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Roller flour mill collections

At the Mills Archive we have a wide range of interests covering a variety of subjects connected to mills and milling. Much of our collections relates to traditional wind and water powered mills and these have often been featured in this newsletter. However, we are equally interested in capturing the more recent history of flour…

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A typical country miller 

A few weeks ago, we featured some of the writing of John Munnings (1916-1987) with his memories about growing up at Mendham Mill, Suffolk, where his father was the miller. This newsletter gives Munnings’ account of his grandfather, also called John Munnings and miller at Mendham Mill. John Munnings (1839-1914) Unfortunately, my grandfather died a…

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Using our Mills Database

The database of mills on our website contains more than 12,000 entries, and can be searched in a variety of ways. Read on to find out more.Searching the databaseYou can search the database here: https://new.millsarchive.org/mills/. The easiest way is to put the name of the mill you are looking for in the search bar at the top of…

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Using our Images and Documents catalogue

One of the main ways we provide access to our archives is through our images and documents catalogue, which you can access here: https://catalogue.millsarchive.org/In this newsletter we have put together some guidance about what the site contains and how you can use it. What does the catalogue include? In our archival collections we hold a wide…

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‘Mill people’ images and Website survey

‘Mill people’ images Mills have often been a popular theme for artworks, ranging from realistic depictions to some of the more unusual symbolic and allegorical uses of milling imagery. There are not many mill images however which are as strange as the ones shown here. For want of a better term we could call them…

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Satanic mills

William Blake Opinions are divided on the question of what the poet William Blake was talking about when he referred to the ‘Dark Satanic Mills’ that plague ‘England’s green and pleasant land’ in his famous poem, best known as the hymn ‘Jerusalem’. It is often seen as a reference to the Industrial Revolution, and some…

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Time, the old miller

The mill as a metaphor for time and change is an ancient theme. St Augustine of Hippo (354-430) in his ‘Expositions on the Psalms’ described the world as a mill, because of the way the wheel of time is ever revolving and in the end crushes everyone. The ancient Greek proverb dating back to at…

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Mills make the world go round

Mills are most well-known for grinding corn into flour. Over the centuries mills powered by wind, water and other power sources have been used for many other types of industry. These series of newsletters will highlight a different use each month. You can find the full set here at https://new.millsarchive.org/2020/06/25/mills-make-the-world-go-round/.  Colour mills A variety of mills and milling…

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The Mill of Wealth

Mills have often featured in myth and legend. One ancient Norse poem, the Grottasongr or Lay of Grotti tells of a magical handmill, Grotti (literally ‘grinder’). So large that only the giants could turn it, the mill when ground could produce anything you wanted – wealth, peace, happiness. The mill belonged to a king of Denmark named Frothi (‘the…

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