Traditional Mills

We have supervised or carried out work in more than 100 historic mills throughout the UK. Projects include reconstruction of waterwheels, shafts and bearings, installation and dressing of French Burr millstones, design and construction of cast iron and timber mill-gearing, repair and renewal of gear teeth, debris grilles and sluicegates. In windmills, the Dorothea team has repaired and renewed caps and their framing, wind-shafts, brakewheels, and sails. The team has surveyed many different types of mills, written safety and operational guidelines, and provided staff training. For a list of consultancy projects on historic machinery please visit our case studies page.

Here are a few of the many millwork projects completed over the last 30 years.

Lady Isabella Waterwheel, Isle of Man 


The Lady Isabella Waterwheel, Isle of Man. I designed, installed and commissioned replica pump rods running atop the viaduct which are still running after two decades. For several years I monitored the Wheel's main bearings and surveyed the stone enclosure for structural movement.

Moulton Windmill, Lincolnshire 


Moulton Windmill, Lincs, as seen on the BBC 'Restoration' programme. Working with Dorothea Restorations Ltd I was responsible for the construction of a complete new cap, including a 2-tonne wind-shaft and timber brake wheel, all hoisted into place atop England's highest windmill. 

Houghton Mill, Cambridgshire

This neck-bearing at the National Trust's Houghton Mill in Cambridgeshire is being serviced, typical of the many mills whose machinery I have repaired. 



The National Trust's historic watermill at Houghton, Cambridgeshire, has one pair of millstones, powered by a waterwheel installed by Dorothea Restorations Ltd in the 1980s under the direction of Geoff Wallis.  In 2013 Geoff designed, and Dorothea installed, a second set of 4ft diameter millstones powered by a variable-speed electro-mechanical drive.

Repairs underway at Chiseldon Windmill, Swindon


Eling Tide Mill, Totton


Eling Tide Mill at Totton near Southampton is a rare survival of a flour mill powered by tidal water.  Having carried out restoration work in the 1970s, in 2013 Geoff Wallis surveyed the Grade 2* listed machinery, prepared a schedule of repairs and advised Totton and Eling Council as part of their HLF funding bid.

Goldhill Mill, Kent


Goldhill Mill near Tonbridge in Kent is typical of the many watermills surveyed by Geoff Wallis over three decades. The extant machinery was returned to working condition, which involved re-claiming a severely worn water-wheel bearing.