A tide mill is a water mill driven by tidal rise and fall. A dam with a sluice is created across a suitable tidal inlet, or a section of river estuary is made into a reservoir. As the tide comes in, it enters the mill pond through a one-way gate, and this gate closes automatically when the tide begins to fall. When the tide is low enough, the stored water can be released to turn a water wheel.
A watermill or water mill is a mill that uses hydropower. It is a structure that uses a water wheel or water turbine to drive a mechanical process such as milling (grinding), rolling, or hammering. Such processes are needed in the production of many material goods, including flour, lumber, paper, textiles, and many metal products. These watermills may comprise gristmills, sawmills, paper mills, textile mills, hammermills, trip hammering mills, rolling mills, wire drawing mills.
Tides are the rise and fall of sea levels caused by the combined effects of the gravitational forces exerted by the Moon and the Sun, and the rotation of the Earth.
A sluice is a water channel controlled at its head by a gate. A mill race, leet, flume, penstock or lade is a sluice channelling water toward a water mill. The terms sluice, sluice gate, knife gate, and slide gate are used interchangeably in the water and wastewater control industry.
Tide mills are usually situated in river estuaries, away from the effects of waves but close enough to the sea to have a reasonable tidal range. Cultures that built such mills have existed since the Middle Ages, and some may date back to the Roman period.
Tidal range is the height difference between high tide and low tide. Tides are the rise and fall of sea levels caused by gravitational forces exerted by the Moon and Sun and the rotation of Earth. Tidal range is not constant but changes depending on the locations of the Moon and Sun.
In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages lasted from the 5th to the 15th century. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and merged into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery. The Middle Ages is the middle period of the three traditional divisions of Western history: classical antiquity, the medieval period, and the modern period. The medieval period is itself subdivided into the Early, High, and Late Middle Ages.
A modern version of a tide mill is the electricity-generating tidal barrage.
A tidal barrage is a dam-like structure used to capture the energy from masses of water moving in and out of a bay or river due to tidal forces.
Possibly the earliest tide mill in the Roman world was located in London on the River Fleet, dating to Roman times.
The River Fleet is the largest of London's subterranean rivers. Its headwaters are two streams on Hampstead Heath, each of which was dammed into a series of ponds—the Hampstead Ponds and the Highgate Ponds—in the 18th century. At the southern edge of Hampstead Heath these descend underground as sewers and join in Camden Town. The waters flow 4 mi (6 km) from the ponds to the River Thames.
In historiography, ancient Rome is Roman civilization from the founding of the Italian city of Rome in the 8th century BC to the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD, encompassing the Roman Kingdom, Roman Republic and Roman Empire until the fall of the western empire. The civilization began as an Italic settlement in the Italian Peninsula, conventionally founded in 753 BC, that grew into the city of Rome and which subsequently gave its name to the empire over which it ruled and to the widespread civilisation the empire developed. The Roman Empire expanded to become one of the largest empires in the ancient world, though still ruled from the city, with an estimated 50 to 90 million inhabitants ) and covering 5.0 million square kilometres at its height in AD 117.
Since the late 20th century, a number of new archaeological finds have consecutively pushed back the date of the earliest tide mills, all of which were discovered on the Irish coast: A 6th-century vertical-wheeled tide mill was located at Killoteran near Waterford.A twin-flume, horizontal-wheeled tide mill, dating to c. 630, was excavated on Little Island in Cork. Alongside it, another tide mill was found that was powered by a vertical undershot wheel. The Nendrum Monastery mill from 787 was situated on an island in Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland. Its millstones are 830mm in diameter and the horizontal wheel is estimated to have developed 7/8HP at its peak. Remains of an earlier mill dated at 619 were also found at the site.
Waterford is a city in Ireland. It is in County Waterford in the south east of Ireland and is part of the province of Munster. The city is situated at the head of Waterford Harbour. It is the oldest and the fifth most populous city in the Republic of Ireland. It is the tenth most populous settlement on the island of Ireland. Waterford City and County Council is the local government authority for the city. According to the 2016 Census, 53,504 people live in the city, with a wider metropolitan population of 82,963.
Little Island, County Cork, is a civil parish and mainly industrial area to the east of Cork city in Ireland. It is no longer an island, since the northern channel separating it from the mainland has filled over. To the west and south is Lough Mahon, part of Cork Harbour; across a channel to the east is Fota Island.
The Nendrum Monastery mill was a tide mill on an Mahee Island in Strangford Lough now in Northern Ireland. It is the earliest excavated tide mill, dating from 787 AD. Its millstones are 830mm in diameter and the horizontal wheel is estimated to have developed 7/8HP at its peak. Remains of an earlier mill dated at 619 AD were also found.
The earliest recorded tide mills in England are listed in the Domesday Book (1086). Eight mills are recorded on the River Lea (the site at Three Mills remains, with Grade I listed buildings and a small museum), as well as a mill in Dover harbour. By the 18th century, there were about 76 tide mills in London, including two on London Bridge.
Domesday Book is a manuscript record of the "Great Survey" of much of England and parts of Wales completed in 1086 by order of King William the Conqueror. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle states:
Then, at the midwinter , was the king in Gloucester with his council .... After this had the king a large meeting, and very deep consultation with his council, about this land; how it was occupied, and by what sort of men. Then sent he his men over all England into each shire; commissioning them to find out "How many hundreds of hides were in the shire, what land the king himself had, and what stock upon the land; or, what dues he ought to have by the year from the shire."
The River Lea originates in the Chiltern Hills, England, and flows southeast through east London where it meets the River Thames, the last looping section being known as Bow Creek. It is one of the largest rivers in London and the easternmost major tributary of the Thames. Its valley creates a long chain of marshy ground along its lower length, much of which has been used for gravel and mineral extraction, reservoirs and industry. Much of the river has been canalised to provide a navigable route for boats into eastern Hertfordshire, known as the Lee Navigation. While the lower Lea remains somewhat polluted, its upper stretch and tributaries, classified as chalk streams, are a major source of drinking water for London. A diversion known as the New River, opened in 1613, abstracts clean water away from the lower stretch of the river for drinking. Its origins in the Chilterns contribute to the extreme hardness of London tap water.
The Three Mills are former working mills and an island of the same name on the River Lea. It is one of London’s oldest extant industrial centres. The mills lie in the London Borough of Newham; and, despite lying on the Newham side of the Lea, access is principally from the western, London Borough of Tower Hamlets, side of the river.
Woodbridge Tide Mill, an excellent example, survives at Woodbridge, Suffolk, England. This mill, dating from 1170 and reconstructed in 1792, has been preserved and is open to the public. It was further restored in 2010 and re-opened in 2011 in full working order. It is the second working tide mill in the United Kingdom that is regularly producing flour. Carew Castle in Wales also has an intact tide mill, but it is not operating. The first tide mill to be restored to working order is Eling Tide Mill in Eling, Hampshire. Another example, now extant only in historic documents, is the mill in the hamlet of Tide Mills, East Sussex. Traces of a tide mill may be seen at Fife Ness, revealed through an archaeological survey.
A mediæval tide mill still operates at Rupelmonde near Antwerp, and there are several that have survived in the Netherlands.
At one time there were 750 tide mills operating along the shores of the Atlantic Ocean: approximately 300 in North America,including many in colonial Boston over a 150-year span. In addition, 200 have been documented in the British Isles, and 100 in France. The Rance estuary in France was also home to some of these mills.
By the mid-20th century, the use of water mills had declined dramatically. In 1938, an investigation by Rex Wailes discovered that of the 23 extant tidal mills in England, only 10 were still working by their own motive power. Of one at Beaulieu, H. J. Massingham wrote in the 1940s,
"Part of the mill is built on piles into the river and is weatherboarded, while the rest of the building is a warm red brick roofed with lozenge-shaped and rounded tiles which I believe are called fish-tiles. All the interior is of wood - ladders, bins for the meal, floor-boarding, square pillars, beams, narrow passages, fittings, shaft rising to the first floor and all. So ramshackle is the arrangement of the props and supports that it is a wonder that the whole edifice does not tumble about the miller's ears like a pack of cards. The point is that it has stood in this way for something like six centuries, and that gives the explorer into its dusky depths a more penetrating notion of how the old builders could build, more than does a Gothic church or even a cathedral. The pulse and swing of the great wheel sets the whole building in an ague, but it will still be standing when all the flimsy excrescences of development between Beaulieu and Poole have fallen down."
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Newer types of tidal power often propose construction of a dam across a large river estuary. Although hydroelectric power represents a source of renewable energy, each proposal tends to come under local opposition because of its likely adverse effect on coastal habitats. One proposal, which was developed in 1966, is the Rance barrage, which generates 250MW. Unlike historical tide mills, which could operate only on an ebb tide, the Rance barrage can generate electricity on both flows of the tide, or it can be used for pumped storage, depending on demand. A less intrusive design is a 1MW free-standing turbine, constructed in 2007 at Strangford Lough Narrows; this site is close to an historic tide mill.
The Solent is the strait that separates the Isle of Wight from the mainland of England. It is about 20 miles long and varies in width between 2 1⁄2 and 5 mi, although the Hurst Spit which projects 1 1⁄2 mi (2.4 km) into the Solent narrows the sea crossing between Hurst Castle and Colwell Bay to just over 1 mi (1.6 km).
A water wheel is a machine for converting the energy of flowing or falling water into useful forms of power, often in a watermill. A water wheel consists of a wheel, with a number of blades or buckets arranged on the outside rim forming the driving surface.
Strangford Lough is a large sea loch or inlet in County Down, in the east of Northern Ireland. It is the largest inlet in the British Isles, covering 150 km2 (58 sq mi). The lough is almost totally enclosed by the Ards Peninsula and is linked to the Irish Sea by a long narrow channel at its southeastern edge. The main body of the lough has at least seventy islands along with many islets (pladdies), bays, coves, headlands and mudflats. Strangford Lough was designated as Northern Ireland's first Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) under the introduction of the Marine Act 2013. It has also been designated a Special Area of Conservation under the EU Habitats Directive, and its abundant wildlife is recognised internationally for its importance.
Tidal power or tidal energy is the form of hydropower that converts the energy obtained from tides into useful forms of power, mainly electricity.
Totton and Eling is a town and civil parish in Hampshire, England, with a population of about 29,000 people. It is situated outside the eastern edge of the New Forest and on the River Test, close to the city of Southampton but outside the city boundary; the town is instead within the New Forest non-metropolitan district. Surrounding towns and villages include Ashurst, Marchwood, Cadnam and Ower.
Medieval technology is the technology used in medieval Europe under Christian rule. After the Renaissance of the 12th century, medieval Europe saw a radical change in the rate of new inventions, innovations in the ways of managing traditional means of production, and economic growth. The period saw major technological advances, including the adoption of gunpowder, the invention of vertical windmills, spectacles, mechanical clocks, and greatly improved water mills, building techniques, and agriculture in general.
The Oyster River is a 17-mile-long (27 km) river in Strafford County, southeastern New Hampshire, United States. It rises in Barrington, flows southeast to Lee, then east-southeast in a serpentine course past Durham to meet the entrance of Great Bay into Little Bay. The bays are tidal inlets of the Atlantic Ocean, to which they are connected by a tidal estuary, the Piscataqua River. The freshwater portion of the river is 14.1 miles (22.7 km) long, and the tidal river extends 2.9 miles (4.7 km) from Durham to Great Bay.
The River Loughor is a river in Wales which marks the border between Carmarthenshire and Swansea. The river has its source at an underground lake at the Black Mountain and emerges at the surface from Llygad Llwchwr which translates from the Welsh as "eye of the Loughor". It flows past Ammanford and Hendy in Carmarthenshire and Pontarddulais in Swansea. The river divides Carmarthenshire from Swansea for much of its course and it separates Hendy from Pontarddulais at the point where the river becomes tidal. The Loughor meets the sea at its estuary near the town of Loughor where it separates the south coast of Carmarthenshire from the north coast of the Gower Peninsula. Among its tributaries is the River Amman, which joins the Loughor near Pantyffynnon. The area of the catchment is some 262 km2.
Bartley Water is a stream and river going through the New Forest district of Hampshire, England.
The Rance Tidal Power Station is a tidal power station located on the estuary of the Rance River in Brittany, France.
The River Roach is a river that flows entirely through the English county of Essex. It is one of four main streams that originate in the Rayleigh Hills to the west, and flow east. They then flow towards the centre of the Rochford Basin, a circular feature which may have been caused by an asteroid impact in the Late Oligocene or Early Miocene periods. To the east of Rochford, the river becomes tidal, and is governed by the Crouch Harbour Authority. It joins the River Crouch between Wallasea Island and Foulness Island. To the west of Rochford, there is some doubt as to which of the four streams is officially the Roach.
Eling Tide Mill, situated on an artificial causeway in Eling in Hampshire, England, is one of only two remaining operating tide mills in the United Kingdom. The other is Woodbridge Tide Mill in Suffolk. Whilst a mill is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086, there is no evidence that there is any connection to the present mill. The current mill was rebuilt roughly two hundred years ago after storm damage in the 1770s. Eling Tide Mill is the focal point of The Eling Experience, created in 2009 when the tide mill, nearby Totton & Eling Heritage Centre, and the outdoor walks at Goatee Beach and Bartley Water came under the same management and marketing. It is a Grade II* listed building.
A gristmill grinds cereal grain into flour and middlings. The term can refer to both the grinding mechanism and the building that holds it.
Carew Tidal Mill, also called the French Mill, is a corn mill in Pembrokeshire, Wales, powered by tidal water. It was built around 1801 just west of Carew Castle, and replaced a much older mill in the same location. The mill pond fills through open flood gates as the tide comes in. The gates are closed at high tide, and the pond drains through sluices under the mill as the tide falls, driving two undershot water wheels. It is the only intact mill of this type in Wales. It was abandoned in 1937, was restored in 1972, and now houses a museum.
The Roman River is a river that flows entirely through the English county of Essex. It is a tributary of the River Colne, flowing into its tidal estuary below Colchester. The lower end of the Roman River is also tidal, with tidal water flowing upstream to just above Fingringhoe.
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