So recorded C. Ellis
for SUIAG in the 1978 Water and Windmills of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight
Gazetteer entry. Today the mill building stands well with its stones and
machinery still in situ but some inner, ancient woodwork is in need of
attention. The mill house had been extended and a wooden garage which had been
brought from elsewhere is, David Plunkett assured us, a valuable, genuine,
representation of a typical design of a shed particular to the county, known
as a “Hampshire Hovel”.
inherited the mill and house on the death of his mother in May 2009. Anne and
her husband Geoffrey were staunch members of Hampshire Mills Group and sometimes
hosted group meetings in their garden. Geoffrey had been restoring the mill but
had to call a halt due to illness and became one of Britain’s first heart
This year, Peter and
his wife Sarah asked David Plunkett (a visitor to the Finnigans and Pilcot Mill
over many years) if HMG members would help them out with spring cleaning the
mill, identifying and itemising its contents, along with the numerous artefacts
Geoffrey had collected and stored. On Tuesday, 19th
April, David Plunkett led a well organised band of HMG members in doing just
that. His lively team comprised Mick Edgeworth, Peter Mobbs, John Silman and
Alison Stott. I went along to capture the event on camera for the posterity.
It was a long, hot, sunny day’s work but we were thankful for dry weather as so
much of the sorting was done outside.
The mill is still in
pretty good shape although some of the older timbers in the hurst frame and
doors were becoming fragile. Geoffrey Finnigan had replaced the joists and
floorboarding to the stones floor (1st
floor) and the stones themselves were gathering moss (nowhere to roll to!). All
the machinery was still in situ and ropes around the pulleys, which Geoffrey had
renewed, were fine.
The massive oak wheel
axle still looks healthy but the Poncelet waterwheel is now just represented by
the two outer frames. Some previously salvaged rusting buckets and inners,
found at the back of the ‘Hampshire Hovel’, had badly suffered from “rust
beetle” and just two buckets were stored in the mill whilst all else was heaved
into the skip.
The hard working team laboured long under a very hot
April sun and returned on May 4th
to complete the job with clearing the stones and bin floors. An arduous but
satisfying job well
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