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Norse Mills in Lewis

Norse Mills in Lewis

Extract from the New Statistical Account of the Parish of Lochs, 1833

The mills in Lewis are probably the greatest curiosity a stranger can meet with on the island. There is scarcely a stream along the coast, on any part of the island, on which a mill is not to be seen. These mills are of very small size and of a very simple construction. The water passes through their middle where the wheel, a solid piece of wood, generally eighteen inches in diameter, stands perpendicularly. A bar of iron runs through the centre of this wheel. This bar of iron or axle rests on a piece of steel which is fixed on a plank, the one end of which is fixed in the mill wall, the other in the end of a piece of plank, which stands at right angles with the plank on which the wheel rests.

The upper end of the axle fits into a cross bar of iron which is fitted into the upper millstone, the axle passing through the centre of the lower millstone, which is rested upon wooden beams or long stones. There is purchase upon the end of the said perpendicular beam or plank, by which the upper mill stone can be raised or lowered. There are nine pieces of board, eight inches broad and a foot and a half long, fixed in the wheel, parallel and at equal distances from each other, upon which the water is brought to bear, which, together with a few sticks for roof and some heather for thatch, constitutes a Lewis mill.

 

Title: Norse Mills in Lewis
Record Type: Stories, Reports and Traditions
Type: Extract From Book
Date: 1833
Record Maintained By: HC
Subject Id: 107908