Technical description of Sneath's Mill
Four storied octagonal plan of 18ft dia. at base tapering to 12ft dia. at the curb. Height 26ft to the curb off a 6 – 8ft high silt mound on the line of a “Roman” bank from which the hand made red bricks were made. The walls are built in English bond set in a gritty lime mortar. The plan is slightly asymmetrical with the sides containing the two doors longer than the others and this may have caused a problem when the cap was turned as the southeastern corner brickwork is noticeably chafed at upper level.
Cap, Sails and Windshaft
It is known that the mill was last worked with a pair of hand cloth common sails and a pair of spring sails. The cloth was stitched onto a lattice wire framework with a pine back. The spring sails consisted of 21-hinged wooden shutters connected to a wooden shutter bar. All were bolted to pine stocks wedged into an iron pole end on a square wooden windshaft 18ft long and said to be the largest in Lincolnshire. The shaft survives lying in front of the mound.
The cap and windshaft were supported by an elm framework bearing onto a cast iron faceplate on top of a wooden curb. The inner and outer tail beams were linked by iron rods with the latter having an iron bracket, which would have taken the tail pole that turned the cap on iron pigs or skids. The tail pole went from the tail beam to a winch at ground level. The cap was centred by four cap wheels running horizontally against the curb.
There was a boat shaped boarded cap with a weathercock to indicate wind direction. This design predates the more universal ogee cap found on Lincolnshire tower mills.
Brake Wheel and Wallower
Clasp arm brake wheel in elm with iron clad wooden brake and 52 wooden teeth mortised through the rim and pegged at the back.
The wallower was also of clasp arm design with a “trundle gear” having 42 wooden pegs for teeth. Mounted on the underside was a wooden ring that drove the sack hoist just inside of the south doorway.
Third Floor (Dust Floor)
This was integral with the cap.
Second Floor (Bin Floor)
This was used for storing the grain.
First Floor (Stone Floor)
Two pairs of 4ft 6in dia. overdriven stones sited on the east and west side of the sack hoist. On the east was a pair of French stones with the makers name “George Marris 1847” and on the west a pair of Peaks which were removed to Penny Hill Mill, Holbeach when working ceased.
The great spur wheel was elm, 7ft 5in dia. of clasp arm construction and 78 wooden teeth. The stones were driven by two 13 wooden cogged iron stone nuts one of, if not the, smallest in the county. On the north side of the spur wheel was a 1ft 4in dia. iron nut with wooden teeth mounted on an octagonal wooden spindle that drove a flour dresser on the ground floor.
This housed a flour dresser and the miller’s desk and was where bagging was carried out. There was also a pair of early type lag governors on the stone spindles of each pair of stones.
The cap and sails were turned manually by the miller using a winch mounted on the tail pole; the chain being run out to a series of wooden posts around the mill mound. When not in use the tailpole was supported and locked by two wooden legs splayed onto the ground.