Report - - Walk Mill (Staffordshire, Jun, 2021) | Industrial Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Walk Mill (Staffordshire, Jun, 2021)


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One for the mill enthusiast rather than a destination for recreational trespass - a wrecked and potentially rather dangerous old corn mill with attached maltings.

I wasn’t going to bother with this since it looked like it was being renovated from the 2011 street view.
However all that seems to have happened is that several buildings got new roofs, some walls and floors were propped up and everything was then just left.

The mill and surrounding farm buildings are listed and there’s a detailed archeological assessment of the whole lot at https://www.staffordbc.gov.uk/live/Documents/Planning Policy/Conservation/Walk-Mill-conservation-Area-Appraisal.pdf

Hiistory summarised from the above.
There’s been a mill here for centuries, originally for ‘fulling’ - woollen cloth processing.
This type of mill was called a ‘walk mill’ since wool and woollen cloth was originally trampled underfoot in various fluids; the little hamlet which grew up around the mill also came to be known as Walk Mill.
The current buildings date from the late 1700s when it had become a corn mill and maltings.
These were small scale local operations back then which is why there so many old mills dotted around the countryside.
In 1975 a tree fell on the main mill effectively killing it and the top two floors later collapsed - the whole site is currently heavily overgrown.

Pictures are mostly phone and only cover the main mill and malthouse - the surrounding farm buildings are empty apart from mangers etc.

Mill pond on the left, with maltings and mill on the other side of the road.

The carving on the lintel at the end of the malthouse says ID 1830, apparently referring to the owner at that time (Isaiah Deakin).

The remains of the mill on the left with the maltings beyond on the right - the waterwheel is in the section between them.

Starting with the malthouse, this is mostly empty with the ground floor below road level - it looks like water is seeping through the bottom of mill pond dam embankment on the left.

The tank at one end may have been for steeping the barley.

An extension near one end contains a kiln, used during malting and maybe later to dry corn to the right consistency for milling.

These are fairly common but fragile so don’t survive well.

This one had the usual arrangement of a floor made of perforated tiles supported on iron rafters over a square brick funnel with a furnace in the centre.

The second picture was taken by sticking my phone through a hole in one of the curved walls and shows some of the perforated tiles.

Next the water wheel which powered the corn mill.

The water went under the road in a pipe…

…and into a sluice box. The rod at the end is to control the flow of water onto the wheel from inside the mill on the left.

Sluice box from the outside and the wheel - I didn’t notice a maker’s name anywhere.

The listing has this down as an undershot wheel which must be a mistake.

Inside the collapsed mill section it’s a bit of a mess, although much of the machinery still seems to be there.

Main vertical shaft and two views of the partially collapsed wooden framework (hurst frame) with the usual gears.

The top picture below with the plant is one of the remaining grinding stones on the first floor - difficult to get closer since this isn’t really the sort of place to clamber around.

Some sort of milling machine on the ground and two views of a roller mill.

The only reason this is still up on first floor level is that it’s sitting on it’s own metal framework.

Finally a 1968 photo taken from the ref above showing the original three storey mill with an external wheel, which is still there, to drive machines outside (threshers, wood saws etc.).

So as I said probably not a place to visit unless you’re a proper mill weirdo.

I noticed one of the farm buildings was put up for sale recently as a potential barn conversion - maybe the local trust who own it are trying to raise funds to stop the rest collapsing completely.

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