Author Topic: Hingham Mill Norfolk - spring fed Watermill  (Read 11189 times)

electrobleme

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Hingham Mill Norfolk - spring fed Watermill
« on: February 23, 2012, 03:50:55 »

Hingham Mill Norfolk - spring fed Watermill

Hingham Mill Norfolk is Norfolks only spring fed Watermill, making it unique. Hingham Watermill does not have a stream or river to power it (when it was operating as a watermill) but used 13 underground springs to fill up its feed pond.



They then opened a sluice and it powered a waterwheel that was BELOW ground as the water fell down a long drop in a vertical tunnel.

The pond water after it had been used to power the watermill wheel was then fed into the Seamere through a pipe over a quarter mile long.



(Hignham Mill information from the brilliant site norfolkmills.co.uk with lots more photos and information on Hingham Watermill and other Watermills that exist or did exist in Norfolk)

One of the reasons why I went to visit Hingham Mill was why do water streams come out at the top of hills or highest points, especially in Norfolk? Why does this area have so many streams?




electrobleme

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Hingham Watermill Norfolk - spring fed millpond
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2012, 04:08:55 »


Hingham Watermill Norfolk - spring fed millpond

Hingham Watermill Norfolk is the counties only watermill that did not have a stream or river powering its wheel and its waterwheel was underground. It was powered by water coming from its underground spring fed millpond that dropped down onto the waterwheel.


Norfolks Hingham Watermill - underground springs fed the millpond that then powered the waterwheel that was underground in the mill

The old boy in the photo was Hingham Mill's owners Dad and a very pleasant chap he was. We spent a good hour yarning about cricket and Frank 'Typhoon' Tyson and others.


Quote

Hingham water mill was powered by an overshot wheel approximately 17 feet in diameter and nearly 4 feet wide, using a 16 foot fall of water. This was enough to drive the 2 pairs of French burr stones with which it was advertised in 1870, although a NIAS survey in 1982 recorded the positions of 4 pairs of stones. The wheel itself was actually underground, the top of it being at ground floor level. Servicing access to the wheel was achieved by means of a small trapdoor and a vertical iron ladder.
Hingham Mill Spring Fed | norfolkmills.co.uk


Hingham Watermill Norfolk - spring fed millpond

Why does this particular area have so many powerful underground springs?


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In this immediate vicinity are many powerful springs. During the last severe winter springs broke up the surface of roadways leading to two farms nearby, making a small area almost as dangerous as quicksand. No man would be prepared to stand long on the spot where water was oozing through the surface and lorries had to be diverted or become hopelessly bogged.

The planners of Hingham Mill were aware of this local tendency to produce spring water. They knew a little boggy place on high ground out of which water seeped and trickled away over the road to lower ground, and one day they dug the long shallow "pit" referred to earlier and uncovered thirteen springs; this became the source of water supply for Hingham Mill. Then they laid a culvert under the road and dug a large mill pool to serve as a reservoir. Then they built the mill.

Unfortunately the venture was never entirely successful. Perhaps there were times in the year when the springs rested. Perhaps they never supplied enough water to make their use a paying proposition.

Norfolk Water Mills by R.D. Clover - 6th December 1947


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The mill would start working by water early in the morning and keep going until about mid-afternoon when the pond would have been practically drained. The wheel then stopped until next morning when the pond had filled up again.
When there was not enough water, a hot bulb engine that stood in the part of the mill between the wheel and the house was brought into operation.
All the offal - maize, bran etc. - had to come from Wramplingham Station by cart. Three horse and carts were employed at the mill.

Mr. Leverett, Hingham resident - 16th July 1975