The Water Mill - 2
The grinding stones are on the upper floor of the mill. A hoist is used to lift sacks of grain up to this floor, where the miller empties the grain sack into a hopper above the stones, from which it trickles down through the centre of the upper stone and is spread across the surface of the lower stone. The gap between the stones is very narrow because the grain must be crushed between them to make flour. The miller will adjust the gap for the quality of flour he requires, then take off the grindstone brake so it turns and begins to mill the flour, which will drop through the centre of the lower stone into a hopper on the floor below.
When the mill is running, the miller will come down to the ground floor, where the flour is collecting in the hopper seen on the right. He can attach a sack to the hopper, or place an open barrel below it to catch the flour, then open the hopper valve to let the flour flow out.
The archway behind the ladder leads to the gear mechanism seen on the previous page.
The rest of the ground floor is a large open area with double doors to allow vehicles to drive right into the mill to deliver grain and collect flour. This avoids having to carry sacks across the mill yard where they might get wet in bad weather, and reduces the number of mill hands which would be needed if everything had to be carried in and out of the building to lorries and trailers. The design of water mills has changed very little for centuries.