Canterbury Cathedral Treadwheel, Canterbury

A human-powered mill in the historic county of Kent, England.

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In the Bell Harry tower of the cathedral there is a treadwheel for raising building materials. This interesting example dates, possibly, from the seventeenth century and its construction is similar to that at Beverley Minster in Yorkshire. The wheel is made up of two sets of spokes supporting the rim with a third circumferential timber binding the middle of the tread boards together because the wheel is wide enough for two people to work side by side. The spokes consist of two pairs of clasp arms which spread out slightly from the shaft to the rim. Between the main spokes there are two subsidiary spokes which trisect the angle and which stretch from a cross-piece to the rim. The cross-piece is held in place by a short timber stub coming out from the root of the clasp arms. The windlass shaft has been created by plating the main shaft with timber to give it increased diameter.

Full details

Power source Human
Mill type
Mill function
Archive ID 10985
Location Canterbury
Historic county Kent
Country England, United Kingdom
NGR TR 152 579
Latitude/longitude 51.27981400, 1.08272800



  • Major, J. K. Animal-Powered Engines (B.T. Batsford Ltd London, 1978)


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