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Pakenham Watermill
Pakenham, Suffolk, UK
Pakenham Watermill
associated engineer
Not known
date  1754
era  Georgian  |  category  Watermill  |  reference  TL935694
ICE reference number  HEW 838
photo  © Ashley Dace and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
One of the few working watermills still to be seen on East Anglian rivers, on some of which they were once common. A mill was recorded on this site in the Domeday Book of 1086 and a succession of mills worked here until commercial flour milling ceased in 1974. The current mill is kept open for visitors by the Suffolk Preservation Society.
The mill's wheel is powered by water draining via a stream from Pakenham Fen. Its diameter is 16ft and it is 8ft 6in wide, typical dimensions for East Anglia, where the stream gradients are shallow.
The wheel is of iron, cast by W.Peck of Bury St Edmunds and installed in 1902. Its predecessor was of wood and dated from 1814.
The water enters the buckets on the wheel's rim at a point just above axle level. Gears convert the turning moment to the right speed for the three pairs of millstones. In the C19th a steam engine was installed for use in times of drought. This was replaced in 1920 by an a now rare Blackstone 21hp oil engine, still in place.
The four storey mill building dates from 1754. Its brick frontage was added in 1810. A traditional weather-boarded hoist projects from the top storey.
reference sources   CEH E&C
Location

Pakenham Watermill