The old mill at Cornaig
Photograph of the old mill at Cornaig.
In the second half of the 18th century landlords started investing in mills with vertical water wheels which were more efficient than horizontal mills and generated a greater income. The Cornaig mill was built by the 5th Duke of Argyll in 1803.
Although the water wheel was vertical, gears inside the mill turned the upper horizontal ‘runner’ stone over the stationary lower or ‘nether stone. These were held together by a wooden spindle which was greased with beef suet.
The grinding surfaces of the stones were ‘dressed’ by the miller every year into an elaborate pattern of channels. Grain was fed in the centre of the upper stone with the miller controlling the distance between the stones, and consequently the fineness of the meal, with a number of small wedges.
Black and white postcard of the old mill at Cornaig.
The old mill at Cornaig in the 1920s when it was still operating.