A welcome education in 18th and 19th century millwrighting

May 09th 2018 by Liz Bartram

Last week we were visited by Dr Jim Moher, author of a new publication about millwrights who were working in London at a time of great technological and social change.
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The impressive work – The London Millwrights: Masters and Journeymen in the late 18th and early 19th centuries - has been published by the Archive as the latest in our Research Publications series. It is a fascinating examination of the struggles millwrights faced during the Industrial Revolution in a growing and spreading city.

London was noted for its many huge mill or engine structures in large establishments, (waterworks, breweries, distilleries and a myriad of manufactured products) and surrounded by hundreds of small or medium-sized water-mills on the many tributaries of the Thames as well as the countless ‘small footy windmills’, said to grind nine-tenths of the corn trade, erected on the higher ground of the capital and its surrounding urban and countryside.

Staff and volunteers got involved in learning more about the subject from Jim, who also presented the Archive with a book by Andrew Gray called “The Experienced Millwright”. This book dates from 1806 and features some beautiful drawings by the early Scottish millwright. It’s quite rare and we’re pleased to be able to offer it a home at the Mills Archive.

To purchase your copy of The London Millwrights, click here to go to our online bookshop.