Saturday, 19 July 2008

The Tide Mill

I had been asked by the archaeologists not to publicise this – but everyone else has - so, why not!!! What has happened is that down on the Lovell’s Wharf development site in Banning Street, is that the Museum of London archaeology team have found what they think is a 13th Tide Mill. Tide Mill’s are basically water mills which work by the power of the tides, rather than by a river or stream, and they tend to be associated with busy industrial sites rather than with a bit of local corn milling. Once it is dated it may turn out to be the oldest so far discovered on the Thames. In the early mediaeval period much of Greenwich – and big chunks of Kent associated with it – were owned by St.Peter’s Abbey in Ghent. Large religious organisations at that period were very much into exploiting the resources of the lands they owned. It could be that this mill was owned by them – and if so it implies an industrial community in the Ballast Quay area in a period when not very much is known about Greenwich. But this is still a lot of ifs, and buts, and maybes - and we need to find out what it is that they have really found before we all get too excited.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Regarding the discovery of the Tide Mill, is there any chance that the archeologists can search for traces of a pier built out from Lovell's wharf adjacent to Ballast Quay around 1849 by one William Bracegirdle. I believe that the Local History Library was unaware of its presence until quite recently. Love the new blog, by the way. I missed the old GIHS newsletter until I realised how up to date the blogs keep us. Well done, Mary!