Summary of articles in International Molinology No 106, which were published in June 2023

‘The SmartMolen Project: real-time remote monitoring of traditional windmills turning to wind’ by Justin Coombs.

Upminster windmill (London Borough of Havering, England) has recently been fully restored through a Dutch/UK scheme. Windmills with patent sails and winded by fantail face the risk of tail-winding, and this project set out to provide safeguarding through using latest radio and internet technology (LoRaWan) working with a digital compass. The technology has now been applied to 11 mills (in UK and Germany) and provides data on responsiveness of the winding gear and cap rotation.

‘Irton Manor Watermill – history, excavation and conservation’ by David Fortune.

This article explores the rediscovery and excavation of a great rarity in England; namely the remains of a horizontal-wheel watermill. Irton Manor mill, in the Lake District National Park of Cumbria, was operated from the 1750s but had much earlier origins, possibly constructed in the 13th century. Left neglected by the owners it was eventually incorporated into the estate landscaping. Excavation and stabilisation were started in 2019.

‘About millstones in Finland’ by Kirsti Horn.

The author recounts that there were some 20,000 mills in Finland in the 1880s but often the only remains are the millstones. Little has been written about these, but one of the major sources was the sandstone beds of Säkylä, in the south-west of the country. The industry here dates back to the 17th century, and was mainly conducted through the winter months, producing around 100 pairs of millstones per year. In the more northerly parts they used granite, and from the 1880s they manufactured artificial stones.

‘A water-driven ice block factory, from before WWII, at the Frantzis’ mills (Lamia, Greece)’ by Constantinos Ath. Balomenos.

The Frantzis’ mills were part of the Mouriki farm estate, bought by the Greeks from the Turks at the time of liberation (1833). The mill worked grinding corn until it finally stopped in 1956. Ioannis Kranakis, a career soldier, bought the estate and built there an ice block factory, using the power of the waterwheel to drive the compressor for the refrigerant.

‘A formula to install watermills along a riverbed according to the Byzantine law’ by Stelios A. Mouzakis.

Moldavian and Wallachian mill law of the 18th century was based on much earlier Byzantine laws from the 7th and 8th centuries. A whole chapter of the legal code Syntaamation Nomikon of 1780 was dedicated to the construction of watermills along rivers. This provided controls against harm to neighbours, stipulated the use of skilled craftsmen and the application of mathematics to the hydraulic constructions that directed water via leats into the water towers used to drive horizontal water wheels.

‘Sugarcane milling – an historical overview’ by Willem D. van Bergen.

An update on the paper delivered by the author at the 12th Symposium in 2007, this describes the diffusion of the sugarcane industry from eastern civilisations to the west (initially via the Crusades) and then across the globe via imperial conquest. The production technology is described, including the use of mills to extract the cane juice; initially by rollers, then edge runners, presses, then finally the three-roller mills (vertical and horizontal.) The various energy sources are also described. The article is fully illustrated throughout.

Communications articles include ‘Some misconceptions regarding ancient references to windpower’ by Etienne Rogier. This explores some of the ‘myths’ about windmills in India, Babylon and Egypt; mostly derived from poor translations of ancient texts. Next is ‘De Merelaaanmolen of Gistel, West Flanders, Belgium’ by Ton Meesters, which provides photographic evidence of a rather unique mill built by Alfred Rouse in 1933 to generate electricity. Finally, a short piece by Mike Beacham ‘Millstones of wood in Ukraine’ based on a photograph in his collection. There follows a review by Luke Bonwick of the book ‘The Restoration of Wicken Mill – Millwrighting, Milling and History’ written by Dave Pearce.

Also included in this edition of International Molinology are obituaries to Kenjiro Kawakami, Derek Ogden and David Jones. They were all great contributors to TIMS and will be sadly missed.












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Summary of articles in International Molinology No 104 which were published in June 2022

‘Finnish Supermills and their Builders; Part II: Oskar Friman' by Kirsti Horn.

This study is the second part concerning millwrights based around the Gulf of Finland, this time focussing on Oskar Friman (1878-1959). A real entrepreneur, he made many inventions including patented drive belts of interlinked wooden pieces. He had his own mill complex and worked on water and steam powered mills, fitting them out with turbines and roller mills. He also built windmills including the most unusual Granström's mill just outside Hamina.

‘Windmill Sails: John Smeaton and 18th Century Aerodynamics' by Dave Pearce.

John Smeaton was one of the most eminent practitioners of the 18th century, working in the field of civil, military and mechanical engineering. In 1759 he returned to the subject of wind power, seeking to find the most efficient and powerful sail designs. The author examines the predictions of the Scottish mathematician Colin Maclaurin which were tested by Smeaton using models turning on an axis to reproduce wind velocity. He then goes on to compare these results with the sails of two Cambridgeshire mills at Wicken.

‘Windmill recording methodology – the case of the island of Kynthos’ by Panagiotis Markou.

This describes a scientific methodology for discovering windmills using existing records and digital wind-maps. This allowed predictions which were then followed up by new field surveys. The application of this methodology to the Greek island of Kynthos gave impressive results. The author considers its use in other countries of the region.

‘Principles, processes and phenomena in applied hydraulics' by Harmut Wittenberg.

The author begins this article by stating: “This is not an article about mill technology but on fundamental hydraulics and how these apply to mills.” He shows how an understanding of the basics of hydrodynamics not only provides an understanding of channel flow in different conditions, but can also prevent engineers from making mistakes which may prove catastrophic.

‘Mills and Milling Devices in the National Historical and Ethnographic Reserve at Pereyaslav, Ukraine' by Olena Zham.

This article tells how Mykhailo Sikorski founded and developed this museum, 90km SE of Kiev, from the 1970s onwards. Today is stands as a molinological treasure house containing 15 windmills, two watermills, seven hand mortars, ten pedal mortars, and 13 hand-driven mills (nine made of stone and four of wood), plus a number of querns and hand tools associated with the milling process (some very ancient). The exhibits are described with a wealth of illustrations and the windmills are also shown on the outside and inside covers of this edition.

‘An Egyptian watermill' by Ian Scotter.

The author recounts how he came across this unusual mill when visiting the norias in Fayoum City. It was designed with two inlets which each drove a horizontal wheel grain mill, all housed in a surprisingly large building with a fine wooden barrel roof. Unfortunately the building has fallen into ruin since his visit in 2001.

‘Update on the antique miniature mill'’ by Charles Yeske.

This is a short piece reporting on the successful transfer of this collection (featured in IM103) to the archives of the Society for the Preservation of Old Mills SPOOM . Plans are afoot for proper storage and exhibition.

'Horse driven farm elevators, initiated by a children's book' by Yolt Ijzerman.

The author describes the expansion of horse-driven machinery on farms – elevators being typical - before being replaced by the combustion engine. He recounts how his childhood interest in such things was brought back by a recent rediscovery of a book, Orlando Buys A Farm, by Kathleen Hale.

'An unusual windmill 'restoration' on the Canary Island of Tenerife' by Ian Scotter.

This last short piece, another by Ian Scotter, recounts how a windmill has been restored in the middle of a roundabout. The restoration is unusual in that the workings are all exposed.

Also included in this edition of International Molinology is an obituary to Alan Stoyel. There is one book review, by Graham Hackney, on ‘Sugar Mills and Slavery’ by Dr Stuart M.Nisbet.


Summary of articles in International Molinology No 103 which were published in December 2021

‘Flemish dog mills during the 'Great War' by John Verpaalen.

In 1910, the number of 'churn mills' driven by dogs in the Flemish provinces was reckoned to be over 13,000. This article collects a number of photographs of these devices, usually associated with farms, taken during the First Wold War. Many of course were damaged during the conflict, and today there are barely 25 of them in the whole of Flanders. The photographs also capture moments of peace, such as groups of soldiers who have just collected their mail, and a very unusual one with a female rider on horseback and in German uniform.

‘The watermills of the levadas of Madeira' by Hartmut Wittenberg and Christiane Rhode.

The island of Madeira is transversed by a series of irrigation channels which wind around the very steep topography. As well as carrying water to the fields, these levadas also supply watermills, 36 of which were included in this study. The article explores the energy generation and grinding capacity created by these spectacular works of hydro-engineering.

‘An English country millwright in the mid-20th century: Thompson’s of Alford in Lincolnshire' by Colin Moore.

This paper recounts the final part of the history of Thompson’s of Alford whose beginnings were published in TIMS Journal No 97 and continued in No 101. This covers the period from 1933 to when Jim Davies joined the firm in 1973, then taken on by Tom Davies who ran it until his retirement in 2013. These were very lean years for millwrights, kept afloat by repair and restoration work, but with falling profits. During the mid-1950s, however, work picked up as local authorities, mill preservation societies and some individuals started to restore mills for heritage purposes. This trend increased through the 1960s and 70s, and today many windmills in the UK bear the marks of Thompson's work.

Finnish Supermills and their Builders; Part I: Otto Sandström' by Kirsti Horn.

This is the first part recounting the work of millwrights based around the Gulf of Finland, this time focussing on Otto Sandström (1833-1906). There were officially some 9,800 windmills in Finland in 1895. This millwright built some of the last ones, these being very large hollow post mills of a particular design. The author provides details on 11 of these, and the photographs are quite astounding.

‘An antique miniature mill – the craftsmanship of a Pennsylvanian craftsman’ by Graham Hackney.

This short piece reports on the story of a complete roller mill assemblage, in miniature, held by the Lucas family for 85 years. It was built by a Pennsylvanian recluse by the name of Charles Derringer. The Lucas family are looking for a new home for the collection.

'A mill for making money' by Ian Scotter.

This last short piece recounts the author's visit to a watermill for pressing coins, built on the site of an old papermill. The mint was inaugurated in 1586. A full restoration was completed in 2011.



Summary of articles in International Molinology No 100 which were published in June 2020

‘Some Late 19th Century Ideas and Machinery for the Milling of Wheat by Percussion’ by Nigel S. Harris.

By the 1870s and 1880s Britain lagged behind the US and Europe in terms of technical developments in milling. However, the 1890s saw rapid development with the introduction of roller systems, but these were not the only methods explored. In this article Nigel Harris looks at milling by percussion; either by pneumatic means (i.e. firing a high speed stream of wheat against a plate) or by a stream of wheat ‘free falling’ onto a high speed rotating impeller. The claimed advantages of these methods are taken from contemporary records such as ‘The Millers Journal’. The performance and operation of some working machines that entered the market, such as Carr’s disintegrator and Nagel and Käemps dismembrator, are compared with traditional millstones.

‘Windmills in Greece: Some thoughts’ by George Speis.

This work is both a personal reflection and a review of windmill types and their distribution across the mainland and numerous islands of Greece. Much of the information was provided from the personal collections of Stephanos Nomikos and the accounts of other authors, news articles, tax registers and legal documents etc. This was all used to build up a comparative database of mills. The author reviews previous assumptions and conclusions regarding the nature of the Greek windmill, then explores the distribution of the various types, sometimes using his own methods of typology. Finally the article looks at the uses these mills were put to.

‘Brothertoft Woad Mill, Lincolnshire, England: an early attempt at mass production’ by John Brandrick.

The author, John Brandrick, is well known for his autocad drawings of mills, many of which have featured in IM. Here he has produced an article based around the drawings he did for the only permanent woad mill and manufactory in the UK, at Brothertoft in Lincolnshire. The product, used for centuries as a blue dye, required careful intensive treatment carried out by ‘waddies’, and grinding in horse mills. This particular establishment was founded by Major John Cartwright, and included cottages and a school for the workers.

‘The horse driven mill in the Monastery of the Strofades Islands, Greece (mid-17th century)’ by Stavros Mamaloukos and Michalis Papavarnavas.

This horsemill was unusually purpose-built into the fabric of the Monastery of the Strophades Islands, dating to the mid-17th century. The mill occupied its own vaulted space, and its unusual preservation is due to the abandonment of the whole ground floor of this castle/monastery complex. The authors have reproduced the results of a survey of the building and provide detailed drawings and photographs of the mill mechanism.

Artificial Channels and Mills: The Example of Basle (Switzerland), by Berthold Moog.

Berthold Moog, a resident of Basle, here tells of the extensive network of artificial canals and channels constructed throughout the city, from as early as 1150. They were formed around three tributaries of the River Rhine, initially through the work of the monasteries. Here the author details the history of each channel in turn, the corporations that managed them (taking over from the monasteries), and the plethora of watermills and industries these channels supported. These include corn mills, sawmills, fulling mills, grinding mills for gunpowder and tanning materials, hammer mills and wire mills. The number of these establishments is staggering and demonstrates just how much industrial and economic development could be based on the power of water.

‘The Rex Wailes Collection has arrived at the Mills Archive’ by Mildred Cookson and Nathanael Hodge, The Mills Archive Trust, Reading, UK.

Rex Wailes is probably the most influential figure in UK molinology and was a founding father of TIMS. Upon his passing, in 1986, his personal collection of mill artefacts and documentation, which had been stored in a damp garden shed, was rescued by Alan Stoyel. Alan did what he could to preserve the material which was sent to the Science Museum in London. In July of 2019 the collection was finally transferred to the Mills Archive Trust in Reading, where for the first time it will be truly accessible for study through digitisation. The authors here tell of the story of the move to Reading, and describe the work that will be necessary to stabilise the collection and preserve it.

‘Wiki Loves Monuments photographic competition; Ukrainian branch’ by Olena Krushynska.

Every September, in individual countries, the ‘Wiki Loves Monuments’ competition is held to judge the best photographs of the world’s historic monuments. The author was a judge on the Ukrainian panel (along with TIMS President, Willem van Bergen), and here she tells of the judging process, and why the three finalists were chosen. The winning images occupy the whole of the covers of this particular edition of IM, and Willem gives his personal view of the photographs.

‘Vermeer Mill, Pella, Iowa US: restored in 2002’ by Logan Aalbers.

Logan Albers recently joined TIMS, and here describes how the city of Pella, Iowa decided to recreate their own working Dutch windmill, as part of their Historic Village. In spring of 2002 the residents celebrated when the whole octagonal superstructure of the mill was lifted onto the high brick base, followed by the placing of the cap and sails. Today the mill is run by trained millers and helpers – all volunteers, and attracts thousands of visitors every year, especially during the tulip festival.

Also included in this edition of International Molinology are two obituaries, one to J.Geoff Hawksley, the other to Owen Ward. Lastly, there is one book review, by Willem van Bergen, on the double-volumed ‘Plantations of Antigua: the Sweet Success of Sugar. A Biography of the Historic Plantations Which Made Antigua a Major Source of the World’s Early Sugar Supply’ by Agnes C. Meeker MBE with Donald A. Dery.

Summary of articles in International Molinology No 98 which were published in June 2019

The bulk of this edition of IM was devoted to the mill tours which accompanied the 15th TIMS Symposium in Berlin.

Berlin Symposium Pre-Tour to Sachsen, Zittauer Gebirge and Lausitz, by various authors.

This tour, led by Gerald and Dietmar Bost, was set in the far eastern part of Germany (formerly GDR), starting down near the Polish border at Zittau. On the way we stopped at our first mill, the Windmühle Straupitz, a complex of a corn mill, a saw mill and an oil mill. Restoration began in the 1990s and now the whole complex is again in working order, and along with its restaurant is a popular attraction. The second day began in Oderitz at the Fermann-Mühle, a large watermill typically modernised with a Francis turbine and roller mills. Next was a very large post mill, the Berndt-Mühle from 1787. Post mills in Germany were heavily modernised in the late19th century, with patent sails set on iron crosses for ‘high grinding’ of rye with rollers, trieurs, bolters, elevators etc. Then followed the Berthold-Mühle, now powered by electricity like so many watermills in the area where water resources have become insufficient. This is a fully commercial mill with pneumatic carriage. A short walk took us to another post mill, the Neumann Mühle, again so large it required supporting wheels at the base of the buck (so transforming it into a paltrock mill). The third day of the tour was mostly spent at the millstone quarries of Kurort Jonsdorf, which worked commercially until 1919 when one of their biggest markets, in Russia, closed due to trade restrictions. There was still time for one mill, another working post mill at Kottmarsdorf, where there are a pair of ‘hopper boys’ for cooling the fresh meal. The fourth day began at Sohland Mühle, another post mill restored by the local municipality, then a visit to the very large watermill, the Gustav Ritter-Neumühle. This commercial mill is capable of producing 10 tons a day and has been awarded as the “cleanest mill in the world”. A visit to the Moravian Star factory at Hernhuth was followed by the very interesting Hetzemühle, a truly massive post mill which formerly had 5 sails. The last mill of the day was the Lawalde Niedermühle, powered by turbine and now preserved as a ‘technical monument’. The final day of the Pre-Tour saw only one mill, the Riegel Mühle at Nechern, with its Zuppinger-type waterwheel. The bus then left for a guided tour around the city of Dresden before moving on to Berlin.

Symposium Excursions.

Not all the Symposium delegates were able to attend the associated Pre- and Post-Tours, so two days of mill/museum excursions were arranged, all based around the city of Berlin. Due to the number of delegates two coaches were arranged for the first day, taking different routes to reduce the numbers in the mills. The first mill (for some) was the unusual barn mill in Saalow, built by a local carpenter in 1864. This was followed by a visit to Potsdam, the home of the very large Historiche Mühle (or Sanssouci Windmill). The lower floors were all dedicated to displays, but the upper floors contained real mill machinery. Next we moved back to Berlin for the Marzhan post mill, managed (and partly restored) by Jurgen Wolf. A drive across the city took us to the Britzer Muhle, a splendid 12 sided smock mill, where an evening meal had been arranged for the delegates. The second day of excursions involved only one destination, the Deutsches Tecknikmuseum (German Museum of Technology). Formerly one of the city’s main train terminals, the site was transformed into a rail museum but now holds displays on all forms of technology, industry and engineering. This includes mills, and we visited a fully restored post mill, a partly restored Dutch smock mill and a working forge (with undershot water wheel).

Berlin Symposium Post-Tour to Niedersachsen and Braunschweig.

This tour was led by Rüdiger Hagen and Gerald Bost, and centred around the city of Braunschweig (Brunswick) in the former West Germany. It began with a city walk in Wolfenbüttel, the home town of the famous millwright company of Luther & Peters. The whole city seemed dedicated to mills, millstone manufacture and mill engineering. The second day started at the ancient watermill of Erkerode, full of machinery and complicated English style gearing. Next was the village of Räbke where there were formerly eight mills. Of the remaining two, we visited the Liesebach Mühle, with gearing by Luther & Peters and now fully restored. This was followed by a visit to the post mill at Dettum, where the volunteer group was setting the common sails for us. These post mills all had little bedrooms for the miller, with walls made of wattle and dub to help keep out the cold. The next mill, at Hedeper, was a tower mill preserved as a technical monument, superbly situated on top of a hill. The last mill of the day was the five-sail tower mill of Wendhausen, built in 1837 by the Leeds firm of Fenton & Murray. The next day saw a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Museum of Mining at Rammelsberg. The molinological interest here was the use of water power to drive pumps, raise ore and carry miners up and down (in ‘man engines’). The memorable trip down the mine showed us the double water wheels, capable of driving in either direction. We then moved on to the industrial complex of Königshütte at Bad Lauterburg, formerly the iron and bronze foundries of the Elector of Hanover, then sold to the millwrights Peters of Wolfenbüttel. Here we saw foundries, machine shops and a large corn mill at the rear of the site. The third day had one destination, the unique Internationales Mühlenmuseum at Gifhorn. Here there are restorations and recreations of all forms of mills from around the world including post, smock and tower windmills, horizontal and vertical watermills, a horse mill and a boat mill. The fourth day began at the smock mill called Paula, at Steinhude, now fully operational. The next was the very traditional post mill at Dudensen, with cloth sails and double quarter bars. At Laderholz watermill there are two waterwheels, one above the other, then to another watermill at Vesbeck which has been moved twice. The last mill of the day was the open trestle post mill at Wettmar, with one pair of common sails and one pair of patents. The following morning we visited the large stone-built tower mill at Wichringhausen. This has an amazing power transmission in the basement, driving all the pulleys and shafts further up in the mill. Our next stop was Stadthagen to see a watermill, now disused, but was once part of a brewery. Full of ‘modern’ milling machinery, but still with the old water wheel from an earlier building. The last visit of the day (and the whole Post-Tour) was to the pair of forge mills at Exten. The Upper Forge is still undergoing refurbishment, and the Lower Forge is completely full of early 20th century metal working equipment.

Milling Around in Gloucestershire by M J A Beacham.

Following Mike Beacham’s two part analysis of the business affairs of a Gloucestershire mealman in the early 19th century, this article explores the movement of corn mill workers during that period. Using census reports the author has been able to track the movements of individuals from mill to mill, and also how often and how far they moved.

Magic and mills: case study, the last watermill on the Iza river, Maramureş, Romania by Adrian Scheianu.

Adrian is a curator at the Astra Open Air Museum at Sibiu, site of our 14th Symposium. His article explores the relationship between traditional milling technology and the magic and myths that surrounded it. Particularly he centres on the watermill of Dănilă Mecleş, the last one of its kind in Săcel, and information provided by Vasile Şuşcă, a craftsman and designer of traditional masks, and descended from a family of millers.

Repairing a Syrian Naura by Stephanos Nomikos.

This follows an article by Richard Brüdern on the Nauras of Hama and Damascus, published in IM98. In 2008 Stephanos visited Syria to view these monuments, and whilst travelling across country came across a pair of them still in working order. Of even greater interest was the fact that one was being refurbished by local craftsmen, and the author luckily recorded the event in notes and photographs.

An observation on Robbert & Sytske Verkerk’s article concerning the Moulins Chapelle, in Saint-Cyr-en-Bourg, France (Transactions of the TIMS Symposium, Sibiu, Romania 2015) by Christian Cussonneau.

Robbert & Sytske Verkerk’s paper delivered at Sibiu in 2015 prompted a question on the origin of the name ‘Moulins Chapelle’. The answer is provided here by Christian Cussonneau. Also, since there was an unfortunate printing problem with the axonometric drawings in Robbert & Sytske’s article in the 14th Transactions, they are reproduced here.


Also included in this edition of International Molinology are three book reviews. The first, by Gerald Bost, looks at the recent publication of the 4 volume Codex Madrid I of Leonardo da Vinci. This is the artist’s main work on technology and shows his amazing drawings of mills and mill gearing. The second, by Graham Hackney, is a review of the Mills Archive Trust publication ‘Mills at War’ by Ron and Mildred Cookson. This explores the many uses of mills in warfare, to feed armies (and besieged towns and garrisons), but also as signalling towers and muster points. The third, also by Graham Hackney, is a review of ‘Corn Watermills of the National Trust in England’ by Nigel S. Harris. This volume describes all of the 19 such mills in the ownership of the National Trust, and uses these as examples for descriptions of traditional milling technology.

Summary of articles in International Molinology No 102 which were published in June 2021

‘Traditional Grain Mills in Dakhla Oasis, Egypt: their mechanical systems and restoration’ by Yasser Ali

This is the first study of traditional grain mills in Dakhla Oasis, Egypt. A sample animal-powered mill was selected from seven potential candidates for conservation, with the aim of ensuring the sustainability of these traditional systems of production whilst retaining their original function. The methodology for conservation was based on a combination of the traditional experience of the old craftsmen and modern technological applications in restoration and rehabilitation, and in addition the use of software programs in data analysis.

‘The Bohnsdorf Post Mill at the Deutsches Technikmuseum, Museum Park, Berlin: historical context, condition monitoring and planning of future restoration measures’ by
Veronika Zanner

The post mill in Berlin-Bohnsdorf was the last one of its type in Berlin standing in its place of origin. Its destruction would have been unavoidable if the Museum für Verkehr und Technik, today known as the Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin, had not decided to buy and relocate the decaying structure and machinery in 1983. Today the post mill is still an important feature of the museum’s park and much-frequented by visitors. Nevertheless the wooden construction is more and more affected by degradation caused by neglect and disuse. To stop this process of decay the museum initiated a project in the form of a bachelor thesis, in cooperation with the HTW Berlin and its course on 'Conservation and Restoration'.

‘A Bavarian water saw in Greece during the first years of King Otto (1834-1838)’ by George Speis

The author discovered a previously undiscovered dossier regarding a Bavarian-built water saw at Stropones on the Greek island of Euboea, the result of colonial style development in the reign of King Otto. The details in the dossier reveal the reasoning behind the project, the problems encountered (environmental as well as cultural), and provide insights into construction and infrastructure of the water saw. The project was ultimately a failure.

‘Tide Mills of Portugal (13th-18th centuries): an energy resource for the maritime expeditions’ by Ana Cláudia Silveira

The expansion from out of the reconquered Iberian peninsular, and the crusades to North Africa in the 15th century, was part of the ‘right to conquer’ claimed by all of the sovereigns who governed there from the time of the reign of Fernando the Great, King of Castille and Leon (1037-1065). These maritime expeditions required large quantities of ships biscuits, and this prompted the foundation of tide mills, using the most readily available source of power. 45 such mill sites were located around the Tagus Estuary, alone.

‘The Perg millstone industry’ by Harald Marschner

There is no evidence as to when millstones were mined in Perg; several references indicate a very old tradition. However, in the 16th century the millstone crushers of Perg had such an important supra-regional significance that, in 1582, they had their ‘handicraft regulations’ confirmed by the German Emperor Rudolf II. He granted a privilege regarding these stones such that, “if millstone quarries are found in Upper Austria”, they could only be exploited by the Perg quarry masters.

‘Satellite Survey of the Horizontal-wheeled Watermills of the Shetland Isles’ by Nigel S. Harris

In 2018 Nigel Harris visited and widely reported on Scottish horizontal-wheeled watermills to be found in the Orkneys and the Outer Hebrides. A subsequent visit to the Shetland Isles to carry out a similar quest was postponed due to the Covid19 pandemic. In preparation for a possible future visit the author carried out a literature search and online survey of those mills that still exist, in order to determine their state of preservation and their geographical location.

‘Ancient texts on windmills’ by Etienne Rogier

Ancient writings on windmills are extremely rare; it took a 16th century genius having an encyclopaedic knowledge and an ability to write about a wide ‘range of things’ from bygone days, to deal with this subject. Jérôme Cardan (1501-1576), doctor, astrologer, mathematician, inventor, etc., was the author of a composite volume entitled ‘De Rerum Varietate’, printed for the first time in 1557 in Basel. So far this large book, written in baroque Latin, has not been translated and currently has no scientific edition; so, I have been trying to understand myself Cardan's few lines about windmills.

Also included in this edition of International Molinology are obituaries to Herman Peel, Richard Brüdern and Armando Ferreira. There is one book review, by Graham Hackney, on ‘A Miller and his Mill: The Story of John Else and Warney Mill’ by Judith Cooper.


Summary of articles in International Molinology No 105 which were published in December 2022

Bulgarian Mid-Term Tour: 23 September to 1 October and 9 October to 17 October 2022.

The first 14 pages of the journal are dedicated to a report on the first of these tours, written by the Editor. The party visited a number of watermills, mainly around four settlements; Egrek, Shumnatitsa, Voneshta Voda and Potok. These included small grain mills, some still in use during the wet season, but also two sawmills, and at Kalofer and Zlatograd they viewed grain/fulling mill complexes. Other highlights included a visit to the very early Neolithic house site at Zlatograd (complete with in-situ saddle querns), and a walnut oil mill at Kazanlack. One whole day was spent viewing the mill exhibits of the ETAR Open-air Museum at Gabrovo, the working location of our host Rostsa Bineva. Here are working grain mills, water-powered lathes, a fulling mill, sawmill, walnut-oil mill, fulling tubs and a unique braid making mill powered by 9 horizontal wheels.

'Ebbs and flows of a Cape Cod tide mill: investment, innovation and community' by Timothy J. Richards.

This article charts the movement from windmills to tide mills in New England, and the rise and fall of one such mill, from c.1790 to 1860. The mill was built under shared ownership, but after 1820 growth of the community required that the mill be upgraded with an early type of turbine (a 'reaction' wheel). The mill was abandoned earlier than most tide mills due to loss of the harbour and decline of the local fishing fleet.

'Xuchimangas mills: analysis of a Jesuit hydraulic system in old colonial Mexico' by Tarsicio Pastrana Salcedo.

This mill complex was built by Jesuits to serve an educational establishment in Tepotzotlán, Mexico, 45 kilometres north of Mexico City. The author has made a detailed study of the remains, including the associated hydraulic engineering for the water supply system which served the seven mills. There then follows a hypothesis for the architectural evolution of one of these mills.

'Is the development of the windmill in Western Europe independent from that of the Eastern (Sistan) windmill?' by Tarcis van Berge Henegouwen.

The author charts the rise and expansion of the Islamic Caliphates which promoted new learning and technology, including reports on the horizontal windmills of Sistan. The attempts by Islamic armies to gain a foothold in Italy prompted the hiring of Norman mercenaries who eventually took over Southern Italy and Sicily. This new kingdom was diverse in outlook, and King Roger II invited Al-Idrisi to his court. Here he wrote his great book, in 1164, which could have influenced contemporaneous Norman mill building around the English Channel.

Also included in this edition of International Molinology are an obituary to Tim Booth and a book review, by Graham Hackney, on ‘Windmills of Central Europe and beyond’ by Bill Bignell..


Summary of articles in International Molinology No 98 which were published in June 2019

Historical Survey of an English Watermill at Gomshall, Surrey by Nigel S. Harris.

Nigel’s ancestor, David Harris, obtained a lease in 1752 on Gomshall Watermill, Surrey. However, the mill is much older than this, possibly with Anglo-Saxon origins. The article gives a history of the mill including an account of the major refurbishment in 1674 when new gearing allowed the use of four sets of stones (probably  French burr stones installed in a hurst frame). There is an inventory of 1786 when David Harris sold the mill, and then an account of further works in 1839. The mill finally ceased production in 1953 and is now a restaurant. The article includes drawings by John Brandrick.

Horizontal-wheel grain mills with rotating bedstones (under-runners) in Amdo, Tibet by Eugen Wehrli.

This is an update of an article originally published in 1993, and deals with the highly unusual horizontal wheel mills of Tibet and Western China where the upper stone is suspended in a stationary position whilst the bedstone is rotated. This arrangement allows for fine adjustment of the stones, and this is clearly demonstrated by the drawings of John Brandrick.  Under-runners appear to be common in the region of Amdo and in Northern Tibet but very rare elsewhere. Even so, there are surviving examples of these across central China as far south-east as Doilungdechen (Lhasa, Tibet Autonomous Region). Under-runner mills of a very different design and technology were also popular in Europe and US at the end of the 19th century.

A Gloucestershire Mealman: Anthony Fewster of Inchbrook Mill. Part Two by M J A Beacham.

Mike Beacham’s  second part of a detailed analysis of the business affairs of a Gloucestershire mealman in the early 19th century. Mealmen were middle men, trading between farmers, millers and bakers, and could also be millers themselves; Anthony Fewster ran Inchbrook mill for 43 years. Mike’s detailed account shows how Fewster exanded his business, taking advantage of every opportunity in a highly competitive field, even to the point of keeping pigs and selling brooms, fish and soot!

The Windmills of Arwad, Syria by Etienne Rogier.

Etienne recounts the story of how, during a search through the photographic Archives of the Ecole Biblique et Archéologique Française (EBAF), in Jersulam, he came across three amazing photographs of traditional windmills, taken by Father Raphaël Savignac in 1915, on the Island of Arwad. Savignac worked for the French Intelligence Service during the  occupation of the island, facing the Ottoman guns on the mainland. The photos show one stone tower mill, and a line of six wooden pivot mills which sit on square bases supported by stilts.

The historical development of Water Lifting Wheels and insufficient water in Hama and Damascus, Syria by Richard Brüdern.

Richard Brüdern worked in Syria during the 1960s and 1980s. His account records the development of water lifting wheels from antiquity, through the Roman and Islamic periods and into the Medieval era in Europe. The spectacular wheels of Hama and Damascus, known as Naura, were a high point in this development, but Richard applies his engineering knowledge to demonstrate how their efficiency could have been maximised. Fourteen of these wheels still stand in Hama, but they face an uncertain future.

References regarding topics of molinology found in the texts of Ancient Greek authors by Stephanos Nomikos.

Members and friends of the Greek TIMS have researched the texts and poems of the Ancient Greek-speaking authors and poets, from the 8th century BC up to the 6th century AD, in order to detect references to mills of that period, and also to the millers, millstones, grinding procedures and generally to topics related to molinology. Many of the references are mythological, others, such as in Roman times, as more historical, whilst others deal with alternative uses of millstone as in buildings and roads.

Van Wyck-Lefferts Tide Mill Sanctuary, Inc. takes ownership and stewardship of the 18th century Mill and surrounding acreage.

Wyck-Lefferts Mill is one of only two tide mill buildings in the US which have significant gears, stones and remaining equipment, and this article reports on a recent announcement regarding its future preservation. This involves the transfer of a 17-acre parcel of land to a not-for-profit organisation whose mission is to promote responsible public access and enjoyment of both Mill and the Mill Cove Waterfowl Sanctuary in the village of Lloyd Harbor in Huntington, New York.

Also included in this edition of International Molinology are two obituaries, one to Chris Gibbings, the other to Cees van Hees.