Good Morning and our 31-Days of Time Team continues! In this episode, the Time Team is investigating a mill that was listed in the Doomsday Book. They are in for a challenge because there are few records about the mill.
A local landowner has been investigating the site before and found a reference to this flour mill in the Doomsday book. She also found a 11700’s map where there was a picture of the mill. Mick is skeptical that the mill existed and that it was a large mill because the area was not known for cereals growing.
Phil surveys the area with the geophysics team. The area will be challenging because of the concrete. The Time Team first clear the area of brambles. Immediately they find metal brackets on the site. Is this the first hint of a mill? Phil seems to think the brackets are lightweight. Guessing what the parts are is a brain teaser for the group.
Mick discusses the history of the watermill and how it was a huge impact on the area. Watermills were a step up from muscle power because they harnessed the power of water.
With very few paper records in regards to the mill, the team will have to rely on archeology to tell the mill’s story. They dig where the wheel was. As they dig, Phil finds a metal water wheel. It is a surprising find. It seems that the wheel comes from the 19th Century and it was the last wheel from where the mill was in use.
The Time Team spends time learning that the site is larger than what initially thought. They are also finding more pieces from the wheel. Another group is looking at where the miller’s house was. They discover a very posh floor in the house. With the archaeology, Mick is suspecting that the mill’s history goes deeper. The landscape archeologist created a replica of the mill site to demonstrate how the landscape was changed to support a mill. Additionally, the archeologists are discovering that the locals used the site as a dump pit. The site is not making any sense to the team.
Stewart and Mick eventually go walk a field and figure that the original mill was not where the stone works are. They are convinced that the original mill is 300 meters to the west. They are putting their reputations on the line. So the team shifts the work to the other site. Tony remains unconvinced. However, geophysics is showing that there may be something to their theory.
Now they are shifting the clay for wood bits to try to date the site. In the meantime, Phil continues to dig the wheel site. Now they are discovering that the wheel was an overshot wheel, therefore more efficient. It shows that the site of the mill is older and grander than originally thought. However, it was an average-sized mill, but still an important building in the land. Now they are diving into documents in regards to the owners of the land. A will was discovered that the milliner left the mill, therefore the business to his wife. They trace the line of the family that owned the mill.
To continue to learn more about the Doomsday Mill, continue to watch this episode.
This episode is a thoroughly enjoyable conundrum for the Time Team. Tony shows his humor with Mick and Stewart’s theory about where the original mill was. Even the diggers are skeptical about the theory. This would be a good episode to show in both a history and science classroom as there is a demonstration of the scientific method at work.
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