On a previous visit to Mapledurham watermill to do maintenance work on the Archimedean Screw the new water wheel was in construction and it was hoped that it would be installed during the Summer. On our visit this week, and to to our surprise and delight the new water wheel made from locally sourced oak had been installed.
Over the years some of the paddles of the existing original wheel were beginning to show their age so these paddles were replaced so as to extend the life of the water wheel and to allow it to continue to grind the flour.
The main reason for replacing the wheel was because of the appearance of a number of splits in the wheels framework and also many of the joints are showing signs of decay and movement.
The new water wheel is the exact structural copy of the existing water wheel and is made out of oak which was sourced from the Mapledurham Estate.
Over the years some of the paddles of the existing original wheel were beginning to show their age so these paddles were replaced so as to extend the life of the waterwheel and to allow it to continue to grind the flour. These ‘replacement’ paddles will now be reused to replace the paddles as they become worn on the new wheel which I imagine won’t be for many years to come!