A Visit to the Mill

On Thursday 17th July 2014 class 3 visited the mill.

 At half past 1 in the afternoon we went to La Société Sercquaise where we met Dr Richard Axton. While we were there we rubbed grain between stones to make flour – like they did in Neolithic times – and then we saw the model of the mill – which had been built by Mr Michael Beaumont – the Seigneur of Sark. From the model we could see how it worked to make flour.

Then we went to the mill to have a look inside and see how it has been restored. The weather vane on the top of the mill, and the date stone in the lintel above the door, give the year 1571.

 The mill used to have sails but they were broken off in a storm. Over the years there has been a fire - when some people burned the roof down after the French revolution, and during the German occupation it was used as a vantage point, and machine guns were installed. (The surrounding trees only grew up after the war.)

We went up all the floors of the mill and looked at the machinery used to work it. From the windows on the different levels we could see Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney and France.

One of the most important parts of the internal workings was the millstone which was made up of 16 smaller stones held together with a metal band. This was done because large, whole stones were heavier and harder to move, also if the stone broke it would’ve had to be replaced entirely, with pieces only parts needed to be replaced.

 When looking at the workings you can see that some of the mill cogs are made of iron and some of wood, this is because if they were all iron it could have caused a spark which might start a fire.

Originally, in the mill the miller did not have steps – like we did - so he had to use a rope to get from floor to floor. There were trap doors at each level so once a bag was full of flour the trap doors were opened and the bag was lowered to the customer.

People had no choice but to get their grain milled at the mill and so some people did not like the miller much. Whatever they were getting milled, they had to pay six percent to the miller. They didn’t trust him, partly because he worked at night and he was the only person who knew how all the machinery in the mill worked.  

 

Ashley and Yasmin

(Year 6)