Story No 50: The High Mill

  • Description

    ".....John Smeaton’s expertise with water power made him the obvious choice when the lords of the manor, the Greenwich Hospital, looked for an engineer to rebuild the corn mill. Folios 125 to 129 in the catalogue of Smeaton’s designs at the Royal Society are his plans of the building and the machinery for the High Mill at Alston. The drawings include a plan and elevations of the building, a plan and elevation of the ‘hurst’(?), an elevation of the machinery, an elevation showing the water wheel and its mechanism, and a design for the “bridges & brayers”. As designed by Smeaton in 1767, the original wheel was 30 feet in diameter with a width of 10 inches and a unique backward curved scoop feed. One authority commented that the scoop feed for the water was an unusual feature and the whole arrangement probably indicated the lack of a strong water supply. The wheel was a ‘pitch-back’ type, with water falling onto the buckets high up and turning it towards the water source, so that the buckets emptied to the rear of the wheel pit and water flowed beneath the wheel to the outlet on the other side, in this case the Mill Race. The mill was finished and available for rent by 1775, when it was let by the Greenwich Hospital to Adam Wilkinson & Co. at £30 per annum...."
  • Owner

    Alston Moor Historical Society
  • Source

    Local (Co-Curate)
  • License

    What does this mean? Unknown license check permission to reuse
  • Further information

    Resource type: Text/Website
    Added by: Simon Cotterill
    Last modified: 1 year, 10 months ago
    Viewed: 248 times
    Picture Taken: Unknown
  • Co-Curate tags


Add a comment or share a memory.

Login to add a comment. Sign-up if you don't already have an account.


Co-Curate is a project which brings together online collections, museums, universities, schools and community groups to make and re-make stories and images from North East England and Cumbria. Co-Curate is a trans-disciplinary project that will open up 'official' museum and 'un-officia'l co-created community-based collections and archives through innovative collaborative approaches using social media and open archives/data.