You can clearly
see the differences between the two types of stones - the
one-piece peak stone from
Derbyshire, and the French burr, quarried near Paris, which is
made out of separate pieces
of stone, cemented together and bound with an iron band.
metal bins on this floor are used for storing grain before it is
raised by the sack hoist to
feed into the millstones.
you now cross the ground floor to the door
at the rear of the mill, you can go through
to the engine shed, where you can
see the engine, which will drive the mill
on calm days. This engine, which came
from a farm in West Chiltington, produces
17 horsepower, which is ample to
drive a pair of millstones and other machinery
on the floors above.
The far end of the engine shed was used as the shop,
where you have in the past been able to buy souvenirs of your visit to Shipley Windmill.
Originally the engine shed
housed a steam engine which drove the mill, but this was scrapped
in the 1920s, when the mill ceased commercial work.