Sussex Mills Group A VIRTUAL TOUR OF

Stone Cross Windmill

Sussex Mills Group

Stone Floor


Standing at the top of the stairs, which bring you to the Stone Floor, look up and in the ceiling you can observe a large iron spur gearwheel connected to a vertical shaft leading down from above. This gearwheel provides a mechanical drive to power most of the operations within the mill. The Great Spur Wheel, as it is called, together with its drive shaft is supported by a thrust bearing mounted between the two wooden beams above. Most of the gear drives within the tower employ wooden teeth meshing with iron teeth to avoid the risk of sparks being produced which, in a dusty environment, could produce an explosion.

In the picture you can see the vertical drive to one of the pairs of millstones with a small iron spur gear at the top which can be brought into mesh with the larger Great Spur Wheel. In addition, to the left, is the drive to the grain smutter and the Armfield Dresser.



Webmaster : Simon PotterOn the floor are the three pairs of millstones, each enclosed in white wooden cases or "Tuns" used to contain the products of grinding issuing from between the stones when rotating. Shown is the Tun surrounding the French Burr Stones used for the production of wholemeal flour. The grain to be ground is routed by gravity from the grain bin on the floor above through the wooden chute which hangs from the ceiling. The grain flows into the white wooden hopper supported on an iron frame above the stones and is used for temporary storage. From here the grain flow is controlled out of the bottom of the hopper and flows down the horizontal shoe into the centre, or "Eye" of the stones. The wheat grain is ground between the two stones as it travels to the outer edge of the stones and is trapped between the stones and the inside of the Tun. The flour, or "Meal" as it is correctly known at this point in the process, is swept through the meal hole in the floor into the meal spout and to the meal bin below.


The other two pairs of millstones are made of quarried Derbyshire stone and operate in exactly the same way as described above. These would have been used for milling cattle feed.

The finest stones were French Burr Stones made from quartz quarried at La Ferte-Sous-Jouarre in the Paris Basin. The burr stones at Stone Cross are unique in the U. K. as they were completely assembled in France and the French maker's nameplate can be seen on the top face of the runner stone.

The Armfield Dresser is used to sieve various grades of floor from the meal and to extract the bran. The sieve consists of a circular drum around which are fixed various gauges of wire mesh. Down the centre of the drum is a rotating shaft supporting four sets of brushes which rub the basic meal against the mesh to sieve out the appropriate quality of flour which is then routed through three chutes to the floor below to be sacked up. The bran is routed to the ground floor to be passed through the Jog Scry.

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

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