Saturday, 6 October 2012

Keston Windmill

Keston Windmill from outside.   31 August 2012.
Keston Windmill from outside.   31 August 2012.
This time, a post with no natural history, from an outing for the West Wickham Common and Spring Park volunteers, set up by the City of London Open Spaces Department.   Part of it was a visit to the Keston Windmill, a restored but not functional post mill just by the roadside to the south of Keston.

Keston Windmill.  The lever for engaging the gears.  Metal gears against wood, to avoid sparks.  31 August 2012.
Keston Windmill.  The lever for engaging the gears.  31 August 2012.
We had  a very interesting and informative guided tour.  The mill is not often open to the public, so this was a great opportunity to learn.  For example, I knew that flour dust in air is highly explosive, but did not know how mills like this dealt with the threat. Here you can see that iron gears were opposed to wheels with wooden teeth, to prevent sparks.  

Keston Windmill.  The coarse stone lower grinding wheel, for grinding animal feed.  31 August 2012.
Keston Windmill.  The coarse stone lower grinding wheel.  31 August 2012.
There were two pairs of grinding wheels, one pair of coarse stone and one of imported fine stone.  This is the lower wheel of the coarse pair, used for grinding animal feed.  The finer one was for humans.

Later in the mill's life, people came to desire even finer flour, and so the output from the fine wheel had to be hauled up again and put through a sifter.

There was a good view from a small window in this part of the mill.  This last photo shows structures by the Thames near London Bridge and the Embankment.

View north from Keston Windmill.  St Paul's Cathedral and The Shard.  31 August 2012.
View north from Keston Windmill.  St Paul's Cathedral and The Shard.  31 August 2012.

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