You may have seen this imposing building during your travels in the Great Haseley area of Oxfordshire. Sadly, it has fallen into neglect and the years have taken their toll. A major restoration project is now underway, aiming to return this historic building to its former glory. Follow the progress of the restoration in our blog....

The Restoration Team

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Lots of things being finished at the moment....

The newly-refurbished boulter on the stone floor is looking splendid, seen here with the cover on...

and with the cover off.

Also looking good is the bin floor; the sycamore panelling has been trimmed neatly with douglas fir strips, and capping strips added to the bin dividers. Consider the 'i's dotted and the 't's well and truly crossed. One day I'll buy a fish eye lens to show these views properly!

Up on the dust floor, the very poorly wallower has been removed from the main shaft, for major reconstructive surgery back at the workshop. This freed up some room around the shaft, so the last area of flooring could be joisted and decked out. My knees will never be the same again! The 'hole' in the floor is to allow the sack hoist drum to bear against the underside of the wallower, thus giving a friction drive. Much of the mechanism for the sack hoist was absent, so we are extrapolating from what we have seen on the stone floor (where there are similar mechanisms to drive the boulter).

Unfortunately, over the years, water seems to have found its way into the main shaft, probably where it was seeping through the rotten wallower. So, there is a rot pocket in the main shaft which will need repairing. We need a very solid structure here, against which we can wedge the wallower in place.

And finally, the curved stairs to the dust floor are finished, complete with handrail. Luxury, compared to a tied-on ladder.

Yet more lintel repairs

The lintels above the south doorway, on the stone floor, were in dire need of replacement. Here, the middle and outermost pieces have been removed, these were badly affected by rot / worm. The innermost piece was relatively unscathed, so we are keeping this, with the help of a bit of preservative.

The replacement middle lintel in situ.

The original and replacement outer lintels. Note the 'slight' decay of the original - good job they were over-engineered to start with.

About to lift up the outer lintel prior to installation. Next job - masonry repairs. Deja vu ! Still, at least we're out in the open for this one - cue bad weather.......

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Boulter, the next stage.....

Quite some time ago, the remains of the boulter were repaired, and new panels constructed around them. Now, we have a clear area on the stone floor in which the refurbished boulter can be installed. With some tweaking to account for a dished floor and sagging feed hopper, the cabinet was in!  

Working from the remains of the original boulter and floor, the layout of the internal hoppers could be deduced. This gave three outlets, for the fine flour, coarse flour and bran respectively. This photo shows new elm panels being fitted, to recreate the original hoppers. At the top of the photo, the original feed hopper can be seen. The drive to the boulter cylinder passes through the cabinet just beneath this.

And finally, a view from beneath the stone floor, showing the newly cut outlets; fine to coarse from right to left.

The next task is to reinstate the drive mechanism for the boulter. Yet more things on which to bang our heads. The ideal stature for a miller must have been about 4ft 6in.