Walking into a traditional working watermill is like stepping back in time and opens up a wealth of facts to be discovered from a historical point of view as well as raising questions about how we process our food today.
Letheringsett Windmill in Norfolk is one of those mills. Although built in 1802 to replace an existing mill there have been mills on this site which are recorded in the Domesday Book. It is a beautiful and imposing building which reminds
There are two ways in which wheat is ground to any scale today. Stoneground milling and Roller milling. One retains all the vitamins and essential oils of the original grain and the other removes them for commercially profitable reasons. Shall we take a guess as to which is which and also which one accounts for 99% of our flour?
To answer the question let’s look back at the history of the two methods.
Stone milling has been around for thousands of years. Essentially, grain is put between two heavy stones called Querns and friction applied to reduce the grains to a coarse flour. If you have a decent heavy and abrasive pestle and mortar at home you can do it yourself, this shows you how much effort is required to grind grain to flour!
The first stones would have been whatever hunter gatherers could have found to grind their grain to make it easier to eat and digest. Obviously heavy, they were not carried with them but left at each location.
Once people settled in one location then larger more permanent querns could be utilized.