Sussex Mills Group A VIRTUAL TOUR OF

Stone Cross Windmill

Sussex Mills Group

Spout Floor


This is the floor from which the miller exercised overall control

            of the windmill during the milling operation



Overhead can be seen three sets of cast iron tentering gear, one set per pair of millstones. The picture shows the particular tentering gear used to control the gap between the fixed bedstone and the rotating runner stone - the two millstones used to produce flour which are mounted on the Stone Floor above. Tentering gear consists basically of a set of levers which provide a mechanical advantage when raising or lowering the runner stone. The control handwheel or "tentering screw" enables the gap between the stones to be adjusted manually.


Webmaster : Simon Potter The centrifugal governor driven by a leather belt from the runner stone vertical support spindle is designed to maintain that preset gap whilst running. In this manner the desired quality of flour being milled should be maintained irrespective of the wind speed.


Newly milled grain descends from the stones above, down the white chute, into the wooden meal bins located in the centre of the floor. In the past the meal would have been left in the open bins to cool off and be turned by hand before being discharged through traps in the bottom of the bins into sacks on the Ground Floor. However, today in the interests of hygiene, the flour is poured directly into small sacks standing in the meal bin.


The tall box-like wooden structure built of tongue and grooved boarding was originally used to collect and store flour. The type of flour was suitable for pastry making hence the enclosure became known as The Pastry. However, as sometime in history this Pastry was modified to support four chutes associated with the Armfield Dresser located on the floor above. Three of the chutes would route differing grades of flour into sacks on this floor and the fourth chute routed bran particles and very coarse flour to the Jog Scry below.


The Smutter was used from cleaning "smutty" wheat, which had been delivered from the threshing machine on the farm. This Smutter consists basically of a large fan which blows air across a stream of grain falling from the hopper above. In this way the mould and lightweight material was cleaned from the grain and was discharged out through a pipe in the tower wall. The cleaned grain was then sacked up again and hoisted using the sack hoist to the grain bins above, ready for milling. Today grain is supplied clean and dried from the farm so there is no need for this machine to operate and this has not, therefore, been fully restored.

 miller's door The weights required to close the shutters are located on this floor, together with a traditional bucket which is used to suspend them from a chain hanging down from the fan stage.

The miller's door provides access to the Reefing Stage which is, in fact, the roof of the Roundel. From this level the miller can control the brake for the sweeps and the setting of the shutters when controlling the speed of the sweeps in the wind.


Click on the stairs to go up to the second floor.  click here to go up to the second floor

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