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A horse mill in Steenmeulen

24 Jul

Jospeh Markey, miller of the Steenmeulen, has been working on this reproduction of a horse mill since winter 2019. A long-term project that offers visitors a new insight into the various forms of grinding tools that have existed. It completes the collection of millstones but also the reproduction of the Persian mill. This almost finished model of a carousel mill is already functional. It is only waiting for its wooden horse to be completely finished!

What is a horse mill?

This was the first form of mill to appear in the West. As people became more settled and the population increased, the grinding of grain with pestles or hand mills soon proved insufficient. More had to be produced!

It was then that the so-called “blood mill” appeared, as it was activated by the force of a living being: man or animal. The principle is always the same: a grinding wheel is activated by the driving force over a dormant wheel. This rubbing action produces flour or oil.

The merry-go-round mill refers specifically to the type of mill that is driven by a horse. Hence the name also given to this structure “horse mill”. This could be attached directly to the millstone (ancient and medieval version) or attached to a pivoting roof which was itself connected to an active millstone.

The latter is a mill that dates from around the same time as the windmills. It was, in fact, used when the wind was not kind and flour production was needed. It is this last version that Jospeh Markey decided to reproduce on a half scale at the Steenmeulen in Terdeghem.

horse mill Steenmeulen
Reproduction of a horse mill by Joseph Markey, 2020

The horse mill project in Steenmeulen

With the idea of providing visitors with a comprehensive overview of flour production over the centuries and continents, Joseph Markey has reproduced this horse mill. Named “Rosmeule” in Flemish, this is a reduced replica of the horse mill built by the Yser Houck association in Volckerinckhove. This model, made from scratch by the miller, is motorized to add a modern touch! It will later be completed with a wooden horse being made by Lucas Tratseart, one of his grandsons, a carpenter and cabinetmaker.

Do not hesitate to consult our visiting hours and to make an appointment if you wish to come in a group to admire the miller’s new creation.

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About us

Joseph and Véra Markey take you on a passionate tour of their heritage from the past: a brick windmill that still turns and produces flour & a museum of Flemish rural life at the beginning of the 20th century. More than just a guided tour, the owners offer you a moment of transmission!

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