Blue Flower

There were 5 people on site plus the first of the Heritage Open Day visitors. The 3 visitors were shown round and they were very interested to see what had been done on the site. They were shown the visual aids which explained how the mill worked, and were made aware of the website and display in the Heritage Centre, and it was emphasized that the work will continue long term and plans for signage and interpretation were outlined to them. There will also be guided tours on Friday 11/9/15 and Saturday 12/9/15.

The winterising protection plan was explained to the volunteers to show how it should be implemented and we discussed this. It was agreed that volunteers have some discretion about the final methods of protection, particularly regarding the more difficult areas such as the hammer mill base. The elevator is to be cemented into place in its pit after being cleaned.

The first task today was preparing the site for visitors which involved removing the ladder to the wheel pit and the bridge over the trench, these were used by the steel contactors earlier in the week. We also tidied up scaffold poles and moved the temporary fence so the furnace area could be viewed, and the elevator was uncovered and the bearings oiled.

The last sections of steel have been replaced on the water wheel and the bearing caps have been fitted. We went down onto the scaffolding around the wheel for a closer look at the steelwork, a grass snake crossed the river and we watched it swim along the length of the wall.

Two small areas within the brick floor of the main building filled with earth were dug out and this revealed wood on top of solid bases, possibly machine mountings.

The metal detector was used near the recently uncovered brick floor at the upstream end of the building and finds included some nails, hinge post, coprolite, and various pieces of metal. Then the machinery area in front of the wheel was scanned and a large washer with keyway was found, a hinge post, plus large pieces of casting which could be from the gear wheel on the main shaft. The main trench was then scanned along its full length revealing a large bracket with bolt attached, bolt, bolt head, and towards the furnace end were large lumps of molten metal and slag.

All the finds of today and Saturday were logged. Saturday finds included a pottery jar which had been cut across, large piece of curved casting, 2 pieces of leather belt (possibly control belt for the governor, horse tack or drive belt), door latch, hook nail and a piece of drain pipe. For more details and pictures see the finds log.

At the end of the day we looked at the tunnel by the blacksmith’s area which has a large pile of earth inside. We only have until the end of September to work in this area as it is likely that bats will roost in the tunnels. Finally the site was checked to ensure it is ready for the next guided tours.

Graham Bartlett    Interactive Plan            Volunteer       Previous      Next

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