Smock Mill, Turku

A wind-powered mill in Finland.

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Set on high ground near the river, with trees on one sie and an open air theatre on the other, Turku Mill is unique, not only in its situation but also in its origin and design. The last of one hundred odd mills that served the city, it was built in 1860 for Captain Andersson, a retired skipper, by German millwrights and is now carefully preserved by the city, together with the millhouse and the bakery famous for its gingerbread until the turn of the century. The mill stands on a stone base with walls 5 ft. 8 in. thick. At ground floor it measures 20 ft. 8 in. diameter with curved dormers, front and rear. The overall height is 58 ft.

The tower is boarded, shingle covered and painted Falun red, while the cap is now covered with roofing felt. The four sails are braced to a modern bowsprit and originally were almost certainly cloth-spread from a wooden stage round the mill and this is the only mill known to have a stage. The cap was turned by hand from the third floor. An iron hand-crank of 21 in. throw operated an iron spur pinion driving an iron wheel on a vertical wooden shaft with a ratchet and pawl at the bottom. In the cap at the top of the shaft is a shrouded iron pinion engaging with an inward-facing iron rack on the curb. There is also auxiliary hand winding with a lever and vertical wooden spindle on the fourth floor.

The iron brake wheel with eight T-arms is in halves and drives an iron wallower on a wooden upright shaft, tapering from 18 in. diameter at the top to 21 in. at the bottom. The six-armed mortise great spur wheel drives iron stone nuts raised out of gear with rack and pinion. There are three pairs of granite stones on a high plinth on the third floor; two, one 4 ft. 2 in., the other 4 ft. 4 in. diameter, are driven direct from the great spur wheel; a third pair 3 ft. diameter is driven from a further spur wheel on the upright shaft and a secondary wooden vertical shaft. On the second floor there are a bolter, and a machine of unknown use - possibly a peeler, as well as a smutter, and a sifter all driven by belt from a layshaft, which in its turn is driven by a pair of iron bevels on the secondary vertical shaft. The sack hoist is on the fourth or bin floor, driven by a flat friction wheel mounted on the upright shaft and braced to it from below with wrought iron braces.

"This is certainly the best built and most advanced mill in Finland".

Full details

Power source Wind
Mill type Smock mill
Mill function
Archive ID 11864
Location Turku, Varsinais Suomi
Country Finland


  • Wailes, Rex, & Auvo Hirsjärvi, "Finnish Mills Part II: Mamsel or Smock Mills", (Transactions of the Newcomen Society, 43, 1970-1971, pp.113-128)


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