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Tide Mills of England and Wales

Nature volume 142, page 785 (29 October 1938) | Download Citation



IN a very well illustrated lecture to the Newcomen Society on October 12, entitled “The Tide Mills of England and Wales”, Mr. Rex Wailes gave a survey of all the mills of which he had been able to find any traces. In the course of two years he had visited the sites of twenty-three mills, and of these ten were still worked by the tides. Starting with the county of Suffolk, he described the mill at Woodbridge on the Deben Estuary, first mentioned about 1170. This mill is served by a 3,100,000 sq. ft. pond with a six-foot head. The water-wheel is 20 ft. in diameter and 5 ft. 10 in. in width and it is mounted on a 22-in. square oak shaft. It drives four pairs of mill stones controlled by a single pair of governors, the only instance of its kind. There are early references to several tide mills in London but the only ones at work are at the Three Mills Distillery, Bromley-by-Bow. Here in the House Mill are four water-wheels, and in the Clock Mill, three water-wheels, all about 20 ft. in diameter, driving in all eighteen pairs of stones for grinding maize, barley and other cereals for the production of spirits. The mills are semi-tidal, being worked as the water flows outward from the River Lea. Other mills still working are at Stam-bridge, in Essex, Beaulieu and Eling in Hampshire, Carew and Pembroke in Wales, and Emsworth in Sussex. The paper is printed and illustrated in Engineering for October 14.

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