Corn Milling

WhereGreat Broughton Village HallType of EventTalk
WhenMonday 11th March 2013TutorJohn K Harrison and Peter Morgan

Around 30 members attended on a cold and snowy evening to hear John K Harrison and Peter Morgan give an excellent talk on ‘The History of Corn Milling & Developments in Local Mills in the early 19th Century’

Peter Morgan explained that grain is the fruit of wheat which requires being ground down, bran makes the flour heavy so requires removing.  The earliest method was to use a pestle and mortar as recorded in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. This was followed by the saddle quern, two stones rubbed together, this was not efficient you had to stop to feed the grain in and take the flour out.  A hole was later added to the top stone to feed grain between the stones.  Grooves were also cut into the stones.  The Greeks also used two stones, a flat bottom one, and the top one with a depression to act as a hopper feed. The Romans used querns where the top stone was rotated on the bottom one. Water mills were known in Greece in 25BC and also Pompeii in 79BC.  The next development was gearing with cog wheels this was the basis of 19th century mills. Water mills with paddles or buckets developed.  Large roller mills such as the Cleveland Mill at Thornaby put the smaller mills out of business.

 Mill stones were made of millstone grit, blue stones or French burr stones.  Stokesley Mill was the only local mill mentioned in the Doomsday Book.  Local mills to survive include Arden Mill, Low Mill in Bilsdale and Tocketts Mill at Guisborough.  

Sadly Ingleby Mill did not survive, closing in the 1960’s, but the evening closed with an excellent film of Ingleby Mill in action.  

Scroll to top