Old reclaimed millstones are in great demand today as garden features and as curiosities in homes but it is interesting to know their industrial background. Millstones (Mill stones) have been used for centuries for grinding wheat and other grains. Normally they are powered by windmills and watermills but they are sometime powered by tidemills which are a form of coastal water mill driven by the tidal rise and fall and very rearly now by animals such as goats or horses. The stone used for millstones is most commonly burrstone a tough sandstone or less commonly a tough limestone both types are incredibly wear resistant with is why they last so well when left out in the open to face the elements.
Great looking millstones
If you are purchasing a millstone for your garden there are a few things to consider, first thing is that although thicker millstones may make a bolder statement in your garden they may not always be the most sensible option due to the incredible weight of large mill stones which can be a problem on delivery and if you ever decide to move the millstone at some point. Two smaller millstones may give the same effect as a large millstone but be easier and somewhat safer to move although it has to be remembered that purchasing two thin stones will likely be more expensive than purchasing one think stone.
If you are looking for interesting millstones try and find ones that are not too thick and heavy. The best looking ones tend to be stones with deep harps which are the furrowscuts into the stone which are made in order to cut and grind the wheat or grain and encourage the ground material out to the edges. Old and warn millstones tend to look the most interesting when used in the garden.
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