Norse Iron Age Mill - Shawbost - Isle of Lewis - Western Isles
The Norse Iron Age Type Mill and Kiln - Shawbost - Isle of Lewis - Western Isles - Outer Hebrides. The Norse mill and kiln in Shawbost - Isle of Lewis - these two renovated and recreated buildings give us an insight into the history of The Isle of Lewis. The mill was driven by water from the stream from the Loch Roinavat
Norse Iron Age Mill - Isle of Lewis
The Norse Mill is a reconstruction of an Iron Age corn mill that actually did exist on the site at Shawbost.
It really is in a very pretty location and the mill shows us a little snipped of what life was like for the inhabitants on The Isle of Lewis long ago.
The location is wonderful, and the mill gives an intriguing insight into the lives of the inhabitants of Lewis long ago
Stream Dictates Mill Position
The nearby stream of course would have dictated the precise location of the mill as the mill was powered by the stream water.
Infact it can probably be said that wherever you find a loch feeding into a stream below - then there may well have been a mill and you may see the mill ruins somewhere close by.
The Corn Mill was In Use up till 1930
Interior of The KIln at the Norse Mill
The Corn Mill and kiln were in use right up till the 1930's. The mill was powered by the water from a small river which flows out of Loch Roinavat.
As you look to the interior of the kiln you may not see how this would have worked. There is a raised stone platform and in the centre is a stone lined pit in a circular shape. T his is where in the kiln the fire that heated and dried out the grain was kept alight.
The Iron Age Mill
The design of many of the mills around Lewis may date back to the Vikings or The Iron Age. This water powers a set of paddles beneath the mill floor that is visible through a gap in the wall.
These paddles turn the millstone that grinds the rainWater
Channelled to the Mill Race
Water was channelled to the top of a mill race just behind the mill. There is a downward slope to the land and it is the mill race whose fast flow of water is used to drive the millstone.
The Kiln at The Norse Mill
at Shawbost - Isle of Lewis
The Norse Mill at Shawbost sits in such a pretty setting.
The mill really is a great example of the iron age and shows us how the traditions of the Isle of Lewis were kept going until recent years.
Corn and Barley - Oats
Corn and barley were the main crops which were grown on The Isle of Lewis in times gone by and were a much needed commodity for producing flour and meal School Children Started Work on the Mill
The local school children commenced work on the project in the 1960's and The Norse Mill Society completed the reconstruction and rebuild in 1996
Hundreds of mills on Lewis in the 1800's
There were hundreds of grain mills scattered throughout Lewis by the 1840s used to grind barley into meal. Traditional Thatched Roof - Roped Down
The two oval buildings have dry stone rubble double skinned walls. They have lovely tidy and very well recreated thatched roofs which are roped down about about twin crowsticks
Restoration began in The 1960's
The mill and kiln were worked on as a restoration project in the 1960's however the buildings as they stand now were completed in 1995. The Shawbost mill is an example of a horizontal wheel type mill. The interior of both buildings is quite dark and there are no windows.
Dried in the Kiln
After being dried in the kiln, the grain was put through the water-driven mill.
The blades in the Shawbost wheel are angled to the axis to give a smooth flow of water
Inside the KIln at the Shawbost Iron Age Mill
Water Turns Paddles & the Millstones
The water helps the paddles to turn - then the upper millstone in the inside of the mill would then turn and the corn or barley would then be ground down. The wooden hopper was joggled and this ensures that the flow of grain is central and even.
The Construction of The Roof
As you look to the interior of the mill you can look up to see the expertise that has been used when the roof was constructed. The whole experience this fantastic reconstruction gives you is just great and it is easy to get your mind set into times gone by and to see how at least this part of their life was. The mills played an important part in the history of The Isle of Lewis
Wooden Chute Inside The Mill - Shawbost
Close Up of The Roof on the Norse Mill
The Millstone at Shawbost Mill - Western Isles
Norse Mill at Shawbost - Isle of Lewis