This water mill is in full working order, making the village of Packenham unusual in having both a windmill and a water mill still in working condition. Both are well worth a visit, although the windmill was closed on the day we were there. The people at the water mill are enthusiastic and very knowledgeable - we had a fascinating and rewarding time there.
Here is a close view of the mill wheel, which is 16 feet in diameter and weighs 4 tons. The original wheel would have been made of timber, and was replaced by the current iron one in the late 19th century.
Water passes over the shut (a wooden shutter which holds back the water in the mill pond) into the buckets of the wheel. It is a high breastshot wheel with water entering the buckets above axle height. One revolution of the wheel rotates the stones 24 times, and 4 rpm is normal milling speed. The weight of water in the buckets varies from about 3/4 to 1/2 a ton at any one time. The effect of lowering the shut was demonstrated to us - the acceleration of the wheel was absolutely incredible!
Here is a view of the milling floor, with the working millstones in their wooded case on the left. Two other pairs of stones, no longer used, can be seen in the background.
Here is a view of the main drive wheels; the teeth are wooden to prevent the risk of sparks in a very flammable environment.
Here is a view of the rear of the mill, with the mill pond and shut (under the stairs) visible.
Here is a view of the nearby windmill across the mill pond.
Here is a final view of the mill from the road.
I have been provided with information about various Sussex windmills from Simon Potter who runs a brilliant site about Sussex Mills.
More information on other wind and water mills may be found on the excellent Windmill World site.
Check out my other windmill photographs in my Windmill Album.
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Photographs © Mark Collins 2006
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