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Update: 31.01.23

Copyright Dr. Eng. Jan Pająk

Img.669 from Wszewilki (#C1)

Img.669(#C1) For those readers who are curious how the ancient watermill from Wszewilki looked like, the above photo gives a pretty good idea about it. Although the above watermill was built in America, its construction is typical for European watermills of medieval times - including such watermills from Milicz and vicinity (out of which, unfortunately, Milicz watermills none survived until today). Please note that the buildings of such medieval mills were constructed from planks, similarly to the majority of non-urban buildings from the medieval period - e.g. the medieval church in Trzebicko near Milicz from 1571 shown on the photograph "Fig. K1(b)" from my English-language monograph [1e]. Only that these boards were always nailed to the walls in a vertical position, and not horizontally as in the above miefach reconstruction of the American mill. This is because only vertically nailed planks guaranteed protection of the interior from rain, even when the surface of the planks was crooked and uneven - i.e., the kind that is produced when planks are hand-sawn with medieval tools and methods. In contrast, boards nailed horizontally protect against rain only if their surface is smooth and perfectly flat - i.e. such as one gets today after making boards with modern machines and methods.

Also, unlike bricks, turf ore, clay, or other building materials available in the Middle Ages, planks were the most resistant to floods - which in olden times periodically plagued the river valleys in which these mills were built. Typically, medieval mills stood by the slope of a hill (in Wszewilki, piled by hand by people), on top of which always stood the miller's house deliberately elevated to a level to which such periodic floods did NOT reach. These mills were also typically two-story buildings, because the principle used in them for separating pure flour from "bran" (i.e. grain skins) required that the products of grain milling were poured down in them from several meters high. In addition, their mill wheels were typically flooded with water from above, because in the oldest mills the drive was provided by gravity and the weight of the water flowing onto these wheels. (Mill wheels with bottom-up water supply, in which propulsion was provided by the dynamic pressure of fast-flowing water, did not commonly begin to be built in Europe until around the 18th century. A mill with such a bottom-up powered wheel just after the war still stood near the western gate of Milicz, in the place where the Młynówka had a branch leading to the park near the new palace of the Milicz Margrave).

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