Blue Flower

When Dennis was excavating an area near the water wheel on 30/4/15, a chain sprocket was found attached to a shaft and bearings in a hopper. It was well preserved as it had been buried in soil, and is one of the most complete pieces discovered on site. It is the bottom boot section of an elevator.

The pictures show the progress of this find, starting with the area before uncovering it with the water wheel in the background, through to the complete excavation of the pit it is located in, and detailed views of the device after it was removed from the pit for cleaning on 29/8/15.

When it was cleaned, we noticed writing cast into the sprocket which gave the makers name. Online research was carried out and the company is still in business. The catalogue from the time has been included here to show how it would have looked. The top drive sprocket would have been offset so the elevator would have been at an angle to allow the buckets to empty out over a floor or chute at the top as shown on page 13 of the catalogue. The bottom hopper would have been filled with ground fertilizer and the buckets scoop it up and carry it to the top floor where it was bagged and lowered onto barges by hoist.

The sloping guide of the hopper broke off when earth was removed from around it as it was cracked right through, but it was in situ when found. The pictures also show an elevator cup bucket which was found nearby. During further digging more elevator buckets have been found.

Over the 2015 Christmas holiday Dennis took the elevator to his workshop and stripped it down, cleaned and painted it, and got the chain wheel turning in the bearings.

In 2017 the elevator pit was cleared out and filled with gravel and the elevator base was put back on bricks at the original height. Also the bricks around the top of the elevator pit were put back in place.

During the restoration Dennis had a lot of help from Martin Hill at Ewart Chain who has provided lots of useful information including a parts catalogue which helped identify the type of elevator, sprocket, chain and buckets for our device.

We believe the elevator was upgraded during the operation of the bone mill as we have found two sizes of elevator buckets when digging. 

Chain Elevator Animation     Interactive Plan       Catalogue      Machinery Area      Fertilizer      Blog 13/8/15

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